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Marshall discusses BPD, new advocacy group

March 19, 2012
by Nick Zubko, Associate Editor
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Last summer, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall announced that he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Now that Marshall has been traded to the Chicago Bears, it was time to open up to his new city for the first time.

In addition to fielding some more questions about his disorder, the mini press conference that took place when he arrived on Friday provided an opportunity to publicize his new foundation, Project Borderline.

According to its website, the mission of Project Borderline is to "spread the word about [BPD], fight stigma, educate, advocate, reach out, bridge the gap, and change the face and the future of this disorder."

Marshall said the foundation’s mission is to “use my family's experiences to educate."

"The turmoil on and off the field really hit home with me. This is the perfect time to show everyone the progress I have made.”



Brandon Marshall has become a poster child for Borderline Personality Disorder through the revelatory press conference marking his trade to the Chicago Bears. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a stigmatizing diagnosis for anyone. Among the major mental illnesses it is one of the most difficult to treat. The impact on the family of someone with BPD is enormous. Mental health care providers often dread the prospect of treating someone with BPD. Medications offer only limited and temporary relief from the symptoms of this illness. Recovery is brought about only through the ongoing efforts of the affected person, supported by sophisticated treatment modalities. Brandon Marshall is, in all likelihood, acutely aware that his illness has threatened and continues to threaten his life, his liberty and his career. Brandon's work with Marsha Linehan and her Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has a high potential to inform and benefit others who suffer from BPD. As a fan and as a mental health care provider I would like to wish the best of luck to Mr. Marshall.

I just wanted to comment that the above post is extremely well-put and, as a recovered borderline, I agree with it 100%. Whoever wrote this post, I commend you for your high level of understanding of this illness, and your honesty about the challenges it presents to providers. I am happy that you are in the field of mental health care.

The word about fight stigma educate advocate reach outbridge the gap and change the face and the future of this disorder.
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hi there. your blog is so important to me. my mom died a few years ago, but hainvg been raised by her, i continue weeding through what was ok and what was bpd-skewed in the adulthood model i was raised with. while not borderline myself, i had a lot of those traits to start out with. the longer i was away from home and on my own, the more they fell away and were replaced with other coping mechanisms and healthier internal assumptions about the nature of reality and how human relationships should work. i guess i had to separate out what was emulated to me by my authority figures and what was real , if that makes any sense. my mom was such a good person, she really was. she loved me and her granddaughters and i honestly believe she worked really hard to do the best she could. her heart was in the right place, although her brain often led her astray. when i was a kid, i changed schools 2-3 times every single year, as my mom and her husband du jour moved around. my initial thought was the same as the first post that you didn't have any control over that part of it, until you were an adult or left home, and that the school changes were more a reflection of what you were raised in rather than your own internal issues. but if the family stayed put, how did all those changes happen? just curious.when i first left home, i definitely did the thing where i would try to overhaul my life frequently when things got into a tangled mess by just packing up and leaving, starting over somewhere else. this stopped when i had my first child, i was determined not to move her around like i had been moved around. however, the urge to pack up and leave has never left me. 15 years later, about once a year i go through the mental exercise of packing everything i own into boxes, researching housing costs and job listings in a new place, all of that. used to scare my husband to death, but now he knows i'm just indulging the mental tic and won't act on it. i was at my last job for 10 years and have been self-employed for 5 years so far. before that, when i was younger, most jobs only lasted a year or two.i often wonder if i will spend the rest of my life untangling the bpd glitches in my head from the stuff that is really me . i used to get angry about it, resenting that i had to do all this work to get rid of this stuff that wasn't even mine. now i just feel empathy for my mom, who could not separate out the disease from herself enough to ever have happiness in her life for very long. such a waste. thank you for putting this here. it helps me constantly, you have no idea. i have so many a-ha moments that help me heal things.

Nick Zubko

Associate Editor

Nick Zubko


Nick Zubko is associate editor of Behavioral Healthcare.

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