False Ammunition – Borderline Personality Disorder and Bullet Train

Bullet Train (David Leitch, 2022) is an assassin caper starring Brad Pitt as Ladybug. In one scene, Ladybug tells The Prince (Joey King), ‘you know there’s some great reads you should check out, like Surviving Borderline Personality Disorder’. This is a joke-dig, as if The Prince (a schoolgirl) is a ‘manipulative nut’. In the Depp v Heard trial, Depp’s team used this diagnosis as ammunition against Heard with the result proving this weaponization works. Here females are demonised using a problematic diagnosis. In The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, 1995) it is the very visibility of Verbal’s (Kevin Spacey) physical disability that makes him invisible to others; the police and fellow criminals do not think Verbal is clever enough to be an arch criminal, equating a physical disability with a mental one. The established way of thinking is mental health is physical health. Psychiatrists need to train in ‘normal’ physical medicine first. As I explain in my forthcoming book with Springer, key NHS doctors who in the 1980s first began to treat borderline personality disorder using psychotherapy now believe this diagnosis is unhelpful. Unfortunately this diagnosis has become over popularised; wrongly thought to be objective, it is used against people as false ammunition.


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