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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.
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