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Type A Personality Implications with Stress Related Illness

1282 words (5 pages) Essay in Psychology

11/04/18 Psychology Reference this

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VULNERABILITY OF TYPE A PERSONALITY TO STRESS-RELATED ILLNESSES DUE TO THEIR ERRATIC PERSONA

  • Angelica Marie C. Jarabe

Outline

Type A personality is prone to stress-related illness because of their 3 major negative characteristics and attitudes towards work.

Introduction

“It’s not the stress that kills us; it our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye. Stress is inevitable part of our existence. The self-imposing reaction of our body and mental capacity to different situations, events, and even in our environment is also cause by our different dominant behaviour or so called “persona.” It is the one that affects our way of coping and perceiving stress.

Stress sometimes consumes our inner ability to grasp the essence of living. We feel stress when we get bogged down by problems, deadlines, realistic desires, and uncontrollable events on our lives. They say that it is our choice on how we response to those circumstances. Sometimes we either take it as a negative or positive but the truth is it is natural mechanism of our body.

According to a book entitled Introduction to Psychology (Aguire, 2008), “stress may be the difficult word to define”. It is because we have different way of responding in such circumstances when people experience stress. This response is based on person’s perception and evaluation of oneself to the nature of events.

The differences of the way we respond to a situation are cause by our personality. Higher risk of illnesses can be linked with one of the type of personality which so called Type A personality. Type A personality is prone to stress-related illness because of their 3 major negative characteristics and attitudes towards work.

Type A personality is prone to stress-related illness because of their 3 major negative characteristics and attitudes towards work.

Discussion

One of the factors that contribute to the development of chronic diseases and illness is being linked by our repetitive pattern of behaviour and our unique personality. Our personality defined as our pure and total makeup of ourselves which includes thoughts, habits, attitudes, weaknesses, strengths, and deepest fears. (Nevid, Rathus & Greene, 2000, p.158)

Sometimes we feel and considered that stress is brought by some changes in our environment. In fact, even we are the major contributor of stress. Based on what I found, psychologist stated that people carries a lot of destructive thoughts and unreasonable beliefs which afflicted our normal living. (Morris & Maisto, 2006, p. 359)

Some features of our unique makeup can have positive and negative effects to our health. A person being optimistic and appreciative can impose a positive effect to one’s health. They tend to see the good things even in worse situation. As a result, they are capable to strive and have a positive outlook in life. Others manifest challenging situation as a negative part of their success. Those personalities being engage to certain erratic persona are so called Type A personality increases the effects of major stress-related health problems. (Morris & Maisto, 2006, p. 359)

I found out that there are some findings that relate stress to certain illnesses like coronary heart disease, headaches, hypertension and even cancer. (Aguirre, 2008, p. )

Based on observation in 1950 carried out by the two cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman, who are trying to found out the relation of personality to heart disease, those patients who are short-tempered and easily irritated has a higher risk of developing heart disease. This brought to a theory which accompany as a certain type of behaviour – Type A behaviour pattern (TABP). (Saul McLeod, 2011).

According to my gathered data, these are the following facet of Type A personality:

  1. Ambitious – Type A individual are driven to compete and has a critical evaluation of oneself in terms of achievement and success. They tend to complicate certain situations and being doubt by their irrational beliefs.
  2. Time-consciousness – They always set their priorities and task with a timeframe and deadlines. Most frequently, they easily irritated if they encountered certain delays and tight schedule situations. Because of that, they tend to be in a hurry and simultaneously do their work.
  3. Aggressive – This is the most dominant behaviour characterized by Type A personality. Due to certain negative perception of any situation they often feel frustrated and angry. This shows direct relation to the development of heart disease.

(Adapted from Saul McLeod, 2011)

These are the following criteria to test if a person possesses a trait of Type A personality:

  1. Usually feel guilty if they used their spare time to relax and do nothing for few days.
  2. Competitive in different ways and not being content within themselves.
  3. Do their work more than at a time.
  4. Move, eat and walk quickly
  5. Prefer to read concise concepts rather than the whole content of the book.
  6. Lose patience and irritated if they encountered delays, traffic, and unfortunate events.
  7. Tend to evaluate their achievement and success by quantities.
  8. Make different gestures like fingers drumming, teeth grinding and fist pounding.
  9. Things must be done in certain set of time.
  10. Over think of their problems even when they doing something or talking to someone.

(As cited in Coon, 2006, p. 443)

According to Rathus (2007), “Many health problems are affected by psychological factors, such as attitudes, emotions, and behaviour.” These are the following serious health problems that also being linked to Type A behaviour Pattern:

  1. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) – As cited in Rathus (2007), “It is the leading cause of death in United States.” It is characterized as by the decreasing of supply of oxygen in the heart and result to hardening of arteries (arthrosclerosis).

I found that the incidence of having this disease is also cause by our attitudes and emotions to certain situation in life. Severe stress and negative emotional response has a huge impact to our immune system. Based on a research conducted in people with Type A personality, found out that the dominant behaviour which is hostility contribute to the increase of blood pressure in the body, high cholesterol level and clogging of arteries which may be a serious threat to their health. (Rathus, 2007, p. 388)

  1. Headaches – According to one study I found, about 53% people are susceptible to migraine headaches showed a Type A behaviour pattern. This throbbing pain of head can be triggered by some psychological factors like anxiety, depression and exposed to extreme stressful conditions. (Rathus, 2007, p. 386)
  1. Cancer – Based on my researches, there is no direct evidence that stress can cause cancer. However, stress weakens our immune system and can cause various changes in the functioning of other system in the body. One study conducted to show the effects of emotional stress to the development of cancer cells. The condition of producing and spreading of cancer cells happen in the stage called “metastasis”. Based on the laboratory results conducted to mice and human which are subjected with cancer. When they are under influence of stress their system produce a hormone called norepinephrine. Thus, that hormone will boost the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. (“Psychological”, 2002)

Type A personality is prone to stress-related illness because of their 3 major negative characteristics and attitudes towards work.

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