One of the most common tropes in understanding personality types is the famous division between Type A and Type B personalities. What fewer people know, however, is that those are not the only two personality divisions discovered by psychologists. Along with Type C, recently research has discovered a Type D personality: distressed.
Type A personalities were arbitrarily named, but ended up being relatively fitting for this go-getting, high-stress personality type. In juxtaposition, the Type B personality is characterized by a more easy going, low-stress, and introverted personality. The third personality type, Type C, is marked by being conscientious — focused on accuracy over productivity.
All of these personalities have been thoroughly researched; but most recently, in a 2018 study done at the University of Colorado, the Type D personality has been discovered to be marked not simply by feeling anxious, but by a pattern of behaviors, too.
As Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., ABPP, writes in Psychology Today, a Type D personality combines a high level of negative emotions with behavioral and social inhibition (avoiding or withdrawing from new and social situations).
This is a personality classification, not a diagnosis. "Type D personality is someone who experiences a great deal of worry along with sadness but tends to suppress these negative emotions," Dr. Whitbourne tells Bustle. "... The Type D personality is not a diagnosis but is a behavior pattern, and it does not constitute a psychological disorder. Nevertheless, the Type D personality can have significant health consequences." So, whether consciously or subconsciously, you find yourself feeling down, and making decisions to avoid interactions might upset you, there's a chance you fall into the "distressed" personality type. And if this is the case, and you are having difficulty coping, it may be a good idea to see a therapist.
Here are seven habits that are signs of a Type D personality, according to experts.