Celebrities, like Pete Davidson, often appear to live glamorous, sometimes even worry-free lives. However, this is often far from the truth. Everyone struggles with their mental health, including actors, comedians, athletes, influencers, and more. Thankfully, many celebrities are open about their struggles with their mental health and share their experiences with the public in order to destigmatize mental health problems and normalize seeking mental healthcare. One of the most notable celebrities to do so is the comedian and actor Pete Davidson.
Who is Pete Davidson?
Pete Davidson is an American comedian and actor. He was born in Staten Island, New York, in November of 1993 to two loving parents. However, Davidson suffered a significant tragedy early in life. At the age of seven, Davidson lost his father, a New York City firefighter. His father was one of the many individuals who died in service during the September 11th attacks in New York City in 2001.
Davidson has described growing up without his father in several interviews over the years, as well as in the movie The King of Staten Island, a semi-biographical movie about Davidson’s life. According to Davidson, he acted out frequently in school. He also ripped out all of his hair. However, most alarmingly, Davidson struggled with suicidal ideation at the time.
Eventually, Pete Davidson began to pursue comedy at the age of sixteen. He enjoyed the profession so much that he dropped out of college after just one semester. Thankfully, he soon found himself appearing on MTV shows like Failosophy, Guy Code, and Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.
However, his big break came in 2014 when he joined the cast of NBC’s long-running sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. He was the first cast member to have been born in the 1990s, and one of the youngest cast members to ever be part of the ensemble. His work on the series quickly brought him into the public eye and found him starring in even more TV and movie roles.
Pete Davidson’s Struggles with Mental Health
Despite the success Pete Davidson has made for himself as a comedian and an actor, he has also had significant struggles with his mental health. In fact, he struggled for years with depression and anxiety. However, in 2017, Davidson revealed that he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).
For many, a mental health diagnosis can come as a shock but not for Pete Davidson. He claimed that the diagnosis was a relief. In an “Actors on Actors” interview for Variety, he explained this phenomenon to actress Glenn Close, stating, “when somebody finally tells you, the weight of the world feels lifted off your shoulders. You feel so much better.” Davidson likely found solace in this diagnosis because it finally identified a source for his struggles and provided him with means to combat them.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms typically result in an individual with BPD engaging in impulsive actions and having issues with their relationships. Most often, those living with BPD will experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days at a time.
Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is often unique to every individual living with it. However, there are some similarities between nearly all cases of BPD that form the signs of BPD. These signs include:
- Mood swings
- Uncertainty about themselves and their existence
- Rapidly changing interests and values
- Viewing things in extremes (all good or all bad)
- Avoiding real or imagined abandonment
- Having intense, often unstable relationships
- Distorted self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive behaviors
- Suicidal ideation
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Intense anger
- Issues controlling anger
- Difficulty trusting others
- Feelings of dissociation
Not every person living with BPD experiences every sign of the disorder. However, these signs are among the most common for those diagnosed with BPD.
The Importance of Mental Healthcare
Living with borderline personality disorder or other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, or depression, can be difficult. However, it is possible to manage these conditions and make a person’s life easier. The best way to do this is through seeking mental health treatment, such as therapy. Therapies, like dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, can help individuals with mental health conditions like BPD to control their intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and even improve their relationships with others.
The Stigma of Mental Illness in the Entertainment Industry
Pete Davidson’s story is a heartbreaking example of the very real stigma surrounding mental health in the entertainment industry reality. Since his public struggle with mental illness, he has been met with a lot of criticism and negativity from the media and general public. His experiences in the entertainment industry are unfortunately not unique, as many actors, performers, and other individuals in the industry have to deal with similar challenges when it comes to their mental health.
The entertainment industry has a long history of stigmatizing mental illness, with individuals who struggle with mental health issues often facing discrimination and barriers to employment. This can include being cast in stereotypical or stigmatizing roles, being passed over for job opportunities, or facing discrimination on set or in the workplace. Additionally, many individuals in the entertainment industry may be reluctant to seek help for fear of damaging their careers. This can lead to a lack of representation and understanding of mental illness in the media and perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Other celebrities with borderline personality disorder include Demi Lovato, Amanda Seyfried, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and Marilyn Monroe.
Pete Davidson and Mental Health Treatment
Mental healthcare can help anyone living with any mental health condition. Pete Davidson is an example of this fact. Sadly, borderline personality disorder has a reputation for being untreatable. However, Davidson confirmed during a stand-up show in New York City that he received mental healthcare in order to help manage his BPD.
Pete Davidson has also advocated for mental healthcare publicly. During a segment on Saturday Night Live, Davidson shared his thoughts on seeking mental health treatment. He stated, “If you think you’re depressed, see a doctor and talk to them about medication. Keep eating healthy, eating right, and exercise can make a huge difference.”
Working with professionals and learning how to manage his borderline personality disorder has helped Pete Davidson immensely. As a result, he is still a beloved member of the Saturday Night Live cast, a working actor with several upcoming projects, and has a long list of A-list ex-girlfriends including Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and Kate Beckinsale.
Seeking Mental Healthcare in Your Area?
As Pete Davidson’s experience has shown, engaging in mental healthcare is one of the best things a person can do for themselves. If you or a loved one is struggling with your mental health, help is available in your area! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of mental health professionals offer counseling as well as other treatments and therapies to help individuals manage their mental health more effectively and live happier lives. Contact us today to learn more about our mental health services!