All page notations are from the 2010 paperback edition from Perigee Books.
I Hate You – Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D and Hall Straus is a great educational tool for anyone who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD) or for someone who has a loved one with BPD. While one book cannot explain how BPD affects everyone because as with any mental illness everyone experiences it differently I Hate You – Don’t Leave Me does a remarkable job showing how it affects several different people throughout the book. As it is an educational book it covers many topics from the history of BPD to classifications to therapies and their effectiveness, and how BPD affects a person and the people around them. This makes the book very comprehensive for the reader.
One thing that I really appreciated about this book is that it is very reader friendly. Medical jargon is used sparingly, often times it is used when it is the proper name for something or a classification, which is then explained in a more layman’s term. For example when they are talking about medications they talk about a class of drugs called “neuroleptics” and then add the more common term “antipsychotics” afterwards. Doing this made it really easy to understand and absorb without being overwhelmed with new terms.
I have seen a few complaints about this book one of them being that it is outdated and another being that it stigmatizes people with Borderline Personality Disorder. I did read the updated version from 2010, and it could use another revision and it references the DSM-IV-TR, but the DSM V is out now. The authors state in the beginning of the book that they will be using the term “borderline(s)” for the sake of clarity, with the agreement that it is being used as a shorthand for “human being(s) who exhibit(s) symptoms consistent with the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)”(Note To Reader, XVI) and that they will be alternating pronouns for this purpose as well. This removes the stigmatization that can be seen through the usage of “borderline(s)” and is important to note for this reason. While it is an edition behind in the DSM it is a great start when it comes to learning about the disorder and a good tool for the diagnosed and their friends and family as well.
I learned a lot from reading this book and while it did get taxing to read at times because of all of the new information it was worth it in the end. It’s worth reading if you have an interest in mental health, Psychology, BPD or if you or a family member/friend has BPD and you want to understand the disorder more.