Book Review: I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me

I Hate You – don’t leave me: Understanding the Borderline Personality” by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Strauss.
Book Synopsis: People with Borderline Personality Disorder experience such violent and frightening mood swings that they often fear for their sanity. They can be euphoric one moment, despairing and depressed the enxt. There are an estimated 10 million sufferes of BPD in America today – each displaying remarkably similar symptoms:
  a shaky sense of identity
– sudden violent outbursts
– oversensitivity to real or imagine rejection
– brief, turbulent love affairs
– frequent periods of intense depression
– eating disorders, drug abuse, and other self-destructive tendencies
– an irrational fear of abandonment adn inability to be alone
For years BPD was difficult to describe, diagnose, and treat. But now, for the first time, Dr. Jerold J. Kreisman and heal writer Hal Straus offer much-needed professional advice, helping victims and their families to understand and cope with this troubling, shockingly widespread affliction.
Review: This is a good primer for anyone that does not have any experience with Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s easy to read and accessible.  It gives a good run down for all of the DSM criteria and highlights them with actual patient experiences. It begins to delve into the environmental factors that contribute to BPD. It is also good in helping those around someone with BPD learn how to cope with them. The title “I hate you, Don’t leave me,” gives you an insight that it is an illness of relationships with others. The others are not just those that are closest to you, however; it gives insight into how this person came to have this disorder, how they relate to others, how they can help themselves, and how important it is to understand what they are going through.  It goes through techniques and helps the reader understand what some with borderline personality disorder is experiencing and dealing with, equipping outsiders with an understanding that helps explain such irrational behavior. This book will help you identify and understand borderline behavior as well as cope with those who are suffering from BPD. Ultimately it aims to provide perspective.
One flaw that bothered me about this book was the personal experience examples almost exclusively included violent and abusive upbringings. It leans very heavily on this as a primary factor in what causes BPD as an environmental cause. That’s not to say that in a great many cases this is unfortunately accurate, but I do not think it paints a complete picture and could come off as almost accusatory to the families of BPD patients that have not come from such a background. To place so much blame on upbringing and not focus on an emotional/mental predisposition to this behavior is lacking.   
In this way and many others I did find it to be a little simplistic and it was far from an exhaustive study into the depths of BPD. However I also don’t think an extensive look is what this book was aiming for. It’s a preliminary look, to begin to understand BPD and hopefully initiate the healing process and coping functions for those that live with or are involved with someone with BPD.

So, a good introduction to BPD but ultimately a little outdated.

9 comments on “Book Review: I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me

  1. Haven, this book does sound good for those that are living with someone that has BPD. Want to let you know about a book that is really helping me through the healing process. My therpist gave it to me to work through on my own and in a group setting. The workbook is called The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Work Book: Practical DBT Exercised for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance. I know such a long title, but a book that is actually helpful in applying skills to real life.

  2. Haven, I've read only a handful of posts but it did not take long for me to realize that what you are doing here is powerful. My wife (Beth From Above) has recently been diagnosed with BPD I believe that your experiences will help us both cope with this illness. I myself am fighting the good fight against OCD and anxiety so I know a little about mental illness. I pray that this finds you well.

  3. thanks for the review Haven. I've not read any books on BPD. Just read info on the net. What i did read a few months ago were a couple of books on HSP (highly sensitive person) by Elaine Aron. It was very informative for me since I'm definately HSP as well BPD. I wonder if maybe you'd also find it an interesting read.

  4. @ib … ::smiles:: I'm glad that my thoughts and experiences can be of help. That's really why I'm doing this. To help myself work through such a hard time and to reach out to others. I wish you both the best of luck.

  5. @notme… HSP sounds like it would correlate right along with BPD. I've never read anything about HSP, in fact, I'm not sure I've even heard of it. Sounds like something I should definitely look into.

  6. I need this book but i speak portuguese and in brazil i didnt find this. I prefer this book for internet because i dont speak english very well and i put it in translator… can anyone help me?

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