Hello, I’m Tristan Miller and this is Mental Health in the Media.
In this essay, I’ll be focusing on Michael Scott.
Michael Scott is a 46-year-old manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, a paper company.
He is impulsive, emotionally erratic, self-centered, attention-seeking, displays inappropriate and intense bouts of anger, has a fear of abandonment, and a pattern of intense and unstable interpersonal relationships.
All of these are symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.
And all of which are displayed by Michael Scott.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD?
According to The Mayo Clinic BPD is defined as a mental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life…With borderline personality disorder, you have an intense fear of abandonment or instability, and you may have difficulty tolerating being alone. Yet inappropriate anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you want to have loving and lasting relationships. Borderline personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood. The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age.
Where does BPD come from? Generally, BPD comes from a traumatic childhood and a genetic disposition of the condition. Those who have been diagnosed with BPD often face inconsistent childhoods, neglect from their parents, or were somehow abused growing up.
No matter the exact cause, the person with BPD has had some form of early childhood trauma.
Some people have posited that Michael has a narcissistic personality disorder, which I don’t believe gives him enough credit. Throughout the series Michael shows compassion, empathy, kindness, and growth. By the end of the series, Michael has found love both in himself and in his life. He can better accept things as they are, not how he feels they should be.
This is the case for a lot of those with this condition, that as they get older, they learn to manage themselves, their lives, and the condition better. There is hope to find people who accept you, who make you accept yourself, and who can, in the end, let you do what is best for your own personal growth.
What can we learn from Michael Scott?
We can stop taking those who behave erratically at face value and question the underlying reasons for the behavior. We can, like Pam, learn to listen to and try to understand someone like Michael, rather than writing him off as a joke, someone not worthy of respect.
You can learn to see past what we don’t understand and learn to empathize with it.
Even though it’s hard sometimes, That’s what she said.