Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified

Robert O. Friedel, MD
Da Capo Press; August, 2004
 Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified

Borderline Personality Disorder is not well understood by the general public. Personality Disorder Demystified is an excellent resource to help someone become "grounded" in the basics and have a reliable foundation. The author is well founded technically and in personal experience - he is an MD and had a sister with the disorder. This is an excellent read. It is, however, not a "how to" book.

This book is both hopeful and compassionate.  The book is comprehensive as it covers the history, causes and course of the disorder as well as the most common pharmacological and therapeutic treatments. Friedel also sheds light on all the intricacies of borderline personality disorder, such as the course it takes, the difficulties in diagnosing it, and the types of treatment available, and offers effective advice on the best ways to cope with it. There is a chapter on BPD and the brain with a lot of detail on the specific neural pathways involved in impulsive behavior, and memory impairment. The Glossary lists medical terms used in many publications, and there is also a section on resources that contains a list of organizations and groups that offer information and support to patients, families and friends with Borderline Personality Disorder and related illnesses.

Filled with wisdom and encouragement, Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified is good reading for anyone diagnosed with BPD, those who think they might have the illness, and friends and family who love and support them.

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Robert O. Friedel, MD is Distinguished Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Duke University, and completed an internship in internal medicine and a residency in psychiatry at Duke. He served for two years as a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Most recently, Dr. Friedel was Heman E. Drummond Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has also served as chair of the departments of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Michigan, and Executive Director of the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan. Dr. Friedel has worked in the private sector as Senior Vice President, Physician-in-Chief, Director of Research and as a member of the Board of Directors of Charter Medical Corporation.


Book Locator


 The chapters include:

  1. What is Borderline Personality Disorder and How is it Diagnosed?
  2. You Are Not Alone (if you have BPD)
  3. The History of Borderline Personality Disorder
  4. What are the Causes?
  5. Tracing The Course of The Disorder
  6. Borderline Disorder and the Brain
  7. Common Co-occurring Disorders
  8. Treatment Borderline Personality Disorder in Children
  9. When a Loved One Has Borderline Personality Disorder
  10. Research: The Ultimate Reason for Hope


Diane Sudol