Love and Other Drugs

November 30, 2010

If you want to know what it’s like to fall in love with an emotionally damaged borderline personality, see Love and Other Drugs. It’s about a man who falls in love with a woman who is battling Parkinson’s. But if you’re in a relationship with a borderline, you will see an uncanny resemblance. Essentially, you have two people who are afraid of getting close to someone. Both avoiding intimacy by pursuing shallow relationships. Both using people for sex and other superficial needs. But what happens when these two people accidentally fall in love?

This movie illustrates the push and pull that can happen in this type of dysfunctional relationship. In the movie, the fear of abandonment is a side effect of Parkinson’s. But what if the fear of abandonment is the disease itself (such as the case with BPD)? Then you have someone who is constantly on guard like the woman in this film. Some might say she’s kind of bitchy. But that is her defense-mechanism. She expects men to reject her and her disease, so she scares them off.

The female character hates men, because she habitually dates assholes. Men who fulfill her negative expectations. She dates assholes to avoid attachment. But when one of those assholes turns out to be a good guy (a guy who is in it for the long haul) she freaks out. She pokes and prods him. She tests his limits. She questions his every intention until he doubts his own feelings. She treats him like shit until he has no choice but to leave. She can’t help but sabotage her relationships. Especially, when actual love enters the equation. This is what it’s like to love a person with BPD. For a BP, it is a constant battle between the fear of being alone and the fear of abandonment/rejection. In the end, the relationship meltdown is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They don’t mean to hurt the ones they love. But they do it anyways.

Could the character in this film also have had BPD? Possibly. It is not uncommon for BPs to develop other severe illnesses. When life is this stressful, it is bound to wreak havoc on your body and mind. Not to mention the damage it can do to your relationships. This movie has a happy ending. But that’s Hollywood, not real life.

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