People with Borderline Personality Disorder experience violent and frightening mood swings. They can be euphoric one moment, despairing and depressed the next. Symptoms include:

* a shaky sense of identity, feelings of emptiness
* sudden violent outbursts
* oversensitivity to real or imagined rejection
* brief, turbulent love affairs
* frequent periods of intense depression
* eating disorders, drug abuse, and other self-destructive tendencies
* an irrational fear of abandonment and an inability to be alone

Some resources suggested by a variety of my colleagues in British Columbia include:

Eliana Gil’s slim volume “Outgrowing the Pain: a Book for and About Adults Abused as Children.” It’s a great “what to expect if you had a suboptimal childhood” guide, it’s very basic (it even has pictures!), and many clients who struggle with post-abuse emotional dysregulation – even those with years of therapy – find it useful.  (Dr. T. Estrin)

Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder‎
by Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D., Hal Straus – Psychology – 2006 – 256 pages
Complete with case studies that detail specific symptoms and behaviors, this book offers proven techniques to help people with BPD manage mood swings, improve their self-esteem, control destructive impulses, develop lasting relationships, and find professional help. It covers today’ s most effective medical and psychotherapeutic treatments and includes coping strategies for the family and friends of BPD sufferers.

The mindfulness & acceptance workbook for anxiety by John P. Forsyth, Georg Eifert – Self-Help – 2008 – 267 pages
This workbook comes with a CD that includes a full-length audio guided meditation and electronic copies of the worksheets that appear inside the book.

“I hate you, don’t leave me” Jerold Kreisman & Hal Straus (2001). Dr. Jerold J. Kreisman and health writer Hal Straus offer professional advice, helping victims and their families to understand and cope with borderline personality disorder.

Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder‎ by Richard A. Moskovitz – Psychology – 2001 – 224 pages
Explores the frightening world of BPD patients and helps readers understand their pain.

The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything You Need to know about living with BPD.
by Alexander L. Chapman, Kim L. Gratz, Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D. (FRW) – Self-Help – 2007 – 238 pages
This compassionate book offers people with BPD a detailed guide to the disorder and a point-by-point plan to the treatment and condition-management process.

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, Jeffrey Brantley – Self-Help – 2007 – 232 pages
DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas-distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, a collaborative effort from three esteemed authors, offers straightforward, step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work for lasting change. A clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions.

Judith Herman’s Trauma and recovery (2007) Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism.

———- for therapists ——–

Understanding and treating borderline personality disorder: a guide for professionals and families. by John G. Gunderson, Perry D. Hoffman – Psychology – 2005 – 171 pages A concise, clearly written, and eminently practical text.

Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder – A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice”(2008) by Joel Paris.
Presents a practical approach to the management of patients with this disorder. Designed for readers who are skeptical of facile explanations, this book provides a broader view of the etiology of BPD than has been presented in previous studies.

Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder‎ by Marsha Linehan – Psychology – 1993 – 180 pages
Linehan’s comprehensive treatment program, this manual details precisely how to implement the skills training procedures and includes practical pointers.

(Book summaries courtesy of Google Books)

A recommended website is