The best books for understanding and helping those with borderline personality

Jerold J. Kreisman Author Of Talking to a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder: Communication Skills to Manage Intense Emotions, Set Boundaries, and Reduce Conflict
By Jerold J. Kreisman

Who am I?

As a psychiatrist, I've had a special interest over the past forty years in working with patients with symptoms of BPD, preceding even the formalization of the diagnosis. I've been intrigued by these patients who often display enormous intelligence, creativity, and energy, yet are handicapped by emotions and behaviors that are out of their control. I established one of the early treatment centers specifically designed for their treatment. Where once these patients were stigmatized by professionals and others to be bothersome, untreatable, chronically suicidal, and to be avoided, I've witnessed great advancements in treatment approaches. We now appreciate that the vast majority of patients get better. It's been a privilege for me to participate in these advances.


I wrote...

Talking to a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder: Communication Skills to Manage Intense Emotions, Set Boundaries, and Reduce Conflict

By Jerold J. Kreisman,

Book cover of Talking to a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder: Communication Skills to Manage Intense Emotions, Set Boundaries, and Reduce Conflict

What is my book about?

My other books and papers describing borderline personality disorder (BPD) focus on the description of BPD for a general audience and provide referenced data for professionals. This book specifically describes practical approaches for a loved one to confront common dilemmas when interacting with someone with symptoms of BPD. Described communication skills will help you interact with a loved one with a volatile personality.

The books I picked & why

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I'm Not Supposed to Be Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder

By Rachel Reiland,

Book cover of I'm Not Supposed to Be Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder

Why this book?

This is a personal and very candid account of a woman's confronting a diagnosis of BPD, complicated by an eating disorder and other self-sabotaging behavior, and working with her psychiatrist and others to support her on a road to recovery. The author examines her disruptive childhood and the obstacles impairing her recovery. Her openness and courage are inspiring.


Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder

By Paul T T Mason, Randi Kreger,

Book cover of Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder

Why this book?

This book is directed for families who are feeling guilty, angry, intimidated, or overwhelmed by a loved one with BPD. There is practical advice for family members and loved ones that can help them understand BPD. The book provides communication skills that help instill boundaries that can protect both the individual with BPD and those around him or her.


Girl, Interrupted

By Susanna Kaysen,

Book cover of Girl, Interrupted

Why this book?

Over the last twenty years, several memoirs have been written about an author’s experience with BPD. This is one of the first. The author describes her struggles at a time when BPD was not well understood and before focused treatment programs were developed. Her experience in a renowned hospital describes her suffering and that of other psychiatric patients she encounters there. The book also illustrates how some caretakers misunderstand and mistreat patients.


The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook: An Integrative Program to Understand and Manage Your Bpd

By Daniel J. Fox,

Book cover of The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook: An Integrative Program to Understand and Manage Your Bpd

Why this book?

This book is directed to someone who identifies with symptoms of BPD. It is a workbook with an emphasis on work! It is not designed to cure BPD, but to help the individual more productively address dysfunctional behavior. With scales and forms to fill out, the individual reader can confront specific problems.


Handbook of Good Psychiatric Management for Borderline Personality Disorder

By John G. Gunderson, Paul S. Links,

Book cover of Handbook of Good Psychiatric Management for Borderline Personality Disorder

Why this book?

This book, authored by a pioneer in the understanding of the BPD concept, is directed to professionals. However, for the lay reader, many concepts will be enlightening. The book emerged from a realization that most mental health professionals were unfamiliar with highly specialized treatment programs but could provide “good enough” treatment. The book demystifies the disorder and offers pragmatic approaches to treatment, with emphasis on the need for partnership between therapist and patient.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in borderline personality disorder, psychiatric hospitals, and mental health?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about borderline personality disorder, psychiatric hospitals, and mental health.

Borderline Personality Disorder Explore 5 books about borderline personality disorder
Psychiatric Hospitals Explore 25 books about psychiatric hospitals
Mental Health Explore 104 books about mental health

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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