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169 of 176 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2002
Before I begin, let me say that I do not suffer from BPD, and can only guess at the anguish associated with this disorder. I have noticed that several BPD sufferers have great issue with this book, and I thoroughly respect that.
For me, however, it was an enormous help. I found it recommended on a website with information on Borderline Personality Disorder. I had just ended a very painful and confusing relationship with a person I suspected might have BPD, and I wanted more information as a layperson, to heal myself, not him (it was too late in our relationship for that). I had experienced the "I hate you, don't leave me" syndrome with him repeatedly, until finally it became simply "I hate you." I was doubting myself, confused, angry, hurt--the works.
This book put things in perspective for me in a way I could understand. I am philosophically opposed to "self-help" books, but in this case, I used the book as a tool to help me heal from my failed relationship. My copy of this book is dogeared, underlined, there are my comments scribbled in the margins, and notes to myself are on the endflaps. Recently, I dug out the book and reread it. I still found it an enormous and enlightening help.
Therefore, I recommend the book highly to those who need a place to begin in understanding BPD. It is too simplistic to be exhaustive, but it provides enough information, for me at least, to know where to go to seek more depth.
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592 of 634 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2000
I am Patty Pheil of Borderline Personality Disorder Today. This book, as far as I know is the first book about the BPD written for the consumer. The book in and of itself is excellent and filled with good information. However, many borderlines have felt suicidal after reading this book if this is the first book they read about the BPD. Why? Simply because this book was written awhile back before much was known about how certain medications can be extremely helpful with many of the BPD symptoms such as rage, depression, mood swings, etc. Therefore the book was written with good information but the aspect of hope and recovery is not in this book. One feels hopeless after reading this book. This was the first book I read about the BPD and that is how I felt - more disturbed and hopeless. This is not the author's fault however. He simply wrote the book at a time where there wasn't much known about treatment. It would be great to have this great information along with the new drug treatment in a new edition.
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411 of 447 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 1998
I found this book to be very useful in helping me understand the behavior of a woman with whom I was involved. It was recommended to me by my therapist who was treating me for depression because of the traumatic relationship I had with a borderline.
Kreisman and Straus do an excellent job of explaining the root causes, behaviors, and treatment of the disorder as well as coping skills for dealing with a person with BPD. Although the relationship was turbulent and ended disastrously, I found a great deal of comfort in the book because it explained how and why a borderline behaves the she does. I learned that I indeed had narcissistic tendencies which drew me toward women with clinging and idealizing behavior, but then devaluating and vengeful behavior. Basically I was involved in a hostile/dependent ( narcissistic / borderline ) relationship. It made me take a serious look at my self. I also have learned to be a lot more cautious about who I relate with in my life.
Borderlines are not evil, just very vengeful and scared people. If you are involved in any capacity with someone who exhibits primitive idealization, devaluation, omnipotence, projection, or projective identification and seems irrational, this person may have BPD. This book will help you learn principles to help cope with a borderline. I sure wish I had access to it when I was involved with one.
I think this is among the books which have had the most positive impact on my life. This book will help you identify and understand borderline behavior as well as cope with those who are afflicted with this misunderstood and painful disorder. I hope you will find it useful as I have.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2001
This amazing little book litteraly fell off the shelf at my feet in Borders one night. The title intrigued me, so I took it home. Then it saved my life. I had begun to question not only my husband's sanity, but my own...but, this book gave me a name for it - BPD. This little book validated me. It also gave me coping methods and such a great understanding. I realized that this is an illness and I didn't have to take these behaviors personally. This book is more clinical than Stop Walking On Eggshells, but even the non-medical person should be able to gain great insight and understanding of their partner's (or parent's, or friend's, or co-worker's, etc.) behavior. The authors don't mince words. This is a difficult disorder to deal with and very difficult to live with. This book, even though I bought it, has been a huge gift for me. If the title makes sense to you, then read the book. You won't be sorry!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2004
The difference between a 'qualified' psychologist/clinician and a truly helpful one is the ability to listen well enough to understand what's happening uniquely INSIDE, not just outside, and to pragmatically approach both the inner and outer dysfunction with common sense and compassion. This book describes the theoretical and behavioral frameworks of BPD without ever truly touching the inner reality of this condition, and, as has been pointed out elsewhere, presents BPD as a nearly hopeless condition with a high mortality rate.
I Hate You Don't Leave Me is a caricature of the BPD sufferer and the illness itself and I believe lends itself to creating more of a divide between the person with the illness and the loved one who reads it with its tendency to objectify the person with BPD. For the BPD sufferer, as someone else pointed out, this book is potentially very destructive to read.
I fervently wish I could recommend another book on BPD for you but the fact of the matter is, there has yet to be written a definitive, practical and compassionate guide to this consuming disorder. As someone who has more than 20 years experience with BPD, I will say that love, patience, telling the truth and gentle boundary setting are very good beginnings on the road to recovery.
It has been written that there are some people who 'outgrow' BPD in their 30s and 40s, however, while the symptoms may diminish in intensity, the perceptual inaccuracies and emotional/behavioral maladaptions continue to affect the quality of life for the BPD sufferer and her or his loved ones until/unless they are directly addressed.
If you are considering treatment options, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy both in individual and group settings may be an excellent place to start. For an idea of what DBT looks like, read Marsha Linehan's skills manual.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be helpful for the non-BPD sufferer coping with the stress of living with a loved one with BPD--and potentially helpful medications exist now that simply weren't around when I Hate You...Don't Leave Me was written.
A good firsthand account of successful recovery is I'm Not Supposed To Be Here (which I don't believe is available through Amazon at this time).
Whatever may be happening - don't give up on yourself or your loved one.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 1999
"I Hate You Don't Leave Me" is God's work in my life. This book has helped me to understand what Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is in a way I never understood before. I was feeling feelings and acting in ways I couldn't understand. My life is a constant roller coaster of depression, inner pain and wanting to revenge/retaliate against those people who I love the most and I perceive want to hurt me. I have been in therapy for over seven years. My therapist never told me that I was inflicted with this miserable condition. Now I am able to see myself in a very different light, and it enables me to work on issues I didn't realize I had. Unfortunately, people in the mental health field give Borderlines such a negative connotation that change and growth often times becomes difficult for those of us who are afflicted with this disease. Even though I hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology, "I Hate You Don't Leave Me" explains things to me in ways that I am able to understand. I have ordered copies for many of my friends, so they can gain an understanding of those of us who are cursed with this disease. I can't thank the authors enough for writing this very helpful book.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2000
This was the first book I read after being diagnosed with BPD. While it did not paint a picture of a fantastic and miraculous recovery, it did detail the criteria of BPD and helped me make REAL connections between the case studies it contains and my own life. It also gave my husband something to help him better understand the disorder as well, but he felt it painted the disorder in a rather hopeless light.
So, as a source of information and understanding of the disorder, its excellent... however, if you are hoping to find a cheery and hopeful message about recovery, its not here (and probably rightfully so). Part of the problem with my BPD is that I have an unrealistic view of reality and reading a book that said "all you have to do is a, b and c" would not have inspired me to get real help. The ONLY way to recover from BPD is to get help from a real, qualified therapist.
I would recommend this book as a good, informative albeit basic one to "break the ice" and help understand the disorder. It gives real insight into the disorder. However, you'll need to look to therapy and some of the other more recovery-oriented books for help in making real change.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2006
Few books have changed my life. This one has. I highly recommend it for anyone who is:

1. In a relationship with a BP

2. Recovering from a relationship with a BP


3. Considering a relationship with a BP.

I'm a number 2. First and foremost the book will relieve you of a lot of guilt and longing, since you will stop blaming yourself for everything that went wrong. And if you had a true experience, I'm sure a lot of things went wrong.

The book is worth it for the first 50 pages alone. Just by reading those pages you'll have a feel for what your getting into with a BP. The characterizations and lists of traits, with good examples, are accurate and understandable.

How has the book changed my life? After 3.5 years with an enthralling, fascinating, brilliant and sexy BP as my girlfriend and ultimately, my fiance, well, I had to call the police on her once too often and she left the state. Now she is asking to come home. The book gave me a clear understanding of how intense my commitment must be, and how much I must sacrifice to try it again. The relationship had left me near-suicidal, depressed, and feeling unworthy of another relationship. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS, NOW I KNOW I'M NOT ALONE. I know much of it is NOT my fault. So I've decided to move on. The book did that.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2001
My therapist lent me this book 3 years ago. Reading it upset me so much I posted it back to her. Its reference to a therapist who momentarily wished his client would just kill herself led me to believe that she wished me dead. Two weeks ago I suggested to her I may have BPD. She concurred and I asked to borrow it again. This time I found parts of it helpful eg descriptions of certain mental experiences which I had always thought of as personal quirks/difficulties. One thing I strongly objected to was the constant use of the label «the borderline»when referring to people who experience these difficulties .When you have no sense of self it is only too easy to pin your whole identity on a label,without having others do the same.
I am ambiguous in my overall view of this book.Although I found parts of it informative and helpful, I was still left in tears at the end of it because of the gloomy outcome it suggestedI wouldnt recommend reading it to anyone feeling vulnerable.
Great title though!......
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2001
I found this an extremely helpful and sophisticated basic guide. Many readers seem to feel it is too negative, but for someone who feels perplexed and hopeless about life with a "borderline", it offers the reassurance that what seems like pure craziness on the part of a loved one actually corresponds to defineable complex of traits and behaviors. Loving a borderline can be a very lonely and frustrating experience, and this book offers support, insight and qualified hope in simple language, and without the annoying dumbed-down tone of most self-help books. I admit to having read it around ten years ago, and I will explore other guides recommended by readers. On the other hand, I have noticed that Prozac, Paxil, etc. don't work as an all purpose panacea for everyone with BPD. Paxil may control one symptom (borderline rage) while not alleviating another (depression, sense of worthlessness). Even if this book doesn't help borderlines themselves, I believe it does help their intimates find ways to be more creative and patient supporters and to take conflicts less personally.
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