For Those With Borderline Personality Disorder, The Depp-Heard Trial Hurts

Like many people, Bethany Purves, a 23-year-old writer from Liverpool, had been idly watching Johnny Depp’s defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

At least, she was up to a point. Eventually, she had to turn it off: It was upsetting to hear the intimate accounts of the couple’s four-year relationship. Depp and Heard each claim the other was physically and emotionally abusive.

Even if you aren’t looking for clips on YouTube or watching on Court TV, it’s hard to escape the trial online. The case is a sensitive, nuanced one, centered on serious claims of domestic abuse and violence. But on Twitter and TikTok, it’s been reduced to a viral sideshow. On both platforms, Depp supporters and casual viewers of the trial have used excerpts from Heard’s testimony to mock her through memes and lip-sync videos.

Purves panicked when she read in a tweet that Depp’s legal team had brought in a forensic psychologist who claimed that Heard had borderline personality disorder, or BPD.

“I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I know what many people think of Heard, and BPD is already a very misunderstood and highly stigmatised condition,” Purves, tells HuffPost. “I knew the combination would result in BPD and abuse being linked, since this is the first time a lot of people have heard about BPD.”

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