Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to health, fitness and nutrition. When Jane isn’t writing, she is busy spending time with her family. She also enjoys music, reading and travelling whenever she can.
Here Jane talks about the influence of personality traits on mental health conditions.
Most people have at least a basic understanding of the differences between Type A and Type B personalities. Whether from an introductory psychology class, or even from an online personality test, a large part of the population has interacted with the theory of Type A and Type B personality traits. Aside from generating greater self-awareness of our individual tendencies, Type A and Type B personality theory has the potential to play a role in how we experience mental health conditions.
Take a deeper look at how Type A and Type B personality traits have the potential to influence various mental health conditions.
Those who exhibit Type A personality traits are known for being perfectionists and workaholics, and for having a sense of competitiveness. They are usually organized, achievement-oriented, timely, and complete tasks and projects with a high degree of urgency.
As you might expect, those who have Type A personality traits are more likely to suffer from stress, heart disease, and mental health conditions. In fact, a study that was published a few years ago showed that those with Type A personalities have worse mental health than those with Type B personalities. Because of their tendencies, Type As are at risk for becoming socially isolated and having high levels of anxiety
When comparing the traits of Type A and Type B personalities, those who have a Type B personality are known as being more laid back, patient, and introverted. In contrast with the fast-paced, intense personality of a Type A, Type Bs typically experience lower stress levels and better overall health (mental and physical).
They also consistently report higher levels of life satisfaction, and naturally practice mindfulness on a regular basis. While Type Bs are certainly not immune from mental health disorders, those who have Type B tendencies are less likely to experience stress, depression, and anxiety.
Can our understanding of Type A and Type B personality traits assist in mental health treatment?
Having an understanding of how your unique personality characteristics impact your individual mental health challenges can help you modify these tendencies as needed. For example, if you know that you naturally exhibit Type A personality characteristics that cause unnecessary stress, you have the opportunity to reverse these behaviors. However, as you seek professional help for mental health conditions, a more holistic approach is taken in most treatments. Expanding your self-awareness provides you with additional tools to help you overcome the mental health challenges you face.