Are Enneagram 4s Bipolar? (The Complete Guide)

This article will discuss the type 4 enneagram and whether or not they are bipolar when it comes to their personality. Also, the article will introduce this personality type in detail and talk about its traits, fears and desires. It will also point out how this enneagram can work on self improvement so it does not develop any sort of mental diseases.

Are Enneagram 4s Bipolar?

The enneagram type 4 is not bipolar – in other words they do not have bipolar disorder which is a mental disease that affects one’s moods in an extreme manner. However, they have a similar chance, like every other enneagram or personality type, to develop it. It is important to mention that this enneagram type has a higher chance of developing the following disorders due to the nature of their personality:

  • Avoidant Personality Disorders
  • Drug / Alcohol Abuse
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Depression

On the other hand, this article will briefly touch upon bipolar disorder so that the audience understands it fully and why it does not usually occur with type 4s.

The article will first look at the type 4 enneagram in detail.

Who Is A Type 4 Enneagram?

They are also known as the individualist because of their desire to be self-sufficient and do things on their own terms. Being dramatic innately, expressive and sensitive describes them very well. Such individuals are very honest, creative and remain reserved and personal however they do long to connect with others. What prevents this? Their fear of being vulnerable or abandoned hence they tend to keep a distance. 

Another highlighting feature of such personalities is that they dislike the ordinary lifestyles people have most probably because they feel they cannot achieve something like this in their life.

The type 4 enneagram does have a dark side to itself. These enneagrams can become very toxic to themselves if left alone for too long. They fear that they will never develop a self identity with which they can understand themselves. However, they always feel as if something is missing from their life which they can’t seem to pinpoint. The type 4 enneagram is brutally honest with himself or herself; they accept feelings, thoughts, pain and fear which they experience. Hence they are often more equipped to go through experiences others may break during.

When their fears become too much, they can adopt the path of self destruction and engage in habits of excessive alcohol consumption, drugs, reckless sexual behavior and in the worst cases suicide. 

The type 4 also experiences very negative thoughts. They become extremely pessimistic and torment themselves with their thoughts to the extent that they view themself with hatred and dissent. They will try to drive away anyone who tries to help them. 

Basic Fear.

Type 4 enneagrams are confused about who they really are or what beliefs and values define them. They fear not having an identity or self worth. They feel as though they are not benefitting society and have no place in it. Such individuals become a victim of self pity and self indulgence and want to stay inside their thoughts.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Basic Desire.

Their basic desire stems from their fear; they want to discover themself and hence possess an identity. They want to be known for who they are and be visible in the eyes of others so maybe they can connect with them and experience the life of the ordinary and live the dream they imagine.

Bipolar Disorder – What Is It?

It is a severe mental disorder that causes extreme shifts in one’s moods and changes in one’s sleep, energy, eating and behaviour pattern. In simple words, people alternate between moods where they feel extremely happy and moods where they feel sluggish, sad and hopeless. 

In this disorder, there are two important terms. Manic is the term that refers to those moods or times when a person with this disorder feels overly excited and confident. In such a state, a person can engage in highly risky behavior or make reckless decisions. They may also become irritable and impatient. A lower form of this is called hypomania where the person does not experience hallucinations or delusions and their ‘flight of ideas’ and ‘extreme’ behaviour does not affect their day to day life.

On the other hand, the term ‘depressive’ refers to those times or moods when the person with bipolar disorder feels extremely down and sluggish. They have low energy and feel sad and hopeless. The symptoms are the same as those experienced in major depressive disorder or clinical depression.

In most or all cases, people experience more depressive rather than manic episodes in this mental disorder.

Types – Bipolar Disorder

There are different types of this disorder that have been listed and described below:

  • Bipolar I disorder. You’ve had at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. In some cases, mania may trigger a break from reality (psychosis).
  • Bipolar II disorder. You’ve had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but you’ve never had a manic episode.
  • Cyclothymic disorder. You’ve had at least two years — or one year in children and teenagers — of many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (though less severe than major depression).
  • Other types. These include bipolar and related disorders induced by certain drugs or alcohol or due to a medical condition, such as Cushing’s disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke.

How Can An Enneagram Type 4 Work On Self Improvement?

Think Objectively.

It is important not to experience everything in terms of what one feels. Enneagram type 4s must realize that their feelings may deceive them at times so they must look at the real picture. If they feel extremely down they need to look at the achievements they have accomplished over time. If they feel too distant from others they must remind themselves that they possess similarities; other people also experience negative feelings but overcome them so they should too! If someone tries to help them then they should focus on their effort rather than their own feelings.

Stay In The Present.

Type 4 enneagrams have the habit of dwelling in the past. Why? Once they are in their dark phase, the past is what helps them reinforce the negative feelings that leads to self destruction. They focus on how people hurt them, what mistakes they made and how they let their own self down. They also tend to perceive present events in light of what has gone on before thus not giving people chances to help them because they already know what is going to happen. It is not their past that dictates their present but their persistence that what happened will happen again. This negative thought often leads them to behave in ways that reinforce past happenings.

Be Productive – It Helps Keep Focus.

The type 4 enneagram is surrounded by disturbing thoughts, feelings and negative views about oneself. This leads to low self esteem and a bad self image. How can they break out of this cycle and feel good about themselves? They must be productive and be useful to others. 

People with this personality type can lead a healthier lifestyle and set simple goals for themselves which may include healthier eating, more exercise, learning something new everyday and doing one thing daily that they like. This will not only prove to them that they can be productive but it will help them feel good about themselves.

Another way to feel productive and avoid the cycle of negative thoughts is to help others. It will bring an innate feeling of satisfaction and it will also help the individualist realize that not only do they suffer; there are people who are homeless, live alone, don’t have a job or sleep hungry every night!

Avoid Lengthy Conversations In Your Imagination.

Type 4 enneagrams have the habit of imagining themselves in a state of self pity and talking to others that may arouse feelings of disappointment, self hate and sadness. They need to think less about such things and focus on the present rather than the past. They must learn how to think about positive things. They can learn self help exercises such as writing 5 things they are thankful for every day to encourage good thoughts.


This article explored the unhealthy side of type 4 enneagrams and determined whether or not they are bipolar in nature. The article also commented on bipolar disorder and introduced the type 4 enneagram in detail to the audience. Lastly, tips for the type 4 enneagram to grow were provided.


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