“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson revealed in a recent podcast that he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a condition that makes it hard for people to regulate their emotions. He addressed his condition on “SNL’s” Weekend Update last night, adding a dose of humor to the serious subject.
“As some of you may know, I was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a form of depression,” Davidson, 23, told viewers. “Depression affects more than 16 million people in this country and there’s no cure, per se. But for anyone dealing with it, there are treatments that can help. First of all, if you think you’re depressed, see a doctor and talk to them about medication. And also, be healthy — eating right and exercise can make a huge difference.”
Davidson offered one more piece of advice, intended for his co-workers.
“Finally, if you’re in the cast of a late-night comedy show, it might help if they, you know, do more of your sketches,” he joked.
"Are you saying you're depressed because you're not getting enough airtime?" Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost asked.
“No, I was born depressed, but it might make me feel better if I was on TV more,” Davidson responded.
He even pulled out a note from his “doctor” to prove his point.
“Please use Pete in more sketches where he gets to kiss the host, and use more of his rap videos, which I hear are actually really good,” the note read. “Also, he should play Rex Tillerson a lot. Signed, Pete Davidson’s doctor.”
Davidson previously discussed his condition in an episode of Marc Maron’s podcast released two weeks ago. He said a psychiatrist or therapist diagnosed his BPD.
“He was always saying before this big meltdown happened, he was like, ‘You’re probably bipolar or borderline, we’re just going to have to figure it out,’” Davidson said.
He said his mental health struggles can be attributed in part to the loss of his father, a firefighter, to the 9/11 attacks. Davidson was 7 years old at the time.
“My big thing is trust,” Davidson explained. “One day he was here and the next day he was gone.”
He detailed the steps he’s taken to receive treatment, including taking medication and undergoing dialectical behavioral therapy.
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The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates 1.6 percent of adults in the United States have BPD, which can be difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms include mood swings, impulsivity, conflicted personal relationships and poor self-esteem. A person with BPD may have additional conditions, including depression. Some people with BPD engage in self-harm behavior or attempt suicide.
Davidson shared an important message on Weekend Update by opening up about his experience with BPD and encouraging others with the same condition to seek treatment.