The Siren's Dance

The Siren's Dance : My Marriage to a Borderline: A Case Study

3.51 (138 ratings by Goodreads)
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This memoir follows the relationship between the author (a psychiatrist) and his wife, Michelle, from its tumultuous beginning in 1985 to their ambivalent last good-bye three years later. The subtitle "a case study" attempts to maintain a professional distance from this devastating relationship, but it's all too clear that the illness from which Walker's wife suffered came close to dragging him down with her. Walker is first smitten by Michelle when, as a medical student, he encounters her on rounds, where she is presented as a recent suicide attempt. He can't understand how such a beautiful, sexy young woman would want to kill herself and returns to interview her for a school presentation. Despite warnings from his teacher, friends and father, he falls deeply in love and is drawn into her world, only to emerge with great difficulty a year later. Walker, an outgoing, athletic, cheerful young man, relinquishes more and more of himself to Michelle and gradually becomes isolated, depressed, devious and even violent as he tries to cope with-and ultimately escape from-Michelle. This intimate narrative, showing how the best intentions of a naive, compassionate young doctor can lead him straight to hell, will fascinate readers who've dealt with similar situations firsthand. The three appendixes provide welcome information about the definition, diagnosis and treatment of borderline personality disorder.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 194 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 10mm | 231g
  • English
  • 1419698184
  • 9781419698187
  • 64,226

Back cover copy

Borderline personality disorder has levels of prevalence, social dysfunction, health care utilization, and chronicity that make its public health significance similar to that of major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression, yet it has not received comparable attention. This book is an important statement that will enhance public consciousness about a disorder that is universally recognized and widely discussed within mental health circles.
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Review quote

"This sexually and emotionally frank account realistically captures the characteristically intense appeals and disillusionments that can be expected in a relationship with someone who has [borderline personality disorder]. . . . This book is an important statement that will enhance public consciousness about a disorder that is universally recognized and widely discussed within mental health circles. . . . Alongside the movie "Fatal Attraction," the book and movie "Girl, Interrupted," and the psycho-biographical accounts of the borderline personality traits found in Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe, ["Siren's Dance"] can titillate even as it teaches." --John G. Gunderson, M.D., from the Foreword
"A vivid story of love, romantic rescue, and the painful limits of compassion. Dr. Walker successfully transforms the experience of his tortured marriage into an important book about the impact of borderline personality disorder on human hope and caring." --Richard Schwartz, M.D., author of "Marriage in Motion" and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
"Avoiding the temptation to blame the borderline for the doomed relationship, Mr. Walker honestly describes his own mistakes and lets us listen in on the advice he failed to heed. . . . This book will validate readers' experiences with borderlines in their own lives and hopefully prevent them from making the same mistakes." --Randi Kreger, coauthor of "Stop Walking on Eggshells"
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Rating details

138 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 24% (33)
4 29% (40)
3 29% (40)
2 11% (15)
1 7% (10)
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