Having a mental health issue can be challenging, because, just like any chronic health condition, it takes work to manage. But, as 'Saturday Night Live' star Pete Davidson explained on Instagram this week, it doesn't mean that you're any less of a person or any less deserving of love, happiness, or relationships.
After people on Twitter suggested he was unable to be in a stable relationship with Ariana Grande because of his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD), Davidson cleared a few things up. “Normally I wouldn’t comment on something like this ’cause fuck you,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories. “But I been hearing a lot of ‘people with BPD can’t be in relationships’ talk. I just wanna let you know that’s not true. Just because someone has a mental illness does not mean they can’t be happy and in a relationship. It also doesn’t mean that person makes the relationship toxic.”
Davidson went on to explain some of the work he's undertaken to manage his BPD. “Everybody is different and there are a lot of treatments for mental illnesses and I have done/am doing all of them,” he wrote. “And I encourage those who struggle to seek help as well[;] it has changed my life for the better. I just think it’s fucked up to stigmatize people as crazy and say that they are unable to do stuff that anyone can do. It's not their fault and it's the wrong way for people to look at things."
Davidson spoke publicly about having BPD last September, telling Marc Maron that he's managing his BPD with the help of medication.
"It is working, slowly but surely,” he said on WTF with Marc Maron, per Rolling Stone. “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.”
As SELF wrote previously, BPD is marked by a pattern of intense mood swings, self-esteem issues, and impulsivity. But it's an often misunderstood condition and it's not uncommon for people with BPD to be misdiagnosed with other illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Once properly diagnosed, however, BPD is usually treated with specialized therapy (such as dialectical behavior therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy) and, in some cases, medication.
So, yes, having a mental health issue does mean taking the time and effort to figure out the best way to manage it. But, as Davidson points out, that doesn't mean your relationships are doomed to be toxic or that you don't deserve to have a caring partner.
“I’m simply writing this because I want everyone out there who has an illness to know that it’s not true and that anyone who says that is ill and full of shit," Davidson added on Instagram. "Mental illness is not a joke[,] it’s a real thing. There’s kids out there killing themselves. And it’s fucking horrific. For all those struggling[,] I want you to know that I love you and I understand you and it is going to be okay. That’s all. Love to everyone else.”