Can our personality affect our psychological health? The answer is in the affirmative. Psychologists and psychiatrists have conducted studies into different personality types and found that certain types can increase our vulnerability to stress. So, it pays to know about ourselves in order to take a proactive approach to our psychological health.
You may have come across or know a fair bit about type A and type B personalities. Type A personality is linked to an increased risk in stress related health problems, both psychological and physical.
Before you move on, you may like to take a simple test to find out your personality type. Using the following guide, simply read the following statements and decide how much you agree or disagree with them.
Add up the score and check what personality type you are. To check how much your self-knowledge correlates with the perception of significant others, such as your spouse, partner or family members, you may want them to do the test on your behalf and compare your score with theirs. To find out your child’s personality type, you may do the checklist on your child’s behalf.
|Can leave things unfinished|
|Calm and relaxed about appointment|
|Able to wait patiently|
|Listen to others before speaking|
|Do one thing at a time|
|Do not hurry even when pressured|
|Slow and deliberate in speech|
|Does not like to compete|
|Never set own deadlines|
|Satisfied with life|
|Able to express emotions openly|
|Have lots of interests|
|Do things in a slow pace|
|Need no recognition from others|
|Casual attitude to work|
|Feel limited responsibility|
|Judges things by quality, not quantity|
Now, go down each column and add up the number of ticks and then multiply the number of ticks by the numerical value of that column. Next add up the scores of each column to obtain the total. For example, 5 ticks in column 1 give a score of 5, 4 ticks in column 7 give a score of 28 and together they give a total of 33.
The total score is ____________________
Now check your personality type and vulnerability to stress related conditions.
|Scores||Personality type||Vulnerability to developing stress related health conditions|
|0 to 29||Type B||Unlike to develop stress related problems|
|30 to 59||Type B||Generally able to deal with stress|
|60 to 79||Combined A & B||Be careful not to tip the balance|
|80 to 109||Type A||Do not cope well, increased risk|
|110 to 140||Type A||Unable to cope, extremely risky position|
Type A personality has the following characteristics:
Type A personality is linked to a number of health conditions including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, anxiety, depression and cancer.
Type A personality tends to be hostile, aggressive and hyperalert with a heightened stress response, all geared up to “fight” the demands of life. Type A personality has an abundance of stress hormones, which are adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol, in the body. Whilst a type A person may have a very successful career, equilibrium and quality of life may be elusive because of the inability to relax and the effects of chronic stress (Link to Article).
Parents who are attuned to child development can identify certain characteristics in their children which signal the evolution into a type A adult if left unchecked. This is the typical profile of a type A child:
A type A child is a serious person who eschews play instead of work. Good grades, scholastic accolade and achievement are paramount. The child is constantly striving but never happy with what is attained. Intensity of emotion, self-imposed deadlines, unnecessary rules and regulations relating to study and preoccupation with performance are the hallmarks of the type A child. Perceived imperfections in life are a constant source of unhappiness for the child. The dominant feelings of guilt and shame because of perceived failure in life are a constant source of conflict for the type A child. The child has a constant need to keep up with the peers around so that they do not become better and leave the type A child behind. Type A child is critical, demanding, prone to complain, impossible to satisfied and often unreasonable. Psychosomatic complaints like headache, indigestion, stomachache, migraine and unexplained malaise are not uncommon.