Was Marilyn Monroe Diagnosed With Mental Illness?

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox/Wikimedia Commons

Although Netflix’s ‘Blonde’ is unabashedly a fictional portrait of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe’s personal and professional experiences, there is a sort of reimagined emotional reality behind it. After all, it not only places a specific focus on the tumultuousness of her lacking family life but also on the pressures of the industry, her drug habits, and the way they affected her overall health. So now, if you wish to learn whether Marilyn was ever officially diagnosed with — or has been suspected of having — any severe mental health issues, we’ve got the necessary details for you.

Did Marilyn Monroe Struggle With Her Mental Health?

While there was no formal confirmation when Marilyn was still alive, it is almost undeniable that she faced a rapid decline in her mental well-being around the 1950s as well as the early 1960s. One of the primary indicators (despite the surrounding conspiracies) is the fact she passed away from a probable suicide by overdosing on barbiturates in her Los Angeles home on August 4, 1962. The 36-year-old was actually addicted to these nervous system calmers, according to Donald Spoto’s ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Biography,‘ and was even prone to unexpected, dramatic mood swings.

Image Credit: Modern Screen/Wikimedia Commons

It’s thus imperative to note that Marilyn’s psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson once reportedly suggested she could have (early-stage) schizophrenia, like her biological mother Gladys Pearl Baker. However, with the medical advancements over the years, it’s now speculated the actress actually suffered from the emotional dysregulation condition called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This ailment is marked by extremely unstable moods, behaviors, and relationships, which may or may not even include psychotic episodes, meaning it could have been easily confused with schizophrenia.

“What is clear is that Monroe suffered from severe mental distress,” independent science journalist Claudia Kalb positively claimed in her 2016 book ‘Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder.’ “Her symptoms included a feeling of emptiness, a split or confused identity, extreme emotional volatility, unstable relationships, and an impulsivity that drove her to drug addiction and suicide — all textbook characteristics of a condition called borderline personality disorder.” There were times when the renowned starlet purportedly also made efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, which is a sign of BPD as well.

Image Credit: New York Sunday News/Wikimedia Commons

Apart from all this, we should mention Marilyn had been admitted to a psychiatric clinic in early 1961 for some prescribed rest owing to insomnia, only to soon be told she was “very sick.” She was kept inside a padded cell rather than a room within the institution, which she believed was unnecessary, yet she then “intentionally” threw a lightweight chair against the glass. The medical professionals obviously came running in, and all Marilyn said to them was, “if you are going to treat me like a nut, I’ll act like a nut.”

Unfortunately, the actress passed away a little more than a year later without a proper diagnosis or treatment for her mental health struggles, whatever they may be. But since medicine has progressed a lot, you do not have to worry about the same — so if you think you need help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with professionals.

Read More: Is Whitey Based On a Real Make-Up Artist?