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4 Things to Keep in Mind About the New Season of 'Daredevil' If You Have BPD

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Editor's Note

The following post contains spoilers for the third season of Netflix’s “Daredevil.”

The third season of “Daredevil” just dropped on Netflix, and it takes on a heady issue: borderline personality disorder (BPD). If you’re currently in treatment for BPD, and most especially if you were just diagnosed, you’ll likely recognize many of the emotions experienced by “Dex,” one of this season’s anti-heroes. In fact, the writers did such a good job portraying BPD, as well as other issues like suicide, postpartum depression and childhood trauma, that the show may trigger some extreme feelings within you. The following are a few tips to prepare you for watching this season.

1. Do a pulse check. Are you ready?

It’s one thing to recognize you have BPD. It’s another to see it portrayed to the general public in such an honest, brutal, violent and angry way. Indeed, you may feel BPD is presented unfairly. You may feel it presents people with BPD in a negative light. It might cause your own stress, grief or anger. Take time to do an honest assessment of how ready you are to see the way BPD is portrayed in this show. If you feel it will counteract the progress you’ve made in treatment, it may be best to avoid it altogether.

2. Tell a friend.

If you hear friends talking about this season of “Daredevil” and its portrayal of BPD in particular, let them know about your own journey. Help them see that BPD takes many forms. Yes, it’s often caused by childhood trauma, just like Dex’s was, but everyone experiences it differently. Use this as an opportunity to shed light on the diagnosis. 

3. Honor your own progress.

I found it stressful to watch Dex “learn” to show empathy, and to live through bouts of rage and guilt/shame/atonement. It was triggering to see him lash out, and to follow it up with self-soothing dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills I learned in my own journey. Remember: Dex is not you. Don’t project his issues onto your journey, and don’t let anyone else do it, either. Honor how far you’ve come in your own experience. 

4. Know we are all different.

Especially if you are new to your BPD diagnosis, Dex’s behavior may seem alarming to you. Just know that Dex’s behavior is just that: Dex’s behavior, especially written for TV. That doesn’t mean you will end up like him, lash out like he does, attempt suicide as he did or regress in the way he does. You are empowered to take charge of your own journey. You are not him. And no matter how serious your BPD prognosis may be, you never have to be.

The writers of this season of Daredevil did a tremendous job of representing the extreme feelings of anger, abandonment, panic and shame that many of us with BPD battle — often on a daily basis. I can appreciate the realness of their work while also recognizing that many of us with BPD may find it difficult to watch or hear our friends discuss it in person or on social media.
If you are interested in watching this season, keep the above in mind and be prepared to use select DBT skills to help you regulate your emotions throughout the process.

Header image via “Daredevil” Facebook page

Originally published: October 23, 2018
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