- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
- A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extremes between idealization and devaluation (also known as “splitting“)
Marilyn married at a young age to her 21 year old neighbor and divorced shortly after his return from the military. She also married baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and divorced 9 months later, and playwright Arthur Miller, who she divorced 5 years later. In addition, it is speculated that she had numerous intense and fleeting affairs, including with President John F. Kennedy and with the president’s brother, Robert.
- Identity disturbance: Markedly or persistently unstable self-image or sense of selfMarilyn grew up as Norma Jean, never knowing her father and knowing that her mother was committed to a mental institution due to severe psychological issues. She bounced from foster home to foster home and then from marriage to marriage, in the meantime creating a new identity for herself as Marilyn Monroe, changing her hair color, name, and personality. While many stars take on a new name for show business, Marilyn took on a whole knew persona — one that she thought would likely get her the love, attention, and adoration she so desperately sought since she was a young child.
- Impulsive behavior in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)Sex and substance abuse.
- Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-harming behaviorIt is unknown if Marilyn Monroe self-harmed (other than through substance abuse), but self-harm/suicidal behavior ultimately took her life.
- Emotional instability in reaction to day-to-day events (e.g., intense episodic sadness, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)This may have been the case, especially in the days leading up to her being fired from her last movie.
- Chronic feelings of emptinessWell documented as having experienced this. Portions of her diary were recovered, and this was a repeated theme.
- Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
- Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms”
Symptoms sourced from NIMH.nih.org (National Institute of Mental Health); italicized text speculated by healingfrombpd.org
The author of this blog post has since RECOVERED from Borderline Personality Disorder and no longer meets the criteria for a BPD diagnosis. There is HOPE for you! Recovery happened through a commitment to DBT. Debbie now teaches the DBT skills that helped change her life over at DBTpath.net where you can take online Dialectical Behavior Therapy Classes from anywhere in the world. We only wish this therapy existed when Marilyn Monroe graced this planet, but today YOU *can* overcome this disorder.