Customer Reviews for

The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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  • Posted August 23, 2010

    Interesting and well written, but may appeal to a limited audience

    The Buddha and the Borderline is the memoir of a woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD.) She is determined not to give in to this devastating disorder and turns to dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and Buddhism.

    The author shares the most intimate parts of her life with readers, including self-injury, suicide, psychiatric hospitalizations, therapy, issues with her parents, romantic relationships, and spirituality.

    Starting in the prologue there are very graphic descriptions of self-harm. This could help others to understand what is going on in the head of someone with BPD, but could be very triggering to those who struggle with self-injury.

    The book was well written and at times entertaining. The information and insight on borderline personality disorder and DBT was interesting and helpful, and the author's determination to recover was inspiring.

    Buddhism played a smaller part than I expected from reading the title, and at times I would have appreciated a little more background to better understand the way studying this religion actually benefited her.

    As a person with BPD I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to other people diagnosed with this disorder and to their families. I don't know how interested others would be in this story.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    A fascinating, eye-opening book--and a great read

    Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness than can often seem bizarre or incomprehensible. It can destroy psyches, relationships, lives, families, and organizations. Yet it's also fair to say that the symptoms of BPD are nothing more than the human condition multiplied by 20. This book--by a brilliant writer who is in recovery from BPD--offers a profoundly insightful, balanced, honest, and compassionate view of the illness, and of the roles that mindfulness and various therapies have played in her recovery. Van Gelder never asks for pity or empathy--and, unlike most memoirists, she consistently understands that she needs to serve her readers, not herself.

    A recurring theme in the book--and an essential element of the book's arc and structure--is that recovery, relationships, and life itself are all built around dialectics, the often-uncomfortable space between two polarities out of which our most helpful and harmful actions can emerge.

    Van Gelder isn't just another person in recovery telling her story; she's a first-rate writer who has written a compelling, greatly entertaining, and sometimes outright funny book. If you want a clear-eyed, down-and-dirty view of BPD that you won't find anywhere else, read this book. And if you want to enjoy a fascinating, engrossing, and expertly told story, read this book.

    Scott Edelstein, author of the forthcoming Sex and the Spiritual Teacher

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Great book

    This was a well written book that described the life of someone suffering with bpd. I loved how open and honest she was about not just her feeelings but willingness to admitt her faults. I hope her story convices others that thete is hope!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    First book I read about BPD

    I loved it! My friends and I read this book together as a psychology book club. It was relatable and inspiring, it made us think about the issues we've had either by having BPD or by knowing someone who did or opening your mind to mental health.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Riveting

    Superb from beginning to end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    A great book about mental illness

    I have bipolar disorder and although this author has borderline personality disorder I could really identify with her struggle to deal with her illness. Although, as she tells it, people are totally turned off by people with BPD, she comes across as a person you can care about. You develop empathy for her even though at times she behaves in a totally repellant manner. Kiera has a great sense of humor and that definitely helps her cope and helps the reader to care more about her.
    I was originally interested in this book because the title implies that it is partly about Buddhism. That is somewhat misleading. It doesn't really play a big role in the book. In the end it didn't matter. This would not only be a really helpful book for someone with BPD to read, but a good read for anyone who struggles with a mental illness.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    Wonderful read! An up front author describes the pain of being t

    Wonderful read! An up front author describes the pain of being trapped in a world where not only people do not understand what is going on,; but also who do not seem to care.

    The author talks about great alternatives to otherwise unhealthy behavior and provides great hope to others.

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