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Mental Disorders

by Jerold J. Kriesman and Hal Straus
Avon, 1991
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 31st 1999

I Hate You-Don't Leave MeThis slim book is a useful guide for people who want to learn about Borderline Personalty Disorder. It gives some guidelines for telling whether you or someone you know has BPD, describing both the outward behavior associated with the condition and the inner feelings that cause the behavior. There are chapters on treatment for borderlines (the sections on medications are doubtless quite out of date, it being ten years since the original publication of the book), communicating with the borderline, and coping with the borderline. Most of the chapter sections are short and the general points are nearly always illustrated with short real-life examples.

What makes this book especially interesting is its ambition. For example, it uses references to popular and high culture. Each chapter begins with an epigraph from a novel; figures from movies are used as examples of borderline character, and a whole chapter is devoted to "The Borderline Society." This chapter discusses how modern western culture is especially conducive to the kinds of behavior symptomatic of BPD. One of the appendices also gives a brief history of the concept of borderline. These features make I Hate You--Don't Leave Me a interesting starting point for learning about borderline personality disorder.