Marilyn Monroe: Borderline Personality Disorder

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Marilyn Monroe

Disorder: Borderline Personality Disorder

Thesis Statement: Marilyn Monroe’s candle burned out long before her legend ever did (Elton John. Goodbye Norma Jeane). Marilyn Monroe, a well-known legend, was a public figure for several decades.

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Monroe was an actress, model, and singer. She began her career as a model, which led to a film contract with Twentieth Century Fox in 1946. She then went on to start in many successful motion pictures during the late 1940s and early 1960s. Throughout her career, Monroe had roles in 23 films which grossed more than $200 million since her debut in 1950 (A&E Television Networks). Although she was a highly well-known legend, she soon became known for something other than her ability to act. Monroe swiftly became known to the public for her behavior and eccentric actions; she eventually was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder which is a mental illness marked by an outgoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety. (Borderline Personality Disorder). Monroe ended her depression and anxiety along with her future when she overdosed on chloral hydrate enema, a sleeping pill, and died at the age of 36.

History of Psychological Disorder: Borderline Personality Disorder was first discovered in 1938 by Adolph Stern. The study began with him identifying a group of patients who had no response to classical psychoanalytic treatment. Stern described these people and their manifesting symptoms as being on the line between neurosis and psychosis, and therefore labeled them the borderline group(Wilderkt). Treatment methods of BPD in 1938 included dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) which incorporated techniques of validation and the concept of acceptance to a cognitive behavioral therapy. Another treatment method was Schema-Focused Therapy; this treatment method was developed for personality-disorder patients who did not respond to standard cognitive-behavioral therapy. Both methods explicitly address the borderline patient’s typical treatment-interfering behaviors so that his or her responses were not overactive. Today, we can conclude that Borderline Personality Disorder is a common mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. Although the cause of BPD is unknown, it can still be treated with talk therapy, and in some cases, medication.

 Prevalence & Biological Relationship of Psychological Disorder: Borderline Personality Disorder, a dominant trait, is officially diagnosed in early adulthood. BPD is often caused by certain traumatic childhood experiences such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse as well as loss, neglect, and/or bullying and the prevalence of borderline personality disorder is estimated to be 5.9% of the population, 75% of whom are white women (American Psychiatric Association). Marilyn Monroe experienced a disrupted, loveless, and neglectful childhood. She was born to a mentally unstable mother who gave her up to a foster family because she suffered from Schizophrenia.

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