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

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

by Jerold J. Kreisman, Hal Straus


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A revised and updated edition of the bestselling guide to understanding borderline personality disorder.

After more than two decades as the essential guide to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), this new edition 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.

Both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic advancements point to real hope for success in the treatment and understanding of BPD.

This expanded and revised edition remains as accessible and useful as its predecessor and will reestablish this book as the go-to source for those diagnosed with BPD, their family, friends, and colleagues, as well as professionals and students in the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399536212
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/07/2010
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 13,903
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jerold J. Kreisman, MD,is a psychiatrist and leading expert on borderline personality disorder. He has written two books on the disorder: the bestselling I Hate You—Don’t Leave Me and Sometimes I Act Crazy. He contributes regularly for Psychology Today and is in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri.

Hal Straus is a professional health and medical writer who has penned five books, including the bestselling I Hate You—Don’t Leave Me (with Jerold J. Kreisman, MD), and has contributed numerous articles to Ladies’ Home Journal, Men’s Health, and Redbook.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The World of the Borderline

"Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That's what I wantedto be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself."

From A Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill

Dr. White thought it would all be relatively straightforward. Over the five years he had been treating Jennifer, she had few medical problems. Her stomach complaints were probably due to gastritis, he thought, so he treated her with antacids. But when her stomach pains became more intense despite treatment and routine testing proved normal, Dr. White admitted Jennifer to the hospital.

After a thorough medical work-up, Dr. White inquired about stresses Jennifer might be experiencing at work and home. She readily acknowledged that her job as a personnel manager for a major corporation was very pressured, but as she put it, "Many people have pressure jobs." She also revealed that her home life was more hectic recently: She was trying to cope with her husband's busy legal practice while tending to the responsibilities of being a mother. But she doubted the connection of these factors to her stomach pains.

When Dr. White recommended that Jennifer seek psychiatric consultation, initially she resisted. It was only after her discomfort turned into stabs of pain that she reluctantly agreed to see the psychiatrist, Dr. Gray.

They met a few days later. Jennifer was an attractive blonde woman who appeared younger than her twentyeight years. She lay in bed in a hospital room that had been transformed from an anonymous cubicle into apersonalized lair. A stuffed animal sat next to her in bed and another lay on the night stand beside several pictures of her husband and son. Get-well cards were meticulously displayed in a line along the window sill, flanked by flower arrangements.

At first, Jennifer was very formal, answering all of Dr. Gray's questions with great seriousness. Then she joked about how her job was "driving me to see a shrink." The longer she talked, the sadder she looked. Her voice became less authoritative and more childlike.

She told him how a job promotion was exacting more demands — duties about which she felt unsure. Her five-year-old son was starting school, which was proving to be a difficult separation for both of them. Conflicts with Allan, her husband, were increasing. She described rapid mood swings and trouble sleeping. Her appetite had steadily decreased and she was losing weight. Her concentration, energy, and sex drive had all diminished.

Dr. Gray recommended a trial of antidepressant medications, which improved her gastric symptoms and seemed to normalize her sleeping patterns. In a few days she was ready for discharge and agreed to continue outpatient therapy.

Over the following weeks, Jennifer talked more about her upbringing. Reared in a small town, she was the daughter of a prominent businessman and his socialite wife. Her father, an elder in the local church, demanded perfection from his daughter and her two older brothers, constantly reminding the children that the community scrutinized their behavior. Jennifer's grades, her behavior, even her thoughts were never quite good enough. She feared her father, yet constantly — and unsuccessfully — sought his approval. Her mother remained passive and detached. Her parents evaluated her friends, often deeming them unacceptable. As a result, she had few friends and even fewer dates.

Jennifer described her roller-coaster emotions, which seemed to have worsened when she started college. She began drinking for the first time, sometimes to excess.

Without warning, she would feel lonely and depressed and then high with happiness and love. On occasion, she would burst out in rage against her friends — fits of anger that she had somehow managed to suppress as a child.

It was about this time that she also began to appreciate the attention of men, something she had previously always avoided. Though she enjoyed being desired, she always felt she was "fooling" or tricking them somehow. After she began dating a man, she would sabotage the relationship by stirring up conflict.

She met Allan as he was completing his law studies. He pursued her relentlessly and refused to be driven away when she tried to back off. He liked to choose her clothes and advise her on how to walk, how to talk, and how to eat nutritiously. He insisted she accompany him to the gym where he frequently worked out.

"Allan gave me an identity," she explained. He advised her on how to interact with other lawyers, when to be aggressive, when to be demure. She developed a cast of "repertoire players" whom she could call on stage on cue.

They married, at Allan's insistence, before the end of her junior year. She quit school and began working as a receptionist, but her employer recognized her intelligence and promoted her to more responsible jobs.

At home, however, things began to sour. Allan's career and his interest in body-building caused him to spend more time away from home, which Jennifer hated. Sometimes she would start fights just to keep him home a little longer. Occasionally she provoked him into hitting her. Afterward she would invite him to make love to her.

Jennifer had few friends. She devalued women as gossipy and uninteresting. She hoped that Scott's birth, coming two years after her marriage, would provide the comfort she lacked. She felt her son would always love her and always be there for her. But the demands of an infant were overwhelming, and after a while, Jennifer decided to return to work.

Despite frequent praise and successes at work, Jennifer continued to feel insecure, that she was "faking it." She became sexually involved with a co-worker, who was almost forty years her senior.

"Usually I'm okay," she told Dr. Gray. "But there's another side that takes over and controls me. I'm a good mother. But...

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Note to Reader xv

1 The World of the Borderline 1

2 Chaos and Emptiness 22

3 Roots of the Borderline Syndrome 54

4 The Borderline Society 74

5 Communicating with the Borderline 101

6 Coping with the Borderline 123

7 Seeking Therapy 142

8 Specific Psychotherapeutic Approaches 176

9 Medications: The Science and the Promise 192

10 Understanding and Healing 204

Appendix A DSM-IV-TR Classifications 223

Appendix B Evolution of the Borderline Syndrome 229

Resources 241

Notes 247

Index 261

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"...a book that may save you a lot of time and wasted, misguided pain in dealing with a loved one (with Borderline Personality Disorder)."

"...a good resource for professionals and families, because it provides therapists with concrete ideas to incorporate both instruction and hope into their practice by providing patients and their families suggestions in simple, non-condescending language. It is by far the best book on the market on BPD."
-Anita Biase, strugglingteens.com

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I Hate You--Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
reader67EJ More than 1 year ago
I am ordering this book for my daughter who has BPD the description I just read fits her to a T. However how do other people handle it who have to be around them 24 7? Anyway her therapist recommended she read this and when she is done I may get it on Nook Book. So if a therapist requests it reading for a patient then I would suggest it. My daughter is 37 adopted and we have no idea of history of health issues. But she has battled personality disorders for years. She has threatened suicide so many times that I don't know when the real threat will happen, she says these things in front of her 2 boys. Maybe this will testimonial of sorts will help someone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read I HATE YOU, DON'T LEAVE ME when the first edition was published almost 20 years ago. At the time it was the first book on Borderline Personality and it has since become the classic in the field. This completely updated edition (December 2010) is a major improvement on the first, as it includes all of the new advances in medications, genetics, and therapies available. Yet it is still concise (only 250 pages) and an easy read, with many case stories that illustrate the principles involved. Twenty years ago there was little hope for those afflicted with BPD--and their families, spouses, lovers, close friends--now the prognosis is much more optimistic. This book will save you the purchase price many times over, in navigating the mental health field, finding a therapist, deciding on the right medications, and most of all understanding what it's like to live with this illness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My psychiatrist had me read this book while I was in the hospital after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. This book gave me a lot of insight into why I behave the way I do and what to expect in my future. My psychiatrist recommends this book for anyone with BPD, and I stand by his recommendation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for anyone who has Borderline Personality Disorder, or for anyone who knows someone who does. I definitely recommend it.
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This book is the worst. Horrible, hopeless, negative depiction of people with BPD. But the story with Amy and the soldier? FABULOUS. They should just get it on right there on the front doorstep. You know they want to.
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