Three weeks into a new relationship with Ariana Grande, SNL star Pete Davidson has made headlines for getting her trademark bunny ears tattooed onto his neck â and her initials on his thumb.
But the news of their relationship hasnât just sparked the usual gossip column inches, as Davidson has been open about his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD), joking about it both on Saturday Night LiveÂ and in interviews.
Writing about dating with BPD on an Instagram story in May, Davidson rejected the idea that âjust because someone has a mental illness does not mean they canât be happyâ.
âNormally I wouldnât comment on something like this cause like fuck you but I been hearing a lot of âpeople with BPD canât be in relationshipsâ talk,â he wrote.
âJust because someone has a mental illness does not mean they canât be happy and in a relationship. It also doesnât mean that person makes the relationship toxic.â
âI just think itâs fucked up to stigmatise people as crazy and say that they are unable to do stuff that anyone can do. Itâs not their fault and itâs the wrong way for people to look at things.â
But what is BPD, and how does it affect those who have it?
The NHS breaks the symptoms of BPD into four broad categories: emotional instability, disturbed patterns of thinking, impulsive behaviour and intense but unstable relationships with others.
More specifically, according to mental health charity Mind, someone diagnosed with BPD might:
Dating with BPD can be hard, explains Maggy Van Eijk, author of Remember This When Youâre Sad.Â Her own experiences with dating have often been difficult.
âAt the start of a relationship I often find it so unbelievable that someone could be into me that Iâll do whatever it takes to have it stay that way,â she tells i. âIf they want to hang out every single day, Iâll do that; if they want to be more casual and low key, Iâll do that; if theyâre into art Iâll be super into art; if they hate Kanye, Iâll hate Kanye too.â
âI become a cardboard cut out of myself,Â just because I want to hold onto someone, without ever thinking: âwait, is that person right for me?â.
Now, Van Eijk âtalks to lots of other people with similar triggersâ to learn from their experiences. âGiving yourself some space, going for a walk, removing yourself from a situation can help tremendously. MY BPD means my gut instinct is often wrong â my first conclusion is often skewed so I need a bit of time to think: âWait, how do I actually feel?â. And thatâs okay.â