Borderline Personality Disorder on Monday Night Football

It’s football day again. This brings to mind that last Monday night I was watching the Bears destroy the Cowboys (until Kyle Orton came in!) and was surprised somewhere in the fourth quarter to hear, after Brandon Marshall (who had a huge night) caught a TD, one of the color on-field commentators mention in a matter of fact way that he had Borderline Personality Disorder and was happy to have finally been diagnosed and be getting help with his anger. Her quote – it was live, so I didn’t write it down – had him saying something like “I’m just glad to finally know who I am.”

As someone who’s whole practice focuses on this condition I found it pretty thrilling to see this much-maligned disorder discussed in such a thoughtful and common sensical way on national TV. I did a Reddit AMA on personality disorders a few weeks ago, and was exposed to a decidedly more negative view of patients with BPD (see that exchange; it really took me aback; these people are very, very helpable!)

It is also wonderful and amazing that Marshall would be willing to come out with this and become, as described in these articles (HuffpoYahoo, Esquire) the national face of BPD. I will say that it is typical of BPD patients – in marked distinction to  NPD patients, with whom they share so many personality characteristics – to be relieved to be diagnosed, and to non-defensively be grateful for help.


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