How Does Mental Illness Affect Personality?
People with mental illnesses can experience significant mood changes, which affect their personality. These shifts in emotion and behavior are often described as “lighter” or “deeper.”
Some individuals with mental health conditions develop compulsive behaviors that help them cope with their disease. This sometimes comes at the cost of how well they socialize with others because they tend to keep more private rituals and self-care routines.
People with mental illness may also show signs of depression or anxiety. At these times, people may feel very empty or stressed out, even though nothing seems wrong.
This is called dysphoria. It can make everyday tasks like working difficult for someone with mental health issues, since they need extra time to calm down before returning to work.
Symptoms of mental illness can also have a big influence on what we call our “personality.” Some symptoms shift our perception of the world and ourselves, making us think about life in different ways. For example, when you suffer from schizophrenia, other people seem far away and unrelated.
You might lose track of how much money you have, leading to stress over budgeting. You could become obsessed with safety precautions, creating worries about yourself and your surroundings.
These experiences can change who you are and why you exist. Yours will probably depend on your own personal values and beliefs.
People with anxiety disorders are often described as being “on edge” or having “over-active” nerves. They may feel constant stress about something, or they may worry about things that could potentially happen.
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can include persistent symptoms such as nervousness, fear, shaking, sweating, headache, dizziness, irritability, excessive talking, trouble sleeping, and thoughts about self-harm or suicide.
People with anxiety disorders may try different strategies to help control their symptoms, including using relaxation exercises, thinking about how to reduce stress, practicing mindfulness, seeking social support, and changing what behaviors contribute to the anxiety.
There is some evidence that mental health conditions can influence personality traits, but it is not clear whether this changes is due to the condition, the treatment for the condition, both, or neither. More research is needed to determine if there is a link between anxiety disorders and certain personalities.
People with bipolar disease experience repeated episodes of mania, or elevated moods that can be very joyful. These periods usually are accompanied by excessive talkative-mania, overactivity, and risk taking behaviors.
During these times, people may also suffer from depression, which is the opposite side of the coin. They may feel down and hopeless for extended time intervals.
When these symptoms occur in someone who has bipolar disorder, they sometimes describe feeling “high” or “on top of the world.” This could mean thinking about nothing but going out and doing things, talking nonstop without interruption, and having heightened senses such as hearing music loud enough to enjoy and recognize even small notes.
There is some controversy among mental health professionals about whether these personality changes are due to the illness or if they represent an exaggerating effect caused by the stress of the condition.
What we do know is that those with bipolar disorder often report changes in how they perceive themselves and others around them. For example, individuals might believe their relationships are more important than they really are, and they can become overly dependent upon other people.
Certain behaviors, such as temper tantrums and self-harm, are common signs of bipolar disorder. Because these behaviors are harmful to yourself or others, it is important to address them before they escalate.
One of the most common mental illnesses is obesity. This condition is when someone has an excessive amount of food intake that they feel needs to be controlled or limited.
Some people with this illness develop habits and routines that help them stay hungry, but are still hungry enough to eat very little. They may also spend large amounts of money buying foods to satisfy their hunger.
This can create a problem at times because it usually leads to more than just plain overweighted individuals. Because people with compulsive eating suffer from excess hunger, they often give up other activities so that they do not have to deal with it.
In addition to being overweight, these individuals can become tired due to lack of sleep caused by sleeping too much during the night. Both of these things affect how well person feels physically, which can sometimes make it even harder for them to enjoy themselves.
People with compulsive eating tend to be unhappy about what size they are and worry about staying within weight limit guidelines. All of these thoughts contribute to making them feel stressed out and uncomfortable in their own body.
Interpersonal relationships are also hard to come by as people cannot trust others to treat them fairly due to worries related to the health care system.
Alcohol use disorder
There are many different types of mental illnesses, with each type having their own symptoms and characteristics. Some examples of major diagnoses include anxiety disorders, mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disease), personality disorders, eating disorders such as binge-eating disorder, substance use disorders (addiction to alcohol or other substances), and psychotic disorders (like when a person experiences delusions and/or hallucinations).
Personality traits usually don’t change much unless someone has a severe psychiatric illness, but they can be influenced by psychological conditions. For example, people who suffer from stress may develop certain coping strategies that preserve their self-image.
Research shows that individuals with borderline personality disorder often show irritability, anger, jealousy, and unstable relationships. Because these behaviors come and go, it is difficult to determine if this behavior is caused by the disorder or results from something else, like stress or grief.
People with antisocial personality disorder have difficulty showing remorse, being honest, ignoring social pressures, and abiding by rules. This can lead to problems in employment and interpersonal relationships.
Certain personality traits are more likely to put others at risk for harmful actions, while other traits are protective. People with risky personalities are less likely to appeal to others’ sympathy and instead tend to focus on what they want. At the same time, theymay not express emotions very well.
Some studies suggest that there may be a link between certain personality traits and mental health issues.
Opioid use disorder
People with opioid use disorders are often described as having personality traits such as being emotionally stable, disciplined, self-confident, hardworking, and motivated to succeed.
These characteristics can be helpful in achieving personal goals, but they also may make it difficult for people with opioid use disorders to recognize that someone else is not feeling well or needs help.
It can sometimes feel like there is never enough food to eat, everyone feels obligated to contribute to the shopping budget, and no one ever gets praise or appreciation – even from those who depend on you.
People with opioid use disorders may put more pressure on themselves to do their job well and to satisfy other individuals’ demands instead of focusing on their own wellness and happiness.
People with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression or PTSD may show personality traits that are related to their diagnoses.
For example, someone who is often under pressure can be more assertive than normal. This is because they’re motivated by goals and deadlines and need extra motivation to keep them moving forward.
People with social anxiety tend to feel uncomfortable around others and have trouble interacting with people, so they sometimes go ahead without asking questions or offering help.
In individuals with PTSD, exposure to trauma can cause symptoms like irritability, anger and mood swings. These experiences can make it difficult to control emotional reactions, which is why there may be instances of overreaction.
Certain mental illnesses are characterized by symptoms that involve your mood, anxiety, behavior, or perception of reality. These symptoms can be more frequent or intense than normal, which may make it difficult for others to relate to you.
Research suggests that some types of mental illness are linked to changes in how hormones affect brain function. Hormonal imbalance is often caused when someone with an emotional disorder experiences stressors that influence hormone production.
Stressful life events — such as divorce, death of a loved one, or retirement-related challenges — can contribute to emotional disorders.
Certain infectious diseases can have similar effects to those experienced during stressful times. Infectious disease experts call these kinds of conditions “parasitic” because they depend on their host for survival.
When you experience a parasitic infection, your body produces antibodies to help you fight off the parasite. In cases of chronic parasitism, however, your immune system eventually stops producing enough antibodies to protect you.
That means even very small amounts of the parasites can keep working inside you without being destroyed. Over time, this repeated exposure can weaken your protective antibody response and increase your risk of getting sick from related viruses or bacteria.
Researchers think this might play a role in why people who suffer from certain psychiatric diagnoses are at higher risk of developing serious physical health problems later in life.