Book Reviews

I’ve decided to start a section dedicated to book reviews. I enjoy reading and would like to share my opinions on books related to BPD, Mental Health and Psychology in general. If you have any suggestions on good reading material, please let me know.

Coping With BPD

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For many, having BPD is like living in emotional overdrive. And whether you are feeling depressed, anxious, worried, or angry, you might struggle just to get through each day. So, how can you start balancing your moods and managing your symptoms? This helpful guide addresses over fifty of the most common struggles people with BPD face every day, and offers accessible, evidence-based solutions to help you feel better and get back to living your life.

You’ll discover powerful DBT and mindfulness skills to help you set personal limits, manage intense emotions and moods, and address issues like substance abuse and doing harm to yourself and others. In addition, you’ll learn how to deal with the inevitable negative self-talk, feelings of paranoia, and self-invalidation.

If you’re ready to take charge of your BPD—instead of letting it take control of you—this book will be your go-to guide. Perfect for everyday use, the practices within will help you manage your symptoms as they arise.

This was the first book I read after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Unlike other books on the subject, it focuses more on tools for managing the symptoms that come along with BPD, rather than educating on the disorder itself. So if you’ve just been diagnosed with BPD, I would rather recommend first finding out more about this personality disorder, and reading other books on the topic.

It’s meant to be used as a companion to therapy, and won’t replace the very necessary role of a good psychologist or psychiatrist. As mentioned in the book, it will take lots of time and practice to become skilled in the techniques. I’ve tried quite a few of them myself, and they’ve been really helpful. I have it close by and re-read some of the chapters as needed.

Overall, a good book to have on your bookshelf, and one that you’ll probably refer back to often, especially in the beginning.

Loving Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

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People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be intensely caring, warm, smart, and funny—but their behavior often drives away those closest to them. If you’re struggling in a tumultuous relationship with someone with BPD, this is the book for you. Dr. Shari Manning helps you understand why your spouse, family member, or friend has such out-of-control emotions—and how to change the way you can respond. Learn to use simple yet powerful strategies that can defuse crises, establish better boundaries, and radically transform your relationship. Empathic, hopeful, and science based, this is the first book for family and friends grounded in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the most effective treatment for BPD.

I started reading this because I was looking for that perfect book to share with my family and friends. Having a support system is invaluable, and it’s often hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have BPD how and why we react and do the things we do. The author does a really good job, and is compassionate towards both those of us with BPD and the people who support and love us. I didn’t feel judged or criticized. I learned a lot regarding my own diagnosis as well.

It’s a book that I’ll highly recommend to people who don’t have BPD themselves, but support someone with this personality disorder. It’s also valuable for those of us with BPD. It gives some good techniques and skills in dealing with anyone, not just those with this personality disorder. The DBT skills, of course, are especially useful.

Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline personality disorder accounts for almost 25 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations in this country. Lost in the Mirror takes readers behind the erratic behavior of this puzzling disorder, examining its underlying causes and revealing the unimaginable pain and fear beneath its surface.

This is the perfect book (that I’ve read so far) for people who have just been diagnosed with BPD. The author is compassionate, and uses useful analogies to help us better understand this disorder. The writing is beautiful and gentle, and I felt genuinely understood. The chapters are short, which is an advantage if you don’t have much time to read. It was an emotional book for me, and I highly recommend this as one of the first books you read in order to become acquainted with BPD. Especially as the diagnosis, which can be a relief in finally knowing what’s wrong with us, also tends to make us feel bad about ourselves.

Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder

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With astonishing honesty, this memoir, Get Me Out of Here, reveals what mental illness looks and feels like from the inside, and how healing from borderline personality disorder is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones. A mother, wife, and working professional, Reiland was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the age of 29-a diagnosis that finally explained her explosive anger, manipulative behaviors, and self-destructive episodes including bouts of anorexia, substance abuse, and promiscuity. A truly riveting read with a hopeful message.

This is a LONG book (464 pages), which wouldn’t have been a bad thing had I actually enjoyed it. It was a very triggering read, and I found myself getting angry quite often.

There’s a certain part in the book that had me cringing with embarrassment both for her part and that of her Psychiatrist, but I don’t want to give everything away. I can relate to her attachment to Dr. Padgett though.. And the fact that it was that attachment that helped her heal, makes me feel a little better about my own attachment to my therapist.

I was left wondering how she recovered from BPD, how the therapy helped her. She doesn’t reveal much about her past, just little hints here and there that aren’t enough to form anything truly solid. I would also have liked to hear more about her as a person, not just her emotions and reactions to everything. Anything that would make me feel empathy for her. As I was drawing close to the end, I found myself hoping that when I got to the end I’d appreciate the book. But that didn’t happen.

I was really disappointed. That’s just my opinion. Maybe others will find it helpful and encouraging.

I’m Working on It in Therapy: How to Get the Most out of Psychotherapy

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Learn to get the most out of therapy to unlock your best self.

Millions of Americans will go to therapy this year, but veteran psychotherapist Gary Trosclair believes the vast majority of them will start the process with little to no sense of how to best use their sessions to achieve their goals. Recent research has identified effective client participation as one of the most crucial factors in successful therapy. What can one do to get the most out of their sessions to create lasting positive changes in their lives? What does it look like to “work on it” in therapy?

Trosclair covers these points and more, combining cutting-edge scientific research with years of fascinating anecdotal evidence to create a guide that is as compelling as it is indispensable. It teaches readers how to take off their masks and be real with their therapists, how to deal with emotions that arise in session, how to continue their psychological work outside of sessions, how to know when it’s time to say goodbye to their therapists, and much more.

Whether you’re already in therapy and looking to make more out of each appointment, or you’re thinking of starting the process and want to go in with a game plan, I’m Working on It in Therapy will show you how you can make every session count towards becoming your best possible self.

This is a gem of a book. I found it eye opening, interesting and very valuable. I’m going to read it again soon, as I feel I’ll get even more from it the second time around, and that it’s a way to get the information to really take hold.

Even if you’re not in therapy, this book has a lot to offer. The tools, techniques and insights are very helpful. The author gives lots of examples and stories, which makes everything so much simpler to understand and grasp. I highly recommend this book.

The Buddha & the Borderline

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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.

I was a little sceptical when I first picked up this book, as the previous memoir I had read had been such a disappointment. However, I soon got caught up in Kiera’s writing and her story. I found myself drawn into her world and her experiences living with BPD.

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed with this one.