Adam Sewell MD

Can Personality Affect Health?

“Researchers have found several negative health outcomes for those who have a Type D personality, including a risk of cardiovascular problems that are three times higher than average.”

Do you become irritated easily, especially when things don’t go your way? Do you have a more laid-back personality or are you prone to anxiety? Most of us are familiar with these personality qualities, whether they’re presented as options in an informal internet survey or as serious questions offered by a therapist. However, such characteristics aren’t solely beneficial to your personality. They can have a significant impact on your health as well. An increasing body of evidence suggests that our personality type has a significant impact on our physical and mental health. Take a peek at some of the results.

Type A

Type A personality traits include being competitive, controlling, hardworking, and meticulous. They can also be violent and domineering. According to specialists, Type A people may be viewed as workaholics who will go to any length to succeed. Studies have connected this personality type to a higher risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, cigarette, and alcohol use, poor food choices, job stress, and social isolation since it was originally characterized more than 60 years ago. The evidence for a link between a Type A personality and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease is equivocal; nonetheless, the anger and animosity that come with it appear to increase the risk of heart problems.

Type B

Type B persons are practically the polar opposite of Type A people, being more laid-back, easygoing, and relaxed than their colleagues. In general, these people are happier, less competitive, less stressed and they love the process more than the result. Type B people may benefit from a variety of factors.  According to research,  they’re less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression and they may have a higher quality of life as a result. Being excessively relaxed on the other hand can have unfavorable results. If you’re too laid-back, you can take a cavalier attitude toward your health, dismissing the importance of not seeing a doctor.

Type C   

According to psychologists, people with a Type C personality may appear to be as relaxed and laid-back as their Type B counterparts, but this is only a ruse. Type C people on the other hand are more prone to have difficulty expressing emotions, particularly negative ones. They may come across as extremely polite, patient, and eager to please while avoiding conflict in general. On the plus side, if you’re a Type C your drive to please others may motivate you to follow your doctor’s directions such as taking your prescriptions exactly as prescribed. The disadvantage of this personality type is a proclivity for feeling helpless and hopeless, especially when confronted with a significant health issue. This apathy may make you want to abandon treatment rather than take an active position in your treatment.

Type D

A “distressed” personality is another term for it. Consistent negative sensations, such as despair, anxiety, and loneliness as well as trouble expressing emotions characterize Type D. If you’re Type D, you’re likely to be critical of yourself and concentrate on negative thoughts, both of which have been linked to poor health. Type D people, for example, are more likely to suffer from excessive overeating and substance abuse. A variety of detrimental health consequences have been discovered in studies, including a three-fold increased risk of cardiovascular issues. Although roughly 20% of American citizens have a Type D personality, Type D personality traits are found in about half of heart disease patients. According to other studies, those with Type D personality with coronary artery disease have a four-fold increased risk of death compared to people with other personality types.

My Take

Many personality qualities, such as optimism, pessimism, introversion, and extroversion, might have an impact on one’s health. While research reveals that your personality type can have an impact on your well-being, this does not mean that you are doomed to suffer bad consequences. Understanding your overall personality traits can help you get on the road to better health. Once you’ve figured out how you think and respond you may attempt to counteract any negative consequences your personality traits may have on your health. Type A persons, for example, may benefit from relaxing practices such as breathwork, meditation, and yoga whereas Type D people may benefit from focusing on creating a social support network. A therapist or other clinician may be able to assist you if you believe your personality type is negatively affecting your health.

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