Negative thinkers have 3 times the risk of heart disease and depression

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A new research study has found that people who are negative thinkers, or who have Type D personalities, are more likely to suffer from mental health problems and even physical problems like heart disease than others who are more positive in their outlook.

Type D personalities are relative newcomers to the personality type profiles having only been added in the 1990’s and are the kind of people whose glass is always half empty, who don’t make friends easily, who are anxious and insecure and irritable, and who are fearful of disapproval and rejection, you can think of D as standing for Distressed.

The other personalities types includes Type A who are leaders and are driven, focused, and highly competitive, always in a hurry, Type B who are more sociable, talkative and outgoing, and Type C who are methodical, cautious and sensitive to criticism.

The recent research was conducted by European researchers from the Tiburg University in the Netherlands and was led by Viola Spek.

The study, which was published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, analysed 49 studies involving over 6,000 patients with heart problems and found that Type D personalities were three times more likely to have heart surgery, heart attack, a heart transplant or to die from a heart attack than other personality types.

They also found that Type D personalities were more likely to have psychological problems, poor mental health and to suffer from mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

“Type D patients tend to experience increased levels of anxiety, irritation and depressed mood across situations and time, while not sharing these emotions with others because of fear of disapproval,” said Viola Spek.

“We found that Type D personality predicts mortality and morbidity in these patients, independent of traditional medical risk factors.”

Although no one knows exactly why there is an increased risk of heart disease and mental health problems for people with Type D personality traits, the researchers think it could be that they respond differently to stress and may have higher levels of the stress hormone Cortisol in their blood.

The researchers recommend screening for personality traits as this could allow early intervention with counselling or behaviour therapy to change their way of thinking and help their treatment.

Type D personalities may also be less likely to get regular checkups or communicate well with their doctors.

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