The Buddah and the Borderline
The Buddah and the Borderline
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.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects more than ten million Americans, yet the disorder is still shrouded in mystery and stigma. Characterized by unstable moods, self-injury, suicide attempts, and reckless, impulsive behavior, it was considered “incurable” until only recently, when effective treatments such as dialectical behavior therapy have been developed. The Buddha and the Borderline is the first ever memoir to describe the recovery process utilizing these new, cutting edge treatments and Buddhism. Kiera Van Gelder’s finely-honed literary talent offers us a stunning and intimate look into a life-threatening condition that has been a shameful secret even among those with mental illness. Now an international advocate and educator, Kiera reveals how the combination of education, support, treatment, and spirituality taught her to transform such BPD symptoms as self-destruction, self-hatred, and anger and to create an extraordinary life.
The reader will come away from The Buddha and the Borderline not only with an understanding of what recovery involves, but with the belief that recovery is possible for anyone willing to learn and grow. If you or someone you know is suffering from borderline personality disorder, reading this book will change your life.
Publication date: 2010
Author: Keira Van Gelder, MFA
Kiera Van Gelder, MFA, is a writer, artist, and educator diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She attended Groton School, Bard College, Empire State College and Emerson College, though she only graduated from half of those.
An international mental health activist, she is featured in the documentary “Back From the Edge: Living with and Recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder,” produced by the award-winning Lichtenstein Creative Media. Her poetry, fiction and essays have been published in numerous literary and mental health journals.