The Buddha & the Borderline

The Buddha & the Borderline

My Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, & Online Dating

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects more than ten million Americans, yet the disorder is shrouded in mystery. Only recently have treatments like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) been developed for this 'incurable' condition that causes chaotic and unstable moods, self-injury and/or suicide attempts, and reckless, impulsive behavior. In the fascinating memoir, The Buddha and the Borderline, Kiera Van Gelder offers new insight into the experience of BPD, chronicling her downward spiral during her years as a student at a prestigious private school. While her peers were preparing for college, Kiera was sinking more and more into the instability, loneliness, volatile relationships, and hopelessness common among BPD sufferers. She spent most of her teenage years on the streets after dropping out of school, relying on drugs and alcohol to ease the pain no one, least of all her parents, seemed to understand. Finally, she received a correct diagnosis at age 31, and began the arduous struggle to gain control over her emotions and reclaim her life using DBT, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and Buddhism.
Publisher: Oakland, CA : New Harbinger Publications, c2010.
ISBN: 9781572247109
Branch Call Number: 616.85852 VAN
Characteristics: x, 246 p. ; 23 cm.
Alternative Title: Buddha and the borderline


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Poorly written and the author, while coping better, did not make a full recovery in any sense.

Sep 10, 2018

The first half of the book is well written and relatable, however, the cover ("my recovery from BPD") brings so much false hope for a good ending which doesn't exist. Spoiler alert. The author did not really recover; she suffers numerous relapse and has to rely on "[a community] and a language that can accommodate the borderline nature and experience", i.e. still has to be babysitted for life.

Oct 10, 2017

A much needed read to increase understanding. After years of hearing bad press about people having BPD, this writer clarified the origins of this condition, and how to help someone experiencing it, to look for the truth in any statements made by a person with BPD, the sheer vulnerability of that person and the extreme sensitivity felt that can make life seem unbearable, the value of DBT, and the message of hope, that the family can learn to support someone (although often years later) and plenty of hope that one can find that road to recovery.

Dec 02, 2016

I happened across this memoir while searching my library's catalogue for books about Borderline Personality Disorder. I was intrigued by the title and that it's written from the perspective of a BPD survivor (for lack of a better term). The book itself read more like a textbook at times, which really took me away from Van Gelder's story. I think most people who'd pick up this memoir would do so because it's about BPD, so it stands to reason that most of your readers will already know enough about the disorder to dive right into your story without having to waste time on formalities. Van Gelder really misses the mark in this way, making the book overall a less interesting read than I hoped for. Not a terrible book, but not terribly good either.

Aug 02, 2016

This book is explicitly racist and classist at moments.

Jun 21, 2014

I really enjoyed this book because its the first time I have found a book that is about Borderline Personality Disorder that gives a person hope for recovery. Kiera keeps it upbeat at times while also talking candidly about the struggles. I would recommend for anyone who struggles with this disorder.

Jan 07, 2014

Looking forward to reading this book. It was highly recommended by a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder who as gotten her emotions under control.

stackshound Dec 30, 2011

This was great. Very relate-able, very sympathetic, very informed.

penpencil22 Jun 23, 2011

so helpful! definitely one of the best books on borderline personality that I've read so far.

Jun 21, 2011

A very well written page-turner.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jun 21, 2014

emack3608 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top