Are you a type D personality?

In one of my readings of past issues of the Newsweek magazine, I found a very important report on another type of personality as reported by Dr. Johan Denollet, a cardiologist and psychologist who used to work with cardiac patients at the University hospital in Anwerp, Belgium. While working in the said program, he noticed a surprising discovery of a new type of personality.

Dr. Johan Denollet was a professor of medical psychology at Tilbury University in the Netherlands. He developed a reliable simple 14-question personality test known as the DS14 and now opening a new frontier in Cardiology. This test was designed to be a powerful predictor on cardiovascular health, so much so that during the test it showed that among the people with heart conditions, those with the highest distress scores were the so-called Type D personality. They were less responsive to treatment and had poorer quality of life. They were also more likely to die prematurely.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s clinical psychologists would say that Type A personality are candidates for heart disease because they are perfectionists and strivers so much so that they even work on weekends without rest. Subsequent research found that emotions like anxiety; hostility and hopelessness are truly harmful, which Type D personality possesses.

Dr. Denollet test to 300 people in a cardiac-rehabilitation program in Anwerp, within 10 years, a large number of Type D patients had died-mostly of heart disease or stroke. The study found that Type D patients were more than four times as likely experience heart attack or death within six to nine months.

Many Type D people have trouble seeking help. They are afraid to open up to others. They are too inhibited! The social and emotional problems associated with Type D personality can increase their chances of developing heart disease.

Here are some pointers of the test for Type D personality:

· I often make a fuss about unimportant things.
· I often feel unhappy.
· I am often irritated.
· I take a gloomy view of things.
· I am often in a bad mood.
· I often find myself worrying about something.
· I am often down in the dumps.
· Plus a lot of Social


– I have a hard time socializing with people.
– I have a hard time talking with strangers.
– I often feel inhibited in social interactions.
– I find it hard to start a conversation.
– I am a closed kind of person.
– I keep people at a distance.
– I don’t find the right thing to talk about.

Be at ease, talk and open up to your doctor, counselor, family members and friends to help solve your frustrations.