Pete Davidson: How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Affect Relationships?
Pete Davidson openly shared his struggle with borderline personality disorder with his fans on social media. He has also spoken about being bullied and his hope of raising awareness about the mental health disorder. “I’ve been getting online bullied and in public by people for 9 months. I’ve spoken about BPD and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will help bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth,” wrote Davidson on Instagram. “No matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself. I won’t. I’m upset I even have to say this.”
Davidson has been in a few high-profile relationships during his career. Unfortunately, after his breakup with singer Ariana Grande, he seemed to sink into a depression, causing fans and Saturday Night Live co-stars to become concerned. Davidson was also dating actress Kate Beckinsale, but the two are reportedly no longer together.
How does borderline personality disorder affect romantic relationships? The Cheat Sheet chatted with Adina Mahalli, MSW, a mental health professional, relationship expert, and author at Maple Holistics. Here’s what Mahalli had to say about the impact of borderline personality disorder on romantic relationships.
The Cheat Sheet: How can you make a relationship with someone who has borderline personality disorder a little easier?
Adina Mahalli: Living with a mental illness is never easy and the same goes for living with someone with mental illness. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) doesn’t just affect the person suffering from mental illness; it also impacts family and friends. This psychological disorder is characterized by frequent mood swings, intense fears, impulsiveness, and has a serious impact on how the person treats and relates to others. With this being the case, it can be excruciating to maintain a relationship with someone suffering from borderline personality disorder. Although family members may feel hopeless watching their loved one suffer from BPD, there are a few coping mechanisms and treatment options to consider.
CS: If you have a partner with borderline personality disorder, what should you keep in mind?
AM: The toughest part about living with someone with mental illness is knowing when to give them space and when to be there for them. For many people with these conditions, it can sometimes be more helpful to let them ride the wave alone.
One of the hardest parts of living with someone with a mental illness is finding the right balance of care without rewarding their destructive behavior. The first course of action is to find the proper treatment, especially family therapy programs. Resources such as the National Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder and their Family Connections Program is one of the most popular and accessible in the U.S. and has helped millions of families cope with BPD.
CS: How can couples strengthen their relationship?
AM: Because coping with a mental illness can be a full-time job, it’s crucial for partners to find alone time and to make sure they’re taking proper care of themselves. It’s also vital to master communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Likewise, it’s important to make your partner feel calm, which often means making them feel heard and finding healthy distractions to soothe their flare-ups.
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