The symptoms of borderline personality disorder are misrepresented in the film " Girl interrupted" and are misunderstood by the general public. Georges Han, a recovered patient describes borderline personality disorder as “a serious psychiatric disorder involving a pervasive sense of emptiness, impulsivity, difficulty with emotions, transient stress-induced psychosis and frequent suicidal thoughts or attempts.”

The symptoms of borderline disorder are summarized by this table:


Borderline personality disorder does not show up immediately, it shows up it stages. The first signs of borderline personality disorder show up during late childhood. The earliest signs that show up during late childhood are impulsive and reckless behavior. It is not until the ages of 18 and 25 that the disorder fully develops.

Film Connection
In the movie Girl Interrupted, Susanna was diagnosed with borderline personalty disorder when she graduated from high school so it falls in the young adult age range. Additionally, Susanna tried to commit suicide with aspirin and vodka which shows another symptom of borderline personality disorder; the risk of suicide is higher among young adults with borderline personality disorder. During the adult years, the disorder is characterized by intense emotions, impulsive behaviors, and unstable relationships. Uncontrolled emotions and fear of being abandoned often lead to job losses, failed marriages, and uncompleted education.

In the film a Streetcar Named Desire, the character Blanche, played by Vivien Leigh, has Borderline Personality Disorder and she exhibits symptoms of BPD, such as substance abuse (alcoholism) and careless sexual behaviors.