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Borderline Personality Disorder or Just Traits?

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I am confused with the feelings that I possess and have been researching about BPD and wondering if I have it. Any help would be much appreciated: The following traits I possess: 1. Very sensitive to rejection/external environment – mood will change rather drastically if someone even unknowingly slights me in some way. 2. Feelings of suicidal ideation when depressed. 3. Feelings of emptiness deep in core (thankfully this is not very common). 4. Labile mood – depression vs anxiety vs happiness (not manic though). 5. Get very anxious when people do not respond to me if i have emailed or written them – even if it has not been long and rationally i know they probably have not read it yet but i can’t help but feel that they hate me. 6. I tend to idealize people certain people (esp. authority figures) big time. 7. I yearn for social relationships constantly but am too afraid to obtain them due to social anxiety, lack of trust, and inability to feel vulnerable. 8. It bothers me tremendously if people do not like me.

Those are just some of the ones I can think of now…are these consistent with a disorder or just traits? Thanks. Also, is there a way to get rid of some of these negative traits… I feel they are impeding my ability to develop a lasting relationship (I HAVE Never been in love and have never had a relationship past 6 months and very very few boyfriends – likely due to my lack of trust and fear of vulnerability. (age 28, from Canada)

Borderline Personality Disorder or Just Traits?

Answered by on -


The only way to really know if you have a psychological disorder is to have a mental health evaluation in person, however, based on the information that you shared in your question, I would say that you show traits versus a personality disorder.  You are lacking some of the extreme behaviors that we tend to see in those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder such as self-harm, suicidal attempts and impulsive acts.

Nonetheless, you are 28 years old without having had a serious intimate relationship and admit that  your issues are getting in the way of you living a healthy productive life, which is enough reason to seek the help of a therapist. You must first learn to feel comfortable with yourself before you worry about what others think of you. A therapist can help you with these goals.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Borderline Personality Disorder or Just Traits?

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). Borderline Personality Disorder or Just Traits?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 27 Jul 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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