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BPD Traits v Disorder – Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Order The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook by Dr. Fox:

This video will cover the difference between BPD traits and BPD. I think this is important for people to know so they can build knowledge into themselves or their loved ones. There are 9 criteria and you must have 5 or more to qualify for the diagnosis. All 5 of these must be moderate, severe, or extreme in severity. If you only have 4 or less, that’s traits and not the disorder according to the criteria.

Remember, this video is not for you to diagnose yourself. You must go to a mental health professional for that. Understanding symptoms is one thing, but a diagnosis is something else, which can help you seek treatment so you can manage and control these symptoms that are causing you problems. You may get confused as I go through this, and that’s normal, because diagnosis is not cut and dry or an is or isn’t kinda thing. There are many factors that go into a diagnosis and PDs are particularly complicated.

Criteria #
1. How great are your fears of abandonment and do you engage in desperate efforts to avoid this abandonment? Is it mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
2. Do tend to see others as heros or zeros, and does this alternating view cause disruption in your relationships, if so how much – mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
3. How much would you say you don’t know who you are, what you believe in, or what you stand for – mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
4. How severely do you engage in self destructive behavior, like spending sprees, sex, substance cause, binge eating, etc. – mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
5. Do you have reoccurring suicidal gestures, threats, behaviors or self-mutilation? If so, how often and how impactful are they in your life – mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
6. Intense emotional reactions due to instances in your life, such as intense depressive Sx, irritability, and/or anxiety that lasts a few hours only, rarely more than a few days. Is this mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
7. Feeling empty inside, like a hole you can’t fill. Is this feeling mild, moderate, severe or extreme?
8. Intensity of anger is out of proportion to the issue or incident that set you off. Is your anger mild, moderate, severe or extreme and does it occur often?
9. You feel like people are watching you, holding back, preventing you from succeeding, and only want the worst for you? Is this mild, moderate, severe or extreme?

Daniel J. Fox, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in Texas, international speaker, and a multi-award winning author. He has been specializing in the treatment and assessment of individuals with personality disorders for over 15 years in the state and federal prison system, universities, and in private practice. His specialty areas include personality disorders, ethics, burnout prevention, and emotional intelligence.

He has published several articles in these areas and is the author of:

The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook: An Integrative Program to Understand and Manage Your BPD. Available at:

Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic and Histrionic Workbook: Treatment Strategies for Cluster B Personality Disorders (IPBA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award Winner):

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Toolbox: 55 Practical Treatment Techniques for Clients, Their Parents & Their Children:

The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders:

Dr. Fox has given numerous workshops and seminars on ethics and personality disorders, personality disorders and crime, treatment solutions for treating clients along the antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic personality spectrum, emotional intelligence, managing mental health within the prison system, and others. Dr. Fox maintains a website of various treatment interventions focused on working with and attenuating the symptomatology related to individuals along the antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic personality spectrum (

Dr. Fox’s website:
Amazon Author’s Page:

Thank you for your attention and I hope you enjoy my videos and find them helpful and subscribe. I always welcome topic suggestions and comments.



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