The Truth About The Neurotic Personality Trait
You might have been called or heard someone be called neurotic at some point in your life. Usually, people say this to call someone crazy or to indicate that they might be overreacting or have a mental illness. However, that really isn’t the what neurotic means.
Neuroticism is a Personality
Neuroticism is actually a personality trait, along with the other four major personalities: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, and agreeableness. Of all of the five major personalities, neuroticism is one that is the least emotionally stable. As such, many people associate the neurotic personality with sadness, irritability, fear, and hostility.
Neuroticism is Not a Mental Illness
Because of these more influential negative thoughts and feelings associated with a neurotic personality, many people think that neuroticism is a mental disease. This idea that neuroticism is a mental disease is not accurate. Being neurotic does not mean that you are mentally ill. However, some studies suggest that having a more neurotic personality does correlate but does not cause some mental disorders or illness. The most common are panic, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and even mood disorders. Some research also suggests that people who have a neurotic personality tend to have addictions, particularly those associated with smoking, alcohol, and hard drugs like heroin.
Neuroticism as a Form of Manipulation
Some of the mental illnesses or addictions mentioned above are exacerbated by a neurotic personality. This can result in people with this personality to be perceived as manipulative. People who have a neurotic personality can often sulk, ignore, beg, coerce, seduce, lie, or threaten as manipulation tactics. In some cases, people with neuroticism might not even know that they are being manipulative or might not realize that their actions are coming across that way. Journaling or seeing a therapist are good ways to manage your emotions or manipulative tendencies if you have a neurotic personality.
Neuroticism Doesn’t Just Affect Your Mental Health
These potential mental and emotional side effects of having a neurotic personality are not the only ones you can suffer from your dominant personality. Your physical health might suffer too. Research has shown that neurotic personalities tend to have or develop immune trouble or disorders and even some heart problems. If you have a neurotic personality, you should regularly go to the doctor to ensure that you can stay healthy and catch potential problems before they get out of hand.
It is important to keep in mind that all personalities exist on a spectrum. This means that there is an element of every personality in everyone; it is only a matter of how much. This also means that your personalities can change and are often triggered by traumas, stress, and physical and mental health. Being in tune with your emotions and your dominant personalities will help you when they change. If you feel like the neurotic personality is taking over your life or if you don’t know how to deal with the characteristics of this particular personality, be sure to see your doctor or a therapist for help.