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

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New Harbinger Publications, Aug 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 264 pages
2 Reviews

Kiera Van Gelder's first suicide attempt at the age of twelve marked the onset of her struggles with drug addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress, self-harm, and chaotic romantic relationships-all of which eventually led to doctors' belated diagnosis of borderline personality disorder twenty years later.

The Buddha and the Borderline is a window into this mysterious and debilitating condition, an unblinking portrayal of one woman's fight against the emotional devastation of borderline personality disorder. This haunting, intimate memoir chronicles both the devastating period that led to Kiera's eventual diagnosis and her inspirational recovery through therapy, Buddhist spirituality, and a few online dates gone wrong. Kiera's story sheds light on the private struggle to transform suffering into compassion for herself and others, and is essential reading for all seeking to understand what it truly means to recover and reclaim the desire to live.


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User Review  - Y2Ash - LibraryThing

The Buddha and the Borderline was a great, highly enlightened, tragic, hilarious, and informative memoir from Kiera Van Gelder. It is her story about her struggle with dealing with Borderline ... Read full review

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I enjoyed this book, but didn't love it. Being in "remission" from BPD I can tell you that's it's very accurate and well articulating. It hit home with me several times throughout the book. I would be surprised if the Average Joe would appreciate this story much. I think you have to have BPD or know someone with BPD to sympathize at all. Otherwise the reader will probably just find the author crude and out of control.
I personally feel like reading this book now, as opposed to when I was really ill, was very rewarding. I got to relive the therapy sessions, the frustration, the relapses & all the "ah ha" moments through her story. Then at the end I am reminded that recovery is ongoing. I think if I would have read this while I was at my worst I would have just been frustrated by the lack of clarity at the end. But at this point in my life I completely understand what Kiera is saying. For that reason I am recommending this for those with BPD in remission, but not so much for those still in aggresssive treatment.


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About the author (2010)

Kiera Van Gelder, MFA, is an artist, educator, and writer diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. An international speaker and advocate, she is featured in the documentary Back from the Edge: Living With and Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder. She currently lives in Massachusetts at a Buddhist meditation center. For additional information, please visit and

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