Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson has always been fairly open about his mental health, and now, he's opening up about a mental illness we don't often talk about.
Initially, Davidson thought that his frequent marijuana usage was contributing to his mental breakdowns.
"I’ve been a pothead forever," he said in the interview. "Around October [or] September last year, I started having these mental breakdowns where I would, like, freak out and then not remember what happened after."
After checking into rehab however, he discovered that there was a different reason for his breakdowns.
"I never really did any other drugs, so I was like, 'I’m gonna try to go to rehab. Maybe that’ll be helpful,'" he said. "So I go and I get off weed. They told me there, they’re like, 'You might be bipolar,' and I was like, 'OK.' So they’re like, 'We’re gonna try you on these meds.' And then I got out [of rehab], and then I started smoking weed again — and I’m on meds."
Davidson quit smoking marijuana in February and announced his sobriety on Instagram, but after suffering another breakdown months later, he went back to his doctors and found out that he had borderline personality disorder.
"I found out I have BPD, which is borderline personality disorder," he said. "One of my psychiatrists [diagnosed me]. He was always saying before this big meltdown, 'You’re probably bipolar or borderline, we’re just going to have to figure it out.'"
Borderline personality disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a condition that causes a person to have difficulties regulating emotion. This can cause severe mood swings, impulsivity and instability, poor self-image and tumultuous personal relationships.
While mood swings are a major symptom, other symptoms include frantic efforts to avoid being abandoned, unstable relationships, suicidal and self-harming behavior, and dissociative feelings.
Like many other mental health problems, it can be caused by a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and brain function, and can be treated with therapy and medication.
These days, Davidson is still working out how to best manage his diagnosis, and said that he is "depressed all the time," though he is now going to therapy and regularly takes medication.
"It is working, slowly but surely," he said. "I’ve been having a lot of problems. This whole year has been a fucking nightmare. This has been the worst year of my life, getting diagnosed with this and trying to figure out how to learn with this and live with this."
Though stigma on mental health problems has been steadily decreasing, borderline personality disorder isn't often discussed, and it's refreshing to see someone like Davidson shining a light on a mental illness that doesn't get as much exposure as more common disorders such as anxiety and depression.
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