Stop Walking on Eggshells
Taking your life back when someone you care about has Borderline Personality Disorder

by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger

This is a great book for people who have a spouse/partner or ex-spouse/partner with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a psychological condition that affects 2% of the general population, 10% of all mental health outpatients, and 20% of psychiatric inpatients. Of the sufferers 75% of those diagnosed are female.

The American Psychiatric Association's world standard DSM-IV provides the following diagnostic identification for BPD:

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.
The book deals with what all these mean in more detail.

This material covers the internal emotions and problems of the BPD personality, the feelings and needs of the partner of the BPD sufferer, and the affects of BPD on any children of the BPD personality. The information is derived from a combination of literature on the subject, but more importantly by the personal experiences of people that have used the internet BPD support groups that are run by Randi Kreger. This provides a unique and deep insight into the sufferer of BPD and the affect that it has on those around the sufferer. A section is included on some of the problems with the separation from a BPD sufferer -- a special problem since much of emotion of the BPD sufferer is centered around the fear of abandonment, although often shown in contradictory ways.

The book is written in a friendly manner and avoids the ponderous nature of many psychological books. It is packed with information on the problems of people suffering from BPD (and suffer is the appropriate term), possibilities of cures, and immediately useful suggestions when dealing people with BPD problems (something that I had been unable to find from any other source). The book not only provides information, but it is useful!

Read the symptoms above....if you know or think that your partner or ex-partner may suffer from BPD, this book is a must read.