Home » Ask the Therapist » Do I Have Enough Symptoms for Borderline Personality Diagnosis?

Do I Have Enough Symptoms for Borderline Personality Diagnosis?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

My entire life, I’ve tried to make sense of things and be able to put them into words. When I came across borderline personality disorder, I thought that maybe I had found my answer. I feel like I’m not real. I’ve never been able to jump in with the world. I feel hollow and empty, numb. I have no identity. So no goals, hopes, dreams, interests. There’s nothing to me. I know nothing about myself. I have been depressed for years. That’s the only thing I can feel. I can’t feel joy. I “act in” rather than out. I have self harmed in the past. I do not, however, drink, participate in risky behavior, or have abandonment issues. I have no friends, and have completely isolated and withdrawn. I’d rather be alone, but I’d like to be able to at least have conversation. I’m having hard a time getting a job, forming relationships, and just going on with daily life. I literally feel “out of my mind” like I’m not in my body, or in control to make myself do anything. I just sit and watch as the world blurs around me. So can you have BPD without all the symptoms? Thanks in advance!

Do I Have Enough Symptoms for Borderline Personality Diagnosis?

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing in with your question. Aside from the emptiness and self-harm behavior, I do not think you are describing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). There are identity issues with BPD, but it is usually instability of identity (changing frequently) rather than a “lack” of identity. Also, rather than feeling nothing, clients with BPD typically feel lots of feelings, but again, they fluctuate and can be extreme.

In personality disorder terms you seem to be describing qualities more similar to Schizoid and Avoidant Personality Disorder than BPD. However, your symptoms could also be accounted for by chronic depression and possibly social anxiety. Seeking the help of a mental health professional would not only be the best way to identify an accurate diagnosis, but also to begin the process of change. It is sad that you have no hopes and dreams and no close relationships. Yet treatment is out there and you are certainly young enough to discover and/or create these aspects of yourself. Life can be much more enjoyable than it has been thus far, but you have to yourself a chance to find out.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Do I Have Enough Symptoms for Borderline Personality Diagnosis?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Do I Have Enough Symptoms for Borderline Personality Diagnosis?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 13 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.