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What You Should Keep In Mind About Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande's Breakup

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Sometimes the news isn’t as straightforward as it’s made to seem. Juliette Virzi, The Mighty’s associate mental health editor, explains what to keep in mind if you see this topic or similar stories in your newsfeed. This is The Mighty Takeaway.

On Sunday, news broke that singer Ariana Grande and comedian Pete Davidson split, calling off their highly publicized romance-turned-engagement. Grande’s ex-boyfriend and rapper, Mac Miller, died of an apparent overdose last month.

Davidson has spoken openly about his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). When the pair started dating in May, some social media users were quick to say that Grande jumped from one “toxic” relationship to another, implying that folks with BPD are automatically “toxic” in relationships.

While some have taken to Twitter to blame Davidson’s BPD for the end of the relationship, others have used the opportunity to talk about how hard breakups can be for people with BPD. One of the hallmark symptoms of BPD is experiencing unstable interpersonal relationships and fear of abandonment, so some users have offered the comedian support and encouraged people to think about the way Davidson might be feeling right now.

While we can’t know exactly how Davidson is feeling, going through a breakup while living with BPD can be incredibly difficult. This is something Mighty contributor Haley Beckman is familiar with. In her piece, “How Borderline Personality Disorder Makes a Breakup Feel Like the End of the World,” she wrote,

When I started dating my ex, I immediately became attached to him. Wayyy too attached. I shamelessly loved him with every fiber of my being because, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel alone. I didn’t feel empty. But throughout the relationship I lived in a chronic sense of fear he would leave me and I’d be alone once again.

And he did…

Imagine how heartbreak feels. Now multiply that by 100. That’s how I felt after being rejected by the person I loved so dearly, left without an explanation for the reason I was even rejected.

If you live with BPD and are struggling with a breakup, you’re not alone — and you’re not “doomed” to have painful relationships forever. The Mighty previously spoke to BPD expert Dr. Foreman who gave some words of encouragement to folks with BPD who would like to have healthy relationships:

If you have borderline personality disorder, by definition, you are having very painful relationships… What I can tell you though is that people with borderline personality disorder can recover and can have good, beautiful, stable relationships. I’ve seen it over and over. [But] you cannot have better relationships until you change something, and you will have to do very hard work to change that.

This kind of “hard work” may involve lifestyle changes, taking medication, processing through past trauma and being in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Header image via Ariana Grande Instagram

Originally published: October 15, 2018
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