A brief description: The correlation of personality with stress and disease

Today we hear a lot about personality types and their proneness to stress and disease. Every one of us leads a stressful life. stress is a fact of life. Different personalities react differently to stress so to manage stress better we must understand different personality types and how they can lead themselves to stressful or diseased life.

Type A personality

These people are intensely ambitious, competitive and impatient. With an ‘overdrive ‘ for achievement, they are constantly preoccupied with deadlines involved in a struggle to achieve many things in a short time. They become extremely annoyed if anybody or anything gets in the way. The type A person is more prone to stress, ischemic heart disease, ulcer, headache, disturbance of gastrointestinal tract etc. The type B personality is the more ‘ hardy’ type and is less prone to stress and disease. Those somewhere in between these two types are classified as Type X.

Suspicious personality

This type of personality is not only stressful to himself but also to people around him. These types are mistrustful and suspicious of others. They are hyper-vigilant, guarded and uneasy in social interactions and cold and unemotional by nature. At home or work, these people find it very difficult to relate to people in an easy-going, warm manner.

A social personality

Such a person displays a pattern of social withdrawal. He is eccentric, isolated and lonely. For such a person, any situation that demands involvement and active participation along with others prove to be extremely stressful. It is very difficult to handle both at work and home.

Volatile personality

This is an excitable and emotional individual. such people are dramatic and extroverted in social situations and present themselves in a flamboyant fashion. They often display irrational behaviour, angry outbursts or tantrums whenever under pressure and this stress is usually related to the fact that their manipulative behaviour is no longer being noticed and they are feeling left out and less important. To relieve themselves of this stress, they tend to cling to another individual in a very demanding manner and in the process become a source of stress to that person also.

Antisocial personality

People with this personality are constantly in conflict with the acceptable social norms, rules and regulations. Their typical unconcern or indifference makes them appear stress-free and hardy, but it is the underlying stress and frustration which takes the form of unexplainable aggression and other antisocial behaviour. Poor occupational performance, martial tension, marital separation, repeated physical fights, wife or child abuse and defaulting on responsibilities make these persons very unpopular and disliked. Anyone associated with such a person would be under constant threat of mental as well as physical torture.

Hypersensitive personality

Such people lack assertiveness and self-confidence and this makes them prone to stress especially in day-today experiences. Because of extreme sensitivity to rejection, such a person may lead socially withdrawn lives. They have low self-esteem and are overly sensitive to personal shortcomings.

Inadequate personality

These persons instead of shouldering their responsibilities, expect others to do it for them. This is because they lack self-confidence are pessimistic, fearful about expressing their feelings and avoid positions of responsibility. They become anxious and stressed when faced with such situations. It can lead to feelings of helplessness and indecisiveness. They can cause of great stress to themselves and their family members.

Obsessive personality

People with this personality are stubborn and insist on things being done in ways suggested by them only. They are often too preoccupied with order and details. Lacking in warmth and tender feelings, their stubborn, inflexible and self-opinionated attitude can cause a lot of stress to others.

Passive personality

This consists of people who procrastinate, resist demands for adequate performance and try to justify their unreasonable behaviour. They are often critical of those they depend on: yet lacking in assertiveness and clarity they are unable to extricate themselves from the dependent relationship. They find themselves caught between the two conflicting tendencies of passivity and aggression.

Cancer prone personality

It has been noticed that some people suffering from cancer may have suffered severe emotional disturbance. They may have experienced a great sense of loss, loneliness, anxiety and rejection. It is believed that psychological, emotional and personal attitudes play a very important part in the onset and course of malignancy.

Migraine prone personality

Migraine and tension headaches are becoming more common today. People who suffer from migraines often feel a sense of unworthiness and tend to accept a greater burden of work than they can cope with. This can lead to frustration, sudden outbursts of anger and poor judgement.


People who are perfectionist, self-sacrificing, confirming, self-consciousness and inhabited, shy and nervous and have difficulty in expressing anger can develop rheumatoid arthritis if exposed to prolonged and severe stress. Ulcerative colitis is more noticed in people who are excessively concerned with neatness, morality and find it difficult to express hostility or anger directly. Illness like diabetes, peptic ulcer bronchial asthma and allergies are stress-related — they can be initiated or worsened by stress.

Now, we know that stress is a universal phenomenon and all individuals irrespective of personality type experience stress either physically, mentally, emotionally or behaviorally. The ill-effects depend on the way an individual perceives the situation, its meaning for the individual, the intensity and pattern of his reaction, his genetic background , past experiences, family upbringing, cultural background etc.

So, it is my advice that lives your life stress-free.

Dr S.k.jha


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