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I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality
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I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  8,764 ratings  ·  487 reviews

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 next. There are an estimated 10 million sufferers of BPD living in America today—each displaying remarkably similar symptoms:

● a shaky sense of identity
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 1st 1991 by Avon Books (first published 1989)
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Melanie (TBR and Beyond) I actually disagree with the others opinions on this one. This book is terribly outdated - in BPD programs, this book is not recommended. Yes, there m…moreI actually disagree with the others opinions on this one. This book is terribly outdated - in BPD programs, this book is not recommended. Yes, there may be information that is accurate but there is a lot of information that is just not true and many blanket statements. (less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  8,764 ratings  ·  487 reviews

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Oct 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: psychology, loathed
I may be in the minority here, but I hate this book. Its stance on those who deal with BPD is far from empathetic - rather, it perpetuates this myth that all people with BPD are ridiculous and potentially dangerous individuals who care only for themselves; it is also incredibly pessimistic about any good or meaningful treatment outcomes for BPD sufferers.

In the years since this was written, not only has the BPD diagnosis been given more discerningly (with many people who were once called BPD no
Clumsy Storyteller
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
To sum things up:

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships, It is one of the most common of all of the personality disorders.

Most people who have BPD suffer from:

-Problems with regulating emotions and thoughts
-Impulsive and reckless behavior
-Unstable relationships with other people

Women with BPD are more likely to have co-occurring disorders such as major depression, anxiety disorders, or eating disorders. In men, BPD
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bpd
This book is terribly outdated. It lists homosexuality as sexual deviation, and was published before the advent of SSRIs. It also predates the current treatment for borderline personality disorder, Dialetical Behavioral Therapy. Don't bother reading this.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book uses astonishingly stigmatizing language. It uses phrases like, "The borderline does this" and "The bordline feels this" throughout. It's the same kind of language that, for example, old-school anthropological studies (ethnographies) tend to use-it renders "the borderline" as both a monolithic type and as other. It is insulting to presume that all people with this diagnosis are the same. Borderline was originally a diagnosis for people, nearly all women, who sought mental health care b ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book does nothing to convince me that the diagnosis of BPD is coherent or particularly useful. As always, case stories that neatly dovetail with the author's point of view are included, but I found the inclusion of gratuitous diagnosis of famous (and usually beautiful) women as BPD to be highly distasteful. Both Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana are dissected. I can see the appeal of fantasizing about offering therapy to such women, but working out those fantasies in book form is in questio ...more
Is this book in dire need of an update? Yes! Published in 1989, it is about time for a re-haul or at the very least a new introduction. Furthermore, whether it was published in the 1980's or now, it lacks a feminist analysis which in turn normalizes violence (and in particular intimate partner violence) and heterosexist stereotypes about women and men's behaviors and emotions. This absence proves dangerous for both individuals suffering from BPD and their family members. The authors propose gene ...more
Sandy Plants
Oct 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Tl;dr this book is a pile of garbage.

This is an out-of-date book written by a sexist old man and I can’t believe this is considered among the best in BPD literature. It’s borderline hate speech. The author refers to people with bpd as “the borderline”. Incredibly dehumanizing. I actually made an entire note in my notes app dedicated to all the things I found problematic and infuriating about this book as I read it.

My biggest beef is that he portrays people with a BPD diagnosis as irrational, so
Ren HappilyBuriedInBooks
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - While in dire need of an update, this book gives a multitude of case studies of fictitious people who are dealing with borderline personality disorder. Many of the other reviews for this book who suffer from BPD said it made them out to negative people and one person actually said something to the effect of the book making her want to "slit her throat" and made a sarcastic joke about how borderline that made her. In my opinion, as a diagnosed borderline myself, I feel that her comple ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is about people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), who experience violent mood swings, which interfere with their leading a normal life. The symptoms are: •A shaky sense of identity, •Sudden violent outbursts, •Severe mood shifts, •Oversensitivity to real or imagined rejection, •Brief, turbulent love affairs, •Frequent periods of intense depression, •Eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, and other self-destructive tendencies, •An irrational fear of abandonment and an inabil ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
While some of the information given by the book can be useful I have stopped reading at 15-20% of it as i couldn't stand the patronizing tone and the way they say borderlines do things as if they wanted to instead of sometimes being just an acquired answer. Yes, I know we can somehow learn how to deal with things and control the answer to a degree, but it doesn't always work and it is not as if the borderlines want to or enjoy it. It is like an anxious person suffers from anxiety and you can't t ...more
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
As a mental health professional, I can say that I found this book to be among the best written to help a person better understand their spouse, friend, parent, sibling, etc. who is suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder. It helps the reader to understand how one develops the characteristics one may encounter in relationships with these individuals. A bit technical at times, but true to the criteria as indicated in the Diagnostic and Statistical manual.
May 04, 2009 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read, but the main reason I read it was for research purposes. I have since learned that one of the characters in my book actually has a case of "The Double Bind" personality. Which is why I read The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian; an enjoyable read, but again, not relevant to my research. The places research can take you! :)
Randa Mashnouk
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A brief knowledge of unpopular mental illnesses is sometimes required to understand people's sudden unusual behaviors, or yours. Understanding and fighting the negative feelings could lead to a much better and healthier situation than quick judgements and eventually loathing everything/everyone altogether. It's definitely not a way to diagnose people or yourself, but getting to know that such world exists—with all its symptoms and stories—could lead to a whole different and new perspective.

* "If
Violet Harmon
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bpd
This is the first book I read about BPD. Being a patient myself I found the personal stories of other BPDs and explanations of our conducts to be really good and felt like looking at myself in the mirror. I got a bit bored on the section about the types of psychotherapy because it was a little bit too technical for me but overall is a really good book about the disorder especially for the professionals and the people looking for different types of treatment available (at least in the USA). Must ...more
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, psychology
This was the ONLY book I could find when searching for something to help me understand my loved one's Borderline Personality Disorder. The book is amazingly detailed, easy to understand with numerous examples and suggestions.
Lorie Ballard
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lorie by: My Therapist
This was a very tough book to get through, because I saw so much of myself in it. If you have BPD, or you know of love someone with it...this is a good book to read. It may help you in understanding a little of what they go through.
Meonicorn (The Bookish Land)
May 13, 2019 marked it as do-not-read
reason why it's on my "not-to-read" shelf: extremely stigmatizing language towards mental illness, suggesting women tend to more have BPD with ridiculous reasons.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: medicine
I recently found out an acquaintance had been diagnosed as being bi-polar. I got this book at the library, and lo and behold found out that having a "borderline personality" is a similar but not same diagnosis as "bi-polar". They are similar conditions, but evidently bi-polar or manic-depressives have swings from one extreme to the other that follow cycles. Inbetween the opposite swings, they can be fairly stable. People with borderline personality condition (BPC) live constantly in a kind of fr ...more
Sophia Gourgiotis
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this book after watching the series “Crazy Ex Girlfriend”. I was curious about the main character’s mental illness and wanted to know more. This book was highly recommended to me (via the internet).

While I learned a lot from the book I have major problems with some of the gendered terminology and examples. Also, the consistent use of gendered pronouns (particularly “he/his”) was distracting and rather annoying. The authors mention the usage of pronouns in the preface but state that despi
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Okay, so there are several things about this book.
It is an older book written about Borderline Personality Disorder. I believe it's intended audience was folks living with borderline or folks who know folks living with borderline. It is not clinical, but does present itself as helpful to counselors as an overview.
As an overview of Borderline it was okay. There were lots of examples, which I always like.
There were, unfortunately, some major hang-ups for me. One was that in the examples the autho
Mar 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Sexist! Yuck.

Keep pushin' me, keep pushin' my lo-oo-oove.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of good information but could certainly be less pathologizing
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The title is very misleading. This is a dry, informative, academic book with detailed outlook. Besides communication techniques, it doesn't offer any specific plan of recovery or self-diagnosis. For anyone interested in the subject it is an obligatory read. For anyone looking for a helpful coping strategy or plan, not so much.
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Described as the definitive work on the subject of borderline personality disorder (BPD), this book is informative and interesting to read. It does a great job of describing the current diagnostic tools and some of the methods of treatment that are helpful for people suffering from BPD. There is also some interesting discussion of societal trends and their possible impact on the increase in incidence of BPD. I appreciated the description of BPD as being on a spectrum like autism, as well as the ...more
Marwa Salim
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is written in the introduction of the book that it is considered the foundation of BPD, and it is indeed! It is the most informative book I have read so far about borderline personality disorder (BPD). I highly recommend it for both professionals and BPD sufferers or relatives. The professionals will get t know the historical background of the illness, in depth description of the symptoms and the most important part is the treatment and tolerance of the reluctant and changing patients. On the ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just read it! I love this book. This is THE BOOK to OWN for anyone that is curious about learning about Borderline Personality Disorder, for the person that has BPD, for a loved one with BPD, or for the therapist. It gives so much information in this book. It is current (2010) and gives stories so you can see what BPD is like. I got this from the library and I couldn't renew it since so many people were lined up and hand it on hold. I put this on hold back in March 2012. I got it Dec 2012. That ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
While this is a solid introduction to the basics about borderline personality disorder, I have to agree with previous reviews that the entire anecdote about the borderline woman of color who "misreads" or "projects" racism into her workplace conflicts is pretty damn offensive. There's also a troubling grouping of homosexuality with sexual deviancy that hasn't been updated in the new edition, a prissy judgmental attitude toward body modification as a symptom of borderline and a completely misinfo ...more
Great book. It was my mom who turned me on to this. My mom had worked with many Borderlines in her counseling practice. I found this book to be both easy to read and utterly fascinating. It is absorbing and I read it quickly.

It provides much insight into this personality so if you are seeking better ways to understand the Borderline this is a great book in which to do that.
Vrinda Pendred
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very good for organising / understanding symptoms, etc. but completely lacked any sensitivity, and I truly resent this habit of talking about people with BPD as if they're impossible and not worth bothering with. If you do that, you're basically saying, 'Go ahead and kill yourself.'
This was a pretty interesting book, though a bit outdated and at times sexist. There are steps that still can help when communicating with someone with this difficult personality disorder.
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Jerold Kreisman, M.D., is a psychiatrist and best-selling author. His books, I Hate You, Don't Leave Me, and Sometimes I Act Crazy. have been translated into several languages around the world. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at St. Louis University and has been designated a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has lectured widely in both this country and abr ...more

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77 likes · 37 comments
“The theologian Paul Tillich wrote that "loneliness can be conquered only by those who can bear solitude." Because the borderline finds solitude so difficult to tolerate, she is trapped in a relentless metaphysical loneliness from which the the only relief comes from of the physical presence of others. So she will often rush to singles bars or with crowded haunts, often with disappointing--or even violent--results.” 38 likes
“A borderline suffers a kind of emotional hemophilia; [s]he lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate [his or her] spurts of feeling. Stimulate a passion, and the borderline emotionally bleeds to death.” 27 likes
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