Jina's Reviews > The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating

The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder
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Nov 12, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: psychology

I've read a handful of books about borderline personality disorder -- or more accurately, how to cope with all the shit you're subjected to when a borderline person is in your life -- but this is the first one I've read by someone with BPD. I'm about 80% through. It's very good. I suspect that she's glossing over or omitting some of the more awful things she's done to other people. But it's well-written. It made me feel compassion, when my first reaction to a borderline is fury. Van Gelder describes how awful it is to try for years to get help, finally getting a wishy-washy diagnosis, and then to try to read about your diagnosis... only to find all the books and online support groups are for the non-borderline people. And it doesn't help that the diagnosis is so stigmatized that any health professional trying to help you doesn't want to give you the diagnosis in the first place. She was very lucky to find a job and a place to live, and to be functional enough that she could persist in seeking help. We need a system of mental health care that doesn't rely on people who have difficulty with their daily functioning to somehow be able to advocate for themselves, as Van Gelder was, and to have family members who are able to help them as much as her stepfather did. The way our society deals with the mentally ill is either a set of unreasonable expectations (if we don't understand what we're doing) or else just inhumane (if we do understand what we're doing).
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11/12/2015 marked as: read

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