HEALTH

'SNL' Star Pete Davidson Brings Awareness To An Uncommon Mental Health Issue

29/09/2017 5:40 AM AEST | Updated 30/09/2017 2:49 AM AEST
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Pete Davidson is getting real about his experience with borderline personality disorder, an uncommon but serious mental health condition that deserves attention.

The “Saturday Night Live” cast member opened up to Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast earlier this week, where he discussed entering a rehabilitation program for mental health issues late last year that he thought were caused by excessive marijuana use.

While at the rehab center, Davidson was told he may have bipolar disorder. It wasn’t until after he left the program, and had an episode where he says he “just snapped,” that a psychiatrist diagnosed that he was actually dealing with borderline personality disorder.

Davidson, 23, said he’s in therapy to treat the condition, crediting the process for helping him to manage the disorder.

It is working, slowly but surely,” he told Maron. “I’ve been having a lot of problems. This whole year has been a f***ing 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.”

His experience isn’t uncommon: Borderline personality disorder is often misdiagnosed since its symptoms are similar to other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. Borderline personality disorder causes severe mood instability and impulsive behavior, and a person living with it may struggle with intense periods of depression or anger, distorted self-image and have difficulties with relationships.

An estimated 1.6 percent of American adults deal with borderline personality disorder, though that figure could actually approach 6 percent, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Davidson joins the ranks other public figures ― including NFL star Brandon Marshall (who also has borderline personality disorder), Jon Hamm and Emma Stone ― who have talked openly about their mental health issues.

Their candor about mental illness is not only refreshing, it’s vital: Research shows feeling ashamed about a mental health condition can prevent people from seeking help. However, celebrity advocacy can help overcome that barrier.

Sending good vibes to Davidson, and an even bigger thanks for the public awareness.

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