Top 10 Books on Borderline Personality Disorder
Many books are available for those interested in learning more about borderline personality disorder. Many are helpful to those who have been recently diagnosed or want to learn more about their mental health treatment options. Some are helpful to the family/friends of those who have BPD.
Borderline personality disorder, marked by symptoms of impulsive behaviors, mood swings, and difficulty in social settings, can be a complex and challenging diagnosis to navigate. Your therapist may have some book suggestions for you, but if you want to read more borderline personality disorder books, this list can help.
Best Books on Borderline Personality Disorder
1. The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures & Pieces
If you’re looking to know that you’re not alone with your BPD, you’ll appreciate Courtney Cook’s illustrated memoir of her life. She was diagnosed with BPD and how it changed her life with all the therapy, hospitalizations, treatments, and more. But it’s also about her joy in the little things, like her favorite color or how much she loves mini corn dogs. BPD can be harsh, but maybe Cook’s borderline personality disorder book will help it feel more human.
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2. I Hate You–Don’t Leave Me
After more than three decades as the essential guide to borderline personality disorder (BPD), the third edition of I” Hate You—Don’t Leave Me” now reflects the most up-to-date research that has opened doors to the neurobiological, genetic, and developmental roots of the disorder, as well as connections between BPD and substance abuse, sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress syndrome, ADHD, and eating disorders.
This book indicates that pharmacological and psychotherapeutic advancements give real hope for success in treating and understanding BPD.
This is considered one of the must-read books for borderline personality disorder for a good reason. Its third edition remains a comprehensive look at what borderline personality is, how trauma impacts it, and current treatments.
3. Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
As a source of hope and practical advice for BPD sufferers and those who love them, this new book by Dr. Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus, bestselling authors of I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me, offers proven techniques that help you:
- Manage mood swings
- Develop lasting relationships
- Improve your self-esteem
- Keep negative thoughts at bay
- Control destructive impulses
- Understand your treatment options
- Find professional help
BPD can be a grim diagnosis. You have frighteningly intense mood swings or struggle with your loved ones. This compassionate and thorough guide, written by psychiatrist Jerold J. Kreisman, offers hope and guidance for those with BPD.
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Borderline Personality Disorder Statistics
BPD is best managed with an interprofessional team, including psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists, mental health nurses, and social workers. In the United States, recent research has shown that 1.6% of the population has BPD. That number may seem small, but when you consider just how large the United States is, you may realize that 1.6% represents quite a large number of people. Borderline personality disorder is one of the most challenging mental health disorders to manage. 
It’s estimated that 1.4% of the adult U.S. population experiences BPD.
Nearly 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women.
Surveys have estimated the prevalence of borderline personality disorder to be 20% in the inpatient psychiatric population.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Individual talk therapy may successfully treat BPD. In addition, group therapy and books about borderline personality disorder can sometimes be helpful. Medications have less of a role in the treatment of BPD. But in some cases, they can improve mood swings and treat depression or other disorders that may occur with this condition.
BPD was once thought untreatable. However, this isn’t the case, and we now know there are effective treatments for BPD. Many people with BPD find relief from distress through therapy.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) was developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan. This form of therapy teaches you to live and cope with difficult and overwhelming emotions. DBT is the most common form of treatment for BPD. Each skill set helps alleviate symptoms associated with BPD.
Dialectical behavioral therapy teaches you four main skill sets:
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Emotional regulation
- Distress tolerance
Mentalization-based therapy helps you develop an awareness of your inner state. Another significant focus of mentalization-based therapy is developing empathy for other peoples’ experiences.
Research in 2018 suggests that this therapy could significantly reduce the severity of BPD symptoms and the severity of co-existing conditions and improve quality of life. The authors note that more research is still needed, though.
No single medication is effective for BPD, but medications may relieve some symptoms.
For example, medications may help with mood stabilization. If you think medication might help you, consider talking with a doctor about your symptoms.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
See your provider if you or someone you know has symptoms of borderline personality disorder. It is especially important to seek help immediately if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.
You can also call 911 or the local emergency number or go to the hospital emergency room. DO NOT delay.
If someone you know has attempted suicide, call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. DO NOT leave the person alone, even after you have called for help.
 Source: Borderline personality disorder – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
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4. The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook: An Integrative Program to Understand and Manage Your BPD
If you’ve been diagnosed with BPD, you may feel several emotions—including shock, shame, sadness, abandonment, emptiness, or even anger. Even worse, you may be tempted to research your diagnosis online, only to find doomsday scenarios and terrible prognoses everywhere you click. Take a deep breath. You can get through this—and this is one of the borderline personality disorder books that will help guide you.
This therapist-recommended workbook may have already been recommended to you: it is a staple in BPD self-help. If your BPD diagnosis terrifies you (and everything you’ve read online only makes it worse), this workbook offers honest, concrete advice on navigating your BPD. Using evidence-based dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and more, this workbook meets you where you are and works with you to create a stable, healthy life.
5. Mindfulness for Borderline Personality Disorder: Relieve Your Suffering Using the Core Skill of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This is one of the borderline personality books that will look at how mindfulness can be used to address the specific symptoms of BPD, teaching the basics of mindfulness, providing specific mindfulness exercises, application to the symptoms of BPD, and examples from patients as they have begun the path out of suffering using mindfulness.
Mindfulness has been proven beneficial for many mental health conditions, and borderline personality disorder is no exception. This workbook outlines several ways mindfulness can help you work through your BPD, lean on DBT techniques to soothe overwhelmed emotions, address relationship problems, and more.
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6. Coping with BPD: DBT and CBT Skills to Soothe the Symptoms of Boderline Personality Disorder
In this much-needed book about borderline personality disorder, two renowned borderline personality disorder (BPD) experts offer simple, easy-to-use skills drawn from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to help you address the most common issues of BPD, such as intense feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety.
Thanks to the BPD diagnosis, those tired of struggling with intense emotions will appreciate this compassionate guidebook. This book about borderline personality disorder outlines how to soothe common issues those with BPD face and establish healthy routines when emotions go haywire. It also addresses substance abuse, negative self-talk, and other common side effects of living with BPD.
7. Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship
Those with BPD get a bad reputation: they’re portrayed as violent, manipulative, and in some cases, uncaring. Author Dr. Shari Y. Manning knows that’s not the cause. Those suffering from BPD can be immensely kind and considerate but can struggle in personal relationships and push away those they love with destructive behaviors. Understanding your partner and how their BDP makes them act the way they do takes information and patience. Loving Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder offers a framework to help you work alongside your partner with BPD to create a caring, healthy relationship that meets both of your needs.
8. Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
This compassionate book about borderline personality disorder will enable you to:
- Make sense out of the chaos
- Stand up for yourself and assert your needs
- Defuse arguments and conflicts
- Protect yourself and others from violent behavior
If you struggle with someone you love manipulating you or feeling overly controlled by a loved one, they may have BPD. If so, there are ways to find peace again in your home. This self-help book outlines how to set boundaries, establish your needs, defuse arguments, and more.
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9. Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication
While not explicitly written for those with BPD, author Oren Jay Sofer is a mindfulness expert, and Say What You Mean offers a few solutions to common communication issues. He put together this book to help anyone who struggles with communicating in anger, whether in a BPD relationship or life in general.
This is a good read for anyone who wishes to communicate more compassionately and effectively, but it is especially useful for those dealing with BPD. Sofer outlines how to remain confident in conversations, understand the true intent of conversations, and navigate anxiety during complex topics.
10. The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, and Validation
This book about borderline personality disorder adapts the powerful techniques of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) into skills. You can use these skills to tame out-of-control emotions in your relationship. Using mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques, you’ll learn how to de-escalate angry situations before they have a chance to explode into violent fights. Other approaches will help you disclose your fears, longings, and other vulnerabilities to your partner and validate his or her experiences in return. You’ll discover ways to manage problems with negotiation, not conflict, and to find true acceptance and closeness with the person you love the most.
Highly-reactive couples – those quick to anger or argue – usually need more than the standard relationship advice available. This can be all too common for couples where one partner struggles with BPD.
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Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Resources
Borderline personality disorder historically has been viewed as challenging to treat. But with newer, evidence-based treatment, many people with this disorder experience fewer and less severe symptoms, improved functioning, and better quality of life. Patients with borderline personality disorder must receive treatment from a licensed mental health professional. Other types of treatment, or treatment from a provider who is not appropriately trained, may be ineffective or dangerous.
Many factors affect the time it takes for symptoms to improve once treatment begins. It is vital for people with borderline personality disorder and their loved ones to be patient and receive support during treatment.
Seek—and stick with—treatment.
Studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) indicate that individuals with borderline personality disorder who don’t receive adequate treatment are more likely to develop other chronic medical or mental illnesses and are less likely to make healthy lifestyle choices. 
Psychotherapy, sometimes called “talk therapy,” is the first-line treatment for people with borderline personality disorder. Most psychotherapy occurs with a licensed, trained mental health professional in one-on-one sessions or with other individuals in group settings. Group sessions may help teach people with borderline personality disorder to interact with others and express themselves effectively.
Two examples of psychotherapies used to treat borderline personality disorder are:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This treatment was developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder. DBT uses concepts of mindfulness or awareness of one’s present situation and emotional state. DBT also teaches skills to help people control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and improve relationships.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This treatment can help people identify and change core beliefs and behaviors resulting from inaccurate perceptions of themselves and others and problems interacting with others. It may help people reduce mood swings and anxiety symptoms and the number of self-harming or suicidal behaviors.
Because the benefits of prescription medication for borderline personality disorder are unclear, medications aren’t typically used as the primary way to treat the illness. However, in some cases, a psychiatrist may recommend medications to treat specific symptoms or co-occurring mental disorders such as mood swings or depression. Treatment with medications may require coordinated care from more than one medical professional. Medications also can sometimes cause side effects in some people. Find out more about borderline personality disorder medication.
Therapy for Caregivers and Family Members
Having a relative or loved one with the disorder can be stressful, and family members or caregivers may unintentionally act in ways that can worsen their loved one’s symptoms. Although more research is needed to determine how well family therapy helps with borderline personality disorder, studies on other mental disorders show that including family members can help support a person’s treatment. Families and caregivers also can benefit from therapy.
Family therapy helps by:
- Allowing the relative or loved one to develop skills to understand and support a person with a borderline personality disorder.
- Focusing on the needs of family members helps them understand the obstacles and strategies for caring for someone with the disorder.
We hope you enjoy this list of borderline personality disorder books. Suppose you’re unsure where to get help. In that case, We Level Up FL can refer you to a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist with experience in BPD treatment. If you need help starting the conversation, contact us today!
Popular Borderline Personality Disorder FAQs
What are good books for people with BPD?
Do borderlines get worse with age?
Borderline personality disorder usually begins in early adulthood. The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age. If you have borderline personality disorder, don’t get discouraged.
What helps BPD the most?
Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is a fundamental treatment approach for borderline personality disorder.
What is the leading cause of borderline personality disorder?
Being a victim of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. being exposed to long-term fear or distress as a child. being neglected by 1 or both parents. growing up with another family member who had a severe mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder or a drink or drug misuse problem.
Search Borderline Personality Disorder Books & Mental Health Topics & Resources
[1-2] Ripoll LH. Psychopharmacologic treatment of borderline personality disorder. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2013 Jun;15(2):213-24. DOI: 10.31887/DCNS.2013.15.2/lripoll. PMID: 24174895; PMCID: PMC3811092.
 18 Signs You Grew Up With ‘Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder’ – The Mighty Available from: https://themighty.com/topic/borderline-personality-disorder/quiet-borderline-personality-disorder-bpd-signs-child/
 National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). Borderline Personality Disorder: Treatment and Management. Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society (UK); 2009. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 78.) 2, BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK55415/
 Borderline Personality Disorder – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
 Subbarao BS, Silverman A, Eapen BC. Seizure Medications. [Updated 2022 Jul 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482269/
 Bandelow B, Michaelis S, Wedekind D. Treatment of anxiety disorders. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2017 Jun;19(2):93-107. DOI: 10.31887/DCNS.2017.19.2/bbandelow. PMID: 28867934; PMCID: PMC5573566.
 Olabi B, Hall J. Borderline personality disorder: current drug treatments and prospects. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2010 Mar;1(2):59-66. DOI: 10.1177/2040622310368455. PMID: 23251729; PMCID: PMC3513859.
 Borderline Personality Disorder – MentalHealth.gov U.S. Department of Health & Human Services