The “I hate you,please don’t leave syndrome”.

I am wondering if there is any information out there about the “I hate you,please don’t leave syndrome”.


The phrase “I hate you, don’t leave me” was made popular by a book on the subject of something called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), although those with Bipolar Disorder (BP) can also show this pattern. Essentially it is what it says… and we’ll add to more of that here. The world of someone with BPD or BP if full of conflict and trying to handle a world not necessarily perceived the same as someone without these issues.
I Hate You: These words likely hurt the most, especially coming from someone you love or care about… and essentially in the midst of an extreme mood (high or low) the person may be irrational (weather or not they know it) and can say some pretty hurtful things like this… although the cause is hard to say… it’s likely different for each person. This can come from hate, or even wanting to reject someone before they themselves are rejected… push away people before they get the chance to push [me] away!
Don’t Leave Me: The complete opposite side of the coin and anywhere on the emotional spectrum you’ll find the person you care about wants to be around and part of your life… maybe it is out of love, but also it could be out of fear of being alone/rejected/shamed. Meaning the ‘please don’t leave me’ may come out of fear, and not always out of love.
It’s quite complicated and I would suggest looking into the book with the same title… “I hate You – Don’t Leave me: Understanding Borderline Personality” by Jerold Kreisman. While I’ve not read the book myself, it is where the phrase is coined from.

One thought on “The “I hate you,please don’t leave syndrome”.

  1. Hi Dustin, although i do not have a personality disorder, i have bipolar II and can totally relate to the “I hate you – Don’t leave me syndrome”. I experienced this in my early twenties way before i even knew i was bipolar. I did not realize that i suffered from this at the time but in hindsight I can see how it has effected a lot of my relationships over the years. My last relationship was riddled with me “hating my partner” at various times and wanting to leave the relationship while at the same time I didn’t want the relationship to end for fear of being alone, rejected, etc. Talk about the ultimate “roller coaster ride”. It was a very dysfunctional relationship on many levels and I finally left my relationship of 18 yrs. one year ago. I am 47 yrs. old and was just diagnosed with bipolar II in January of this year. Previously I had been diagnosed with many other mental illnesses and was not on the correct medication for years. It has been a rough ride that is for sure. However I am now finally in a place where I can look back and see how bad things really were, not only in my relationships but also in the many work environments that I was in. I also experienced “hating my jobs” and then “liking them again” but never really knew why. Nowadays I can see things much more clearly and I am able to understand why I experience the “I hate you” – Don’t leave me” syndrome. I would like to thank you for writing about the topic as it has helped put things into more persepective and I think that I may even read the book that you have suggested. Vicky

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