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Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
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Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,047 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A source of hope, expert advice, and guidance for people with borderline personality disorder and those who love them

Do you experience frightening, often violent mood swings that make you fear for your sanity? Are you often depressed? Do you engage in self-destructive behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse, anorexia, compulsive eating, self-cutting, and hair pulling? Do
Paperback, 246 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Wiley (first published February 25th 2004)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Shannon Bradley
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I wish someone would write one of these books FOR the person with BPD and not the psychologists and doctors. All of the technical and medical stuff goes right over my head. Write a book for us please.
Feb 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I wouldn't recommend this book to people with Borderline PDO or families/friends of.

It's a pretty decent overview of the disorder for mental health professionals, but I think a little bit too detailed for the lay public. He talks some abou theorists (seriously, do you the average person wants to hear about Kernberg and Erikson) and touches on medication management - not enough to be detailed, but enough to be dangerous (a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...)

Not clear if it is for the patie
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: recent
I chose "read" only because "kind of skimmed through" was not an option.
My review is lengthy, but if you read it, you can save your time and skip the book, because it is full similar (but in my opinion less realistic) case studies, and there is a lot of uncertainty in causes of borderline and prognosis of individuals.
This book by the same authors of I Hate You Don't Leave Me gives updates on the causes of borderline and the prognosis for a borderline patient. There are a couple significant frust
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this despite the off-putting title and mediocre reviews, and as expected it's sort of a mixed bag but it was helpful.

it's a quick read, and I appreciate that each characteristic gets a chapter and then each chapter is similarly subdivided, but I agree that the real life examples veer into the excessive. They also seem very...extreme? In the beginning there's a very brief discussion of thinking about bpd symptoms on a scale, not a you-have-it-or-you-don't, but reading the examples it's lik
Feb 21, 2012 added it
Shelves: self-help
Ok, this book may just edge out the other contender for "best title" award (Not Everyone Gets a Trophy)! Just after borrowing this from a co-worker, I went around the office holding it up to make a public service announcement: Guess what, everyone... in case you haven't noticed... just thought you should know... Sometimes, I Act Crazy.

More reviewishness to come.

I wanted to like this book, buuut....
- the authors can't seem to decide whether this book is written for the person suffering from BP
Nishant Gupta
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a good book if you have an academic interest in BPD or psychology in general.

If someone you know has BPD and you want to get a better idea of this ailment in order to be more supportive to the borderliners then you can read this book but I would recommend to google about this and learn from the articles available online rather than reading this book. The cases presented in this book are very extreme and those cases give the impression that dealing with BPD Is very complicated and difficu
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intelligent and Entertainingly Informative

::possible spoilers::
My mom got me this book a few years after I was diagnosed with BPD, and struggling with the diagnosed and therapy and feeling like I had no control. I threw it in the back of my closet because I was just ANGRY, and it was lost. Now, years later, I have a better therapist and am more properly medicated, and Amazon suggested it for my Kindle. I finally understand WHY I do the things I do, and when not always the why, the because. And t
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although typically helpful in providing insight/understanding of the subject at hand, the anecdotal testimonies in this book actually served to enervate the reader, rendering her lazy about getting through the parts that expound upon understanding this very frustrating disorder. The "personal stories" are long and there is an almost palpable shift from the purposeful conveyance of events to just plain bad, daytime television-esque writing (wait, isn't that phrase in itself redundant)?

It seems Dr
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
It was hard to rate this book as I felt that it rates differently depending on the audience. As someone who supports individuals in the mental health field, I found it informative. However, the book is actually not primarily intended for me, but rather for individuals struggling with BPD themelves. In this regard I thought the book missed its goal on several fronts. Despite its disclaimer around simplifying language without the intention of labeling, I found terms such as "the borderline" or "th ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Honestly, I loved I Hate You Don’t Leave Me, but this book doesn’t measure up at all.
An interesting read if you want some insight on bpd, but I would say read with caution if you personally suffer from this disorder. There are things I found offensive. Ie: “minimize this spreading psychiatric plague”.
And reading a case study about a therapist attending a visitation at a patients home!? A terrible thing to teach borderlines..

Overall, I think it was worth the read. It helped me recognize that cer
Jan 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: --anybody interested in various aspects of the "human condition".
Recommended to Sandy by: --just plucked it from the recent book shelf.
--really interesting of course, & alarming to think of people trying to live w/this disorder--or kids living w/parents who have it, or parents living w/kids who have it or whatever.

The Sociopath Next Door is probably more "entertaining", not to mention even scarier in some ways, & less wearing too, 'cause we don't need to feel sorry for the sociopaths, we feel sorry for their victims.

People w/BPD are victims themselves, as are their friends & loved ones frequently, & it's expensive & time consum
Tara Calaby
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, bpd
This one is pretty dated, in that it has way too great a focus on child abuse leading to BPD and there's a bit too much optimism re: medication. That said, it's not too bad. The writing style is accessible and, while the case studies that start each chapter are a little melodramatic and wordy, they're still entertaining. Best still, it doesn't operate at all under the assumption that partners and family members of people with BPD should just leave them. I found the chapter on identity particular ...more
Feb 07, 2012 added it
I'm trying to figure out how best to deal with a possible BPD sufferer with a minimum of grief for everyone. I have high hopes for this one since it's by the authors of what everyone hails as the BPD Bible (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me), which oddly enough, someone took out from my local library and never returned, along with several other BPD books. Color me shocked. ;)


Not as helpful as I'd hoped but somewhat insightful.
I wish there were more books for the borderline people. I guess now I can see it through other peoples eyes but the examples are never like me. I haven't found a borderline story I can really relate to. Sometimes after explaining symptoms especially towards the end I got really bored. The author uses medical terms and it is harder to understand. I made it to the end so that is a good thing. This is the sequel to I hate you Don't Leave me.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
The patient's stories are helpful to understand certain facets of the disorder. I liked how each of the important BPD characteristics are described in each chapter. I would recommend this for borderlines, their familes/friends or anyone wishing to gain an understanding of the disorder.
Oct 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Amazing! Rather than focusing on the problems with living with BPD like I Hate You-Don't Leave Me, it shows you how to live with BPD and centers around the solutions.
Jade Stanley
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
The patient’s stories throughout are incredibly intriguing and easy to follow/comprehend. However, most of the material in this book will go right over your head if you are not pursuing mental health academically or occupationally. Which does not sit well with me, for this book falsely claims to be JUST what borderlines need to help understand their condition. When in all actuality, it is a book for people treating and diagnosing the condition. Overall, not a read for an average Joe.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The following life events may be clues to the presence of BPD:

"-traumatic childhood experiences (especially physical or sexual abuse)
"-self-sabotaging behavior (such as ruining a job interview, destroying a good relationship)
"-history of disappointing relationships, jobs, or other commitments
"-history of hurtful relationships (e.g., several marriages to alcoholics who are abusive) or relationships with controlling, narcissistic partners that result in conflict
"-frequent conflicts (especially wi
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
For the purpose of learning basic information on BPD - its symptoms and treatment - this book served pretty well. It was very much an overview, never going into too much detail on any one facet. It was fairly easy to read, and instructive, but it wasn't what I was hoping for.

The book didn't feel consistent in what audience it was addressing. As I began, I felt that it was definitely addressed to the loved ones/family of individuals with BPD. This didn't bother me, until the address changed to i
Aletha Brennan
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a Borderline myself, I highly reccomend this book for the loved ones and communities that are involved with a Borderline. If a Borderline can make it through the book--which I firmly believe is possible--it will give an exceptional base of understanding and common language for all parties involved. I personally found the technical terminology acceptable for a book that is intended to address those with Borderline Personality Disorder, their loved ones, and the health care professionals who tr ...more
Katy Sauer
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
View all of my reviews @

I was first diagnosed with borderline personality disorder as a teenager. The first book I picked up was I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me by the same authors. I appreciated the book because it explained a lot of things that I hadn’t understood about myself before. I now knew why I had a lot of the issues that interfered with my life. But it painted a very dark picture of what I could do to change any of it, instead quoting statistics that we
Jeffrey Borrowdale
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book focuses on BPD as an identity disorder and explaining and apparently erratic and apparently contradictory behavior. It's elaborate fictionalized examples, based on actual patients, give an insight into the interior life of the borderline but also makes the book a long read. I felt like I got a lot of insight into the condition from this book but could have used more practical strategies for interacting with someone dealing with it. It also contains an exhaustive discussion of treatment ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
My therapist has diagnosed me with borderline tendencies. i do not completely fit the diagnostic critea for the borderline diagnosis. however, i do see these characteristics in me. never before has someone so completly exposed my inner thoughts and feelings. it was a relief in a way to understand there was a reason behind the way i acted or the things i said. this book was very informitave. my only fault with it is it didn't really tell me the person with borderline how to get better. it told my ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For parts of this book, it became a sort of handbook for me.

It was a huge aid in helping me understand what medications might help, as his notes on how medications work were some of the most brief but apt I've ever read.

The tone of the book is great for the disordered, the family and friends of the disordered, and even those (like me) who aren't diagnosed but realize there is much to learn in emotional regulation and mindfulness.

I've read a lot on Borderline Personality Disorder, and this lit
Crystal Oros
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-illness
This book I think might be better suited for a therapist to use as a resource for understanding BPD and some of the ways to treat it. It was confusing but then again so is BPD and trying to figure out what "on the border" disorders each individual suffers. From what I understand it's a juggling act of treating the worst symptom first and being flexible when other symptoms crop up and block progress. Still an informative read that I may find myself revisiting again one day.
Tracy Morton
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: health
There were parts of this book that I found interesting but I think maybe it is more interesting to a doctor. The example stories about people suffering with BPD were uninteresting and seemed false. They seemed to be something written to give an example. The book covers a lot of info but i didn't find that it was presented in an interesting way.
Angela Wade
Just didn't work for me as someone looking to understand BPD behavior better. Felt like there were a lot of excuses and messages for significant others to "stick it out", but not enough talk about BPDs taking personal responsibility.

It doesn't talk much about the BPD as a parent, either, which is what I was hoping for.

Prefer Surviving the Borderline Parent.
Staci Andrews
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read for those suffering from, living with someone who has or interested in BPD. A much more supported book than "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" (the author's previous book of the same subject). I actually have BPD and it was very helpful for me but I've given it to several people who are in my life and do not have it. A well researched and optimistic piece.
Mostly skimmed as I was more interested in the info than the stories that illustrated the terms. I was pretty familiar with the terms already having read the previous book, "I Hate You--Don't Leave Me" as well as "Don't Walk on Eggshells." I much preferred "Don't Walk on Eggshells" as an introduction to BPD especially for those who love someone who suffers through it.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Clear, concise, overall somewhat technical- out of necessity, but not overwhelmingly so. Informative and definitely helpful. I have friends with the disorder and helps me understand them better. I also likes the individualized stories of those that had the disorder, to also be able to better understand.
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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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“When the borderline is alone, continuity and connectedness cease. Like sand falling through her fingers, her confidence - even her sense of reality - slip away.” 26 likes
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