Skip Navigation Link

Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center Inc.

Looking for Help?
Click Here for the Office Location Nearest You

Review of "Lost in the Mirror"

By Richard A. Moskovitz
Taylor Publishing Company, 1996
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 31st 1998
Lost in the Mirror

There are not many popular or self-help books on personality disorders (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me is the only other one I'm aware of), so Lost in the Mirror is a welcome addition to the psychology shelves. The book is an explanation of the issues that arise for those with borderline personality disorder (BDP); it sets out what the disorder is like, the problems that arise in therapy, and the experience of the family members. It is divided up into 21 short chapters, each of which is divided up into short sections. Each chapter ends with the continuing fictional tale of Sara, a person with BPD. Sara is married to Jonathan, and they have two daughters. She comes into therapy with Dr. Moskovitz, but it takes many months before the origins of her troubles start to becomes clear. She begins to recover traumatic memories from her childhood. It is years before she comes to a resolution of her problems, and the journey of therapy involves suicide attempts, hospitalizations and times when her marriage is under severe strain. But she comes through it all. Moskovitz tells each episode of Sara's story as an illustration of some of the points in the preceding chapter.

Lost in the Mirror will be useful to people wondering if they have BPD, or if someone close to them has BPD, and it will give some guidance about how to get help. It is written in a simple, open style which is both its strength and weakness. The book is easy to read and makes its points clearly. It also glosses over the theoretical complexities and controversies involved in the understanding of BPD. It never pretends that there is an easy cure for BPD, but its simplicity means the book lacks depth and detail. Although the book's subtitle promises an inside look at BPD, it is really a brief book from the therapist's point of view, offering the rather easy advice that you'd expect from a self-help book. Moskovtiz has a wealth of experience with patients with BPD, and the most gripping parts of the book are the stories of Sara and other patients. He certainly conveys some of the desperation, pain and anger of these people, but by the end of the book I didn't feel that he had said enough to really clarify the difference between BPD and other conditions, especially bipolar mood disorder. Two of the most characteristic features of BPD are the chronic feelings of emptiness and self-mutilation, but he devotes little space to these. I'm left wanting to read a well written first-person account of someone who have lived with BPD, but there are very few such books available. BDP is still one of the most of the enigmatic of mental disorders.

The second edition of Lost in the Mirror was published in 2001:

Share This

Resources

  • Articles

    • What is a Personality Disorder?
      • Introduction to Personality Disorders
      • What is Personality?
      • Flexibility: The Key to a Healthy Personality
      • Why Don't People Know They Have a Personality Disorder?
      • The Definition of a Personality Disorder
      • Defining Features of Personality Disorders: Distorted Thinking Patterns
      • Examples of Personality Disorders With Distorted Thinking Patterns
      • Defining Features of Personality Disorders: Problematic Emotional Response Patterns
      • Defining Features of Personality Disorders: Impulse Control Problems
      • The Most Significant, Defining Featured of Personality Disorders: Interpersonal Difficulties
      • Interpersonal Difficulties Continued
      • Summary of What is a Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Antisocial Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Borderline Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Dependent Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Histrionic Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Narcissistic Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Paranoid Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Schizoid Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Schizotypal Personality Disorder
      • Treatment - Avoidant Personality Disorder
    • Diagnosis of Personality Disorders
      • The History of the Psychiatric Diagnostic System
      • The History of the Psychiatric Diagnostic System Continued
      • DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster A
      • DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster B
      • DSM-5 The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster C
      • Problems with the Diagnostic System for Personality Disorders
      • Problems with the Current Diagnostic System Continued
      • Alternative Diagnostic Models for Personality Disorders: The DSM-5 Dimensional Approach
      • Alternative Diagnostic Models for Personality Disorders Continued
      • Kernberg's Dimensional Approach: An Alternative Classification System
      • The Dimension of Personality Organization
      • The Three Levels of Personality Organization
      • Linking Two Personality Dimensions Differentiates Personality Disorders
      • Co-occurrence of Personality Disorders with Other Disorders
      • Co-Occurence of Personality Disorders
      • Co-Occurence of Personality Disorders Continued
      • Why Do Personality Disorders Frequently Occur With Other Disorders?
    • Causes of Personality Disorders
      • What Causes Personality Disorders?
      • Biological Factors Related to the Development of Personality Disorders (Nature)
      • Early life Experiences and the Development of Personality Disorders (Nurture):
      • The Bio-Psycho-Social Model of Human Behavior
      • Object Relations Theory of Personality Disorders
      • Object Relations Theory Continued
      • Attachment Theory of Personality Disorder
      • Attachment Theory Expanded: Mentalization
      • Cognitive-Behavioral Theory of Personality Disorders
      • Cognitive-Behavioral Theory Expanded: The Dialectical Behavioral Approach
      • Cognitive-Behavioral Theory Expanded: Schema Theory
      • Other Explanations of Personality Disorders: Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB)
      • Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) Continued
      • Biological Explanations of Personality Disorder
      • Biological Explanations Continued
    • Treatment of Personality Disorders
      • The Treatment of Personality Disorders
      • Types of Treatment for Personality Disorders
      • Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) for Personality Disorders
      • Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) Continued
      • Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) for Personality Disorders
      • Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Continued
      • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Personality Disorders (CBT)
      • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Continued
      • Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Personality Disorders (DBT)
      • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Continued
      • Schema Therapy for Personality Disorders
      • Schema Therapy Continued
      • Medications for Treating Personality Disorder
      • Medication Treatments Continued
      • Treatment complications: Co-occurring Disorders
      • A Dual-Diagnosis Approach to Personality Disorder Treatment
    • Personality Disorders Summary and Conclusion
      • Personality Disorders Summary and Conclusion
    • Personality Disorders References and Resources
      • References and Resources - Part I
      • References and Resources - Part II
      • References and Resources - Part III
      • References and Resources - Part IV
  • Questions and Answers

    • She's Lied About Everything
    • Married to a Psychopath
    • What am I Supposed to do With a Hypochondriac Step Daughter?
    • How to Help my Delusional Son?
    • What is This, and What do I do About it?
    • Is my Sister a Pathological Liar?
    • How Can I Overcome my Debilitating Shyness and Fear of Life?
    • Am I Really That Messed Up?
    • Why Do I like Being Abused?
    • Co-Dependent Mother
    • 88more
      • Should I Stay With a Lying Husband?
      • Jealous Girlfriend
      • Liar
      • Is Erotic Transference Permanent?
      • How do I Help my Hypochondriac Sister-in-Law?
      • I Think I Have a Mental Illness
      • Why Can't I Get Over It?
      • Hopeless
      • Is There Such a Thing as Happiness?
      • How Can I Not Lie Anymore?
      • Erotic Transference and Borderline Personality Disorder
      • Am I a Sociopath?
      • 20 Year Old Viewed Child Porn, Computer Taken by Police
      • How do I Cope With a Parent Who is Trying to Ruin me?
      • Is it Okay to Give Up?
      • I Think I Have Sexual Issue's
      • I Think I Need Some Help
      • Extreme Jealousy
      • I Never Experience Happiness
      • Diagnosis Second Opinion
      • I Think I'm Depressed
      • Born to Lose, or Nurtured to Lose?
      • Why Does He Lie?
      • Help with a Histrionic Friend
      • Silent Treatment
      • Are Personality Disorders For Life?
      • My Husband is Too Affectionate
      • Delusional and Morbid Jealousy?
      • Anxiety Disorder vs. Personality Disorder: Differences?
      • Anger Driven Down Wrong Road
      • Bipolar Woman with Secret Lives
      • Would Medication Help?
      • Sociopath or Sociopath-like Product of My Environment?
      • Help
      • DBS
      • Diet and anxiety
      • My boyfriend is a Sociopath
      • Im so confused...is is BPD or Bipolar?
      • Save my marriage!
      • Why is my mom following me around to take over my life?
      • What is Neuroticism?
      • Anti social with accepting girlfriend
      • Does my husband have a personality disorder?
      • Is it possible to stop being an attention seeker?
      • Are all personality disorders the results of poor parenting?
      • Boyfriend with APD - frustrated - Nelly - Jul 21st 2008
      • I'm overemotional! What's wrong with me?
      • Identity Confusion: I don't know what personality disorders I have
      • AM I BEING ABUSED BY MY THERAPIST?
      • My partner of 6 years suddenly left with no explanation and has completely shut me and my kids out- Elise
      • Is Borderline Personality Disorder a Choice?
      • Can he be changed?
      • I don't know who my true self is!
      • Self-Injury / Self-Harm: How do I stop cutting myself?
      • What Are Some Coping Skills for Paranoia?
      • Ritual Penance and Feelings of Worthlessness
      • Is she mentally ill and is there anything i can do?
      • Please explain how it is that psychopaths can manipulate people if they have no empathy
      • A Friend in Need
      • Three different personality disorders
      • Mild Personality Disorder
      • My OCPD husband can't tolerate my 'flaws'
      • I think i'm lost?
      • Possible borderline?
      • Very confusing relationship
      • Coping with Narcissistic Behavior
      • What is wrong with me?
      • No Friends
      • I want a personality disorder
      • Borderline Girlfriend
      • Habitual Liar? Or Something Worse?
      • Possible Munchausen Syndrome
      • I choose victims to comfort me
      • A Habitual Liar's Lament
      • Protecting Children From Their Grandmother
      • I Don't Have Any Idea What To Say
      • Craving Attention
      • Obsessive Research Assistant
      • Externalization
      • Dissociative Identity Problem
      • Getting Along With Narcissistic Relatives
      • Dysfunctional Family
      • How To Treat Avoidant Personality
      • Personality Disordered Grandmother
      • Schizoid(?) Friend
      • Lying Friend
      • More Than One Personality Disorder?
      • Pathological Lying
  • Book & Media Reviews

    • A Bright Red Scream
    • Almost a Psychopath
    • Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents
    • Borderline Personality Disorder
    • Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model
    • Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed
    • Children of the Self-Absorbed
    • Coping with BPD
    • Coping With Difficult People
    • Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder
    • 38more
      • Disordered Personalities and Crime
      • Distancing
      • Enough About You
      • Fatal Flaws
      • Get Me Out of Here
      • Girl in Need of a Tourniquet
      • Girl Walking Backwards
      • Girl, Interrupted
      • Handbook of Personality Disorders
      • I Hate You-Don't Leave Me
      • Let Me Make It Good
      • Lost in the Mirror
      • Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
      • Mysterious Creatures
      • Personality Disorders in Modern Life
      • Practical Management of Personality Disorder
      • Prozac Nation
      • Psychopathy
      • Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders
      • Skin Game
      • Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist
      • Stop Walking on Eggshells
      • Stop Walking on Eggshells
      • Surviving a Borderline Parent
      • The Angry Heart
      • The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide
      • The Buddha & The Borderline
      • The Clinical and Forensic Assessment of Psychopathy
      • The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder
      • The Psychopath Test
      • The Siren's Dance
      • Through the Looking Glass
      • Understanding and Treating Borderline Personality Disorder
      • Understanding the Borderline Mother
      • Why Is It Always About You?
      • Without Conscience
      • Women and Borderline Personality Disorder
      • Women Who Hurt Themselves
  • Videos

    • Rethinking BPD: A Clinician's View
    • Rethinking BPD: A Patient's View
    • NAMI's Ask the Doctor Call--Borderline Personality Disorder
    • "Back From the Edge" - Borderline Personality Disorder
    • What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
    • Personality Disorders
    • What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?
    • What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
    • Dependent Personality Disorder
    • What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?
    • 1more
  • More Information