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Marilyn Monroe And Borderline Personality Disorder

2148 words - 9 pages

Marilyn Monroe is a well-known legend and has been a public figure for several decades. Monroe was a distinguished model, actress, and singer, who quickly became known as a major sex symbol. Monroe starred in a large number of successful motion pictures during the late 1940s and early 1960s. She began her career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Throughout her career, Monroe's films grossed more than $200 million ("Marilyn Monroe Biography," 2013). Marilyn Monroe swiftly became more known to the public for her behavior and outlandish actions; she was eventually diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Background History
Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Monroe was originally given the name Norma Jeane Mortenson. The traumatic childhood of Marilyn Monroe is well document being that when she became famous she had no problem with telling her story. Monroe was the daughter of Gladys Monroe Baker Mortensen. Marilyn Monroe’s father has never been positively identified (Hendrickson, 2000). Monroe’s relationship with her mother was rocky and to say the least, lack thereof being that her mother was mentally unstable and eventually became institutionalized. This caused Marilyn to grow up in a succession of foster homes, orphanages, and guardianships, where she suffered abuse. At the age of two she was almost smothered to death. Monroe was also on several occasions sexually assaulted; she later said that she had been raped when she was 11 years old (“Marilyn Monroe Biography”, 2013). Marilyn Monroe’s personality as a child strongly reflected her traumatic upbringing. When she was ten, she would fall into fits of uncontrollable sobbing and despair at the slightest aggravation (Spoto, 1993, p. 47). Monroe was also withdrawn and tended to stutter which led to her having the nickname "M-m-m". She was also often anxious and had moderate colds and coughs. Marilyn Monroe spent the majority of her early years living in a fictional world she created as an escape from reality. She sometimes told the other children in her orphanage eccentric tales about her having loving parents who had just went on a trip. Monroe would create fake postcards, she would sign from her parents to go along with her story (Spoto, 1993, p. 47). She had also managed to convince herself that Clark Gable was her father, although it was not a possibility (Spoto, 1993, p. 45; 54). After growing up in orphanages, Marilyn realized the only way to be released from the foster system was to get married. Marilyn Monroe decided to drop out of high school and marry her boyfriend at the time. Her first husband was a merchant marine by the name James Dougherty (Hendrickson, 2000). Dougherty was much older than Monroe who was then only sixteen years old. Although like the marriages to her other two husbands, Joe DeMaggio and Arthur Miller did not last for various reasons.
Factors Contributing to Mental Illness
One can point out many factors could...

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