Borderline Personality Disorder,  Celebrities

Princess Di and Borderline Personality Disorder

The Publisher’s Weekly review of Diana in Search of Herself : Portrait of a Troubled Princess by Sally Bedell Smith:

Devotees who remember Princess Diana as a beautiful, warm-hearted mother dedicated to good works, whom an adulterous husband and the British Royal family unfairly victimized, will find little comfort in this treatment of her life. Smith relentlessly but convincingly portrays Diana as a woman with severe psychological problems (characterized here as a “”borderline personality””) who never overcame a serious eating disorder and was unable to sustain relationships. Based on research and interviews with Diana’s friends, Smith (Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Harriman) carefully presents Diana’s childhood as darkened by divorce and neglect, leaving Diana with deep feelings of unworthiness; by the time of her marriage she was, Smith contends, not only a bulimic but also a pathological liar. According to Smith, Prince Charles had completely severed relations with Camilla Parker-Bowles out of determination to make his marriage work, and did not revive his affair with her until the relationship with his wife fell apart. Diana, certain that Charles was still seeing Camilla from the date of their wedding, retaliated with a series of tawdry romances, and also engaged in self-mutilation, binge eating and other erratic behaviors that alienated Charles. Though Smith acknowledges that the princess dearly loved her sons, she also describes occasions when Diana placed emotional demands on them that they were too young to handle. This is a sharply etched and engrossing study of an insecure and emotionally damaged woman coming apart at the seams.

Buy the book from Amazon by clicking here: Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess



  • Michael Myracle

    I personally believe Diana suffered from borderline personality disorder. However, she was still lovely, loving, kind. She suffered greatly, gave much despite her misery. She adored her sons, and did the very best she could with them. If she involved them too much in her troubles, I feel sure they can understand that now that they are compassionate, mature adults themselves. She did a good job with them. (I also believe Charles has been under rated regarding his involvement with the princes’ rearing.). As to her bulimia–you don’t “get over” it. With help, you learn to control and cope with it. I know. I feel that Charles’ and Diana’s marriage was”a perfect storm” of circumstances, just as it sometimes is with the rest of us. I believe EVERYONE involved–going back to Diana’s parents, the Queen and Prince Philip, and yes the Queen Mother and Diana’s sisters would do a few things differently than they did if only they could. I believe a large part of Diana’s legacy is what was learned from her life. Hers was a shortened, but NOT a wasted life. I believe she is out there somewhere not necessarily “looking down” at the world , but enjoying her pain-free existence and understanding that she fulfilled her reason for being.

  • Janka Gajdosikova

    Diana was a textbook BPD. Very unstable in her relationships even with her lovers and she looooved talking about her misfortune with whoever who would listen. You see how much she relished talking almost in any interview.

  • bret reinbold

    I was diagnosed with BPD at age 50 after decades of emotional turmoil. One would think that I am grateful to finally have something to blame for my behavior. I am not grateful, I’ve been terrorized all over again and continue to suffer as I learn how to live my life all over again, and convince those around me that there was a reason behind my madness.

    All of time spent before diagnosis was spent believing that I had a ‘quirky’ personality. Unfortunately my actions have tainted my entire family for life. I will always be known as the son/brother/uncle who was torturous to live with or even in close proximity.

    I feel for Princess Diana, what she went through not knowing that what was going through her mind was mental illness, not common day to day thoughts. I feel very very badly for those who loved her as this mental illness is beyond comprehension.

  • John T

    BPD sufferers have my sympathy as it is a very disabling and hard to treat disorder….Saying that, I would also point out that Charles never had a chance while she was left undiagnosed or treated for the disorder. Living with someone who has BPD is a nightmare by most accounts. Diana had violent temper tantrums, would cut her self, bulimia etc in hopes it would help. They are attention seeking along with the inability to regulate their emotions.

    I’m surprised their marriage lasted as long as it did.

  • Ronald van Rabenswaay

    I lived with a borderliner for 10 years
    What they project to the world is not who they are
    Very Cunning manuplitive
    My ex wife is also high functioning as Daina was the most difficult type to diagnose

  • Dorian

    Not all are manipulative. It might seem that way. But I believe it’s a sub-conscious form of self-preservation. If you show the world just how damaged you are you will have nothing left. No job, no friends, no opportunities, no hope. You would be a social pariah. So unfortunately the person closest to you becomes the sacrificial lamb. They bare the brunt of what you hold back from heaping on the world.
    It’s not right. I’m not excusing it.
    But this “manipulation” that so many speak about is not cold and calculating. In fact it’s not even realized by many BPDs. It’s an auto-pilot method of self-preservation. To the victim, it might look otherwise. But the borderline, some at least, are not aware of what they are doing. And to me that is not manipulative. It’s faulty reasoning, it might be unfair. It’s unhealthy. But I don’t deem it manipulation.

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