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When Morgan was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, I was completely terrified. It seems horrible to say now, but that’s just what it was. I’d barely heard of the disorder so all I really had was personal experience, and frankly, that gave me little hope. That week, I went to my therapist and told him the newest thing that seemed to be going wrong in my life and the first thing he said was “It’s okay.” And then he suggested a book… Enter, I Hate You – Don’t Leave Me (Amazon | iTunes)
Jerold J. Kreisman’s book is a bit of a classic. Having worked at Barnes and Noble for quite a few years, it was definitely a familiar title, but I had no idea what it was about. After my therapist recommended it, though, I started thinking in earnest: There are resources. Maybe we can make it through this. I opened the book and read the first chapters and started thinking again. This time: Wow…we CAN get through this!
Who should read this?
Let’s start with the obvious: if you know someone with borderline or have borderline yourself, you should definitely read this. That said, it’s not just useful for people with borderline personality disorder. It’s also a great resource for anyone who struggles with emotions, relationships, trust, communication, and so on. It doesn’t have all the answers, and it certainly has its flaws, but it’s a great place to start. And for those with BPD, it gives you the chance to see you’re not alone and that it can get better.
I’d also recommend it to anyone who’s interested in learning more about the lives of people diagnosed with this particular disorder. Kreisman makes liberal use of real life scenarios to help the reader understand things from both perspectives.
Who shouldn’t read this?
Well, if your life is fine and stable, it’s probably not a great resource for you. I also did find it occasionally disheartening because it tends to view committed relationships as an impossibility (or, at least, highly improbable) for those with borderline. As someone who loves a borderline sufferer, it’s frustrating to see. I ultimately sought other resources to learn more about how to maintain healthy relationships in this situation.
It’s important to note, too, that even the revised and updated edition still is rather out of date in terms of treatment and societal changes. While the revised edition is more positive than the original, it does sometimes treat borderline as a hopeless diagnosis. When you add in the parts that are slightly less open-minded, like a suggestion that borderline sufferers also partake in “sexual perversion” like homosexuality….. yeah…. You have to read this with the understanding that it still shows some of its original character.
And with that… I do feel it is well worth the investment. Morgan and I have both read and actually referred to it a few times when dealing with some of the harder days. I know for a fact this will stay on my shelf within easy reach for years to come. And, if it’s not one you can afford or you’re not sure you want to invest in your own copy, almost every library has it! Just make sure you’re grabbing the updated version!