What is the relationship between MBTI and personality disorders?

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In this blog, we will be talking about, “MBTI and Personality Disorders”, and we will also cover the basic scales used in the MBTI test, what is MBTI, the MBTI types, and personality disorders that are more prevalent or associated with the MBTI personality types. 

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What is the relationship between MBTI and personality disorders?

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator has taken the world by storm with its intricately crafted sense of categorization of us fellow humans through different personality types. While it is proven to be only partially scientific, MBTI personality types are one of the most sought-after personality types, often more for entertainment and fun than academic purposes.

People often associate traits of their MBTI personality type with personality disorders as the traits can be found to be overlapping. We will explore the various MBTI personality types and we will discuss which personality disorder each MBTI type is most likely to suffer from. 

What is MBTI?

For those who might not be aware, MBTI is a self-report personality inventory that can help you identify your personality type out of 16 and understand your strengths and weaknesses. It was originally based on the work done by Carl Jung on personality types and was developed by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers in the 1940s.

After filling the inventory, you would be able to identify your personality type, its strengths, and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, career preferences, etc. The original idea by Myers and Briggs was to help people make better choices for their career paths according to what suits them. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the MBTI does not have a goal of categorizing the personality types into ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Instead, the goal is to be more self-aware.

MBTI inventory works on 4 scales: 

Extraversion (E)-Introversion (I), Sensing (S)-Intuition (N), Thinking (T)-Feeling (F), Judging (J)-Perceiving (P).

Extraversion (E)-Introversion (I)

Extraverts believe the outer world to be their palace and have a tendency to be goal-oriented, flourish infrequent social interactions, and are energized after having an optimal level of outgoing experience with people. 

Introverts, on the other hand, believe the inner world to be their palace, have a tendency to be thought-oriented, flourish in deep and meaningful experiences, and feel recharged after spending time alone.

We all are on the wide continuum of introversion and extraversion. However, most of us tend to incline towards one or the other ends.

Sensing (S)-Intuition (N)

In this scale, we try to look at how people understand and look for information from their surroundings. While this too is a continuum, MBTI assumes that all of us tend to be dominant towards either sensing or intuition.

People who dominate the Sensing end, tend to be more aware of their senses and look at direct facts and details from the present.  On the other hand, people who dominate the iNtuition end, tend to be dreamers, and they often think about abstract details and imagine the possibilities of the future.

Thinking (T)-Feeling (F)

This scale focuses on the decision-making aspect of people based on the information they have gathered either by sensing or intuition. 

Thinkers tend to be more logical and focus on hard facts and objective information, while Feelers tend to be more emotional and focus on the emotions of people.

Judging (J)-Perceiving (P)

The last scale taps on the action aspect of individuals. People who dominate the Judging end of the continuum, tend to prefer firm rules, decisions and are structured. 

People who dominate the Perceiving end of the continuum, are more easy-going, flexible and open to change.

MBTI Types and their characteristics

MBTI personality types can be divided into 4 major groups: Analysts, Diplomats, Sentiles, and Explorers

Analysts: INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP

Diplomats: INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, ENFP

Sentinels: ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ

Explorers: ISTP, ISFP, ESTP, ESFP

Different personality disorders and their MBTI types

Personality disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by maladaptive thinking, functioning, and behavioral patterns that are not only socially deviant but also extremely unhealthy for the patients.

Although, it is extremely difficult to trace the symptoms as problematic enough to be categorized as a disorder, since the symptoms themselves feel natural to the patient, and one might not necessarily accept that they have any personality disorder.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder (A): INTP and ISFJ

Schizotypal personality disorder belongs to Cluster A of personality disorders that are characterized by odd, eccentric thinking or behavior. Because of their great affinity for an interior fantasy world coupled with introversion, INTP and ISFJ are thought to have this disorder. 

The introverted intuitive types were more likely to test as schizotypal because INTP leads with intuition, which has the least attachment to the realm of sensation. They have a particular set of beliefs and habits that make it difficult for them to fit in socially.

Schizoid personality disorder (A): ISTP and INFJ

A schizoid personality disorder is again a part of Cluster A of personality disorders. Because they are more distant and live in their abstract notions, ISTP and INFJ are considered to struggle with this disorder. 

These two functions have a proclivity for dreaming elaborately about the future and its ramifications. They rarely, if ever, try to stress the need of putting their ideas and plans into action.

Paranoid personality disorder (A): ISFP and INTJ

Individuals with paranoid personality disorder have an extreme need to be self-sufficient and a strong sense of autonomy because they lack trust in others. They must also exert a great deal of control over those around them. 

The ISFP and INTJ personality types are believed to have this illness since they are typically inflexible, judgmental of others, and unwilling to collaborate, despite having a hard time receiving criticism. They may place blame on others for their own failings. They may be litigious and frequently become involved in legal battles as a result of their eagerness to counterattack in response to threats they sense around them.

Borderline personality disorder (B): ENFP and ESTJ

A borderline personality disorder is characterized by the switching of personality traits. It’s similar to bipolar disorder in that one will have high episodes of mania and depression, switching between the two. 

They will also have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships due to their switching emotions. This is a personality condition that will be much more closely associated with ENFP personality types or ESTJs in general because introverted feelings and extraverted intuition will be much more closely aligned with this type of conduct.

Narcissistic personality disorder (B): ESFJ and ENTP

Narcissistic personality disorder belongs to Cluster B of personality disorders and is characterized by an extreme craving for attention, but not the same elevated level of self-absorption as a narcissist. 

This condition is most likely connected with extroverted sensing dominant types like ESFJ and ENTP because it is marked by an intense craving for attention rather than a grandiose level or grandiose depiction of the self.

Histrionic personality disorder (B): ESTP and ENFJ

Histrionic personality disorder belongs to Cluster B of personality disorders. When they are not the center of attention, they experience discomfort or feel disrespected. 

This disorder is thought to affect ESTP and ENFJ people because they are typically animated and dramatic, and they like to bring attention to themselves. They may first charm new acquaintances with their excitement, apparent openness, or flirtatiousness.

Avoidant personality disorder (C): INFP and ISTJ

Avoidant personality disorder belongs to Cluster C of personality disorders and is characterized by social inhibition, sensitivity to criticism or rejection, emotions of inadequacy. 

This disorder is thought to affect INFP and ISTJ personality types because they have poor self-esteem and are hypersensitive to rejection, which is linked to limited interpersonal engagement. These people are prone to be isolated, and they rarely have a significant social support network to fall back on in times of need. 

They want to love and seek approval, and they may fantasize about idealized relationships. Because these persons tend to avoid the types of social settings that may be necessary for satisfying the basic demands of the job or for development, avoidant behaviors can have a negative impact on occupational functioning.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (C): ESFP and ENTJ

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder belongs to Cluster C of personality disorders. Because of their extreme fixation with details, orderliness, and regulations, the ESFP and ENTJ are believed to have this disease. 

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.

They are perfectionists, which can lead to dysfunction and misery if perfection isn’t attained, such as feeling unable to complete a project because you didn’t satisfy your own high standards.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): What is the relationship between MBTI and personality disorders?

What are the 10 personality disorders?

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

What are the causes of personality disorders?

Genetics, maltreatment, and other variables may have a role in the development of obsessive-compulsive, narcissistic, or other personality disorders, according to research.

What is the correlation between MBTI and personality disorders?

The personality inventory MBTI differentiates people into different personality types based upon different personality traits like extraversion-introversion, judging-perceiving, sensing-thinking, etc. Various research has studied the relationship between MBTI and personality disorders and have found an overlap between the traits of MBTI types and symptoms of personality disorders. 

Which MBTI worries the most?

INFJs experience anxiety from time to time simply because their minds are preoccupied with so many things that make them feel unpleasant. They are frequently concerned about their loved ones and how best to care for and pleasure them. 

INFJs are concerned about whether they are making the proper decisions and whether their decisions will have a negative impact on those around them. They find it difficult to relax about their anxieties because they value them so highly.

Most fearless MBTI. 

ENTP is one of the most adaptable personality types.

Most mysterious MBTI. 

The INFJ is thought to be the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type, making up only 1-3 percent of the population.

References

J. (2021, November 19). The Mental Illness Of Each Myers Briggs Type |. Astroligion.Com. https://astroligion.com/the-mental-illness-of-each-myers-briggs-type/

MBTI Types and Personality Disorders. (2019, October 31). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fh0p4VRMDI

The Myers & Briggs Foundation – MBTI® Basics. (2022). 2003–2022, The Myers and Briggs Foundation. 

https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: The 16 Personality Types. (2021, July 23). Verywell mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-myers-briggs-type-indicator-2795583#toc-an-overview-of-the-test

Personality disorders – Symptoms and causes. (2016, September 23). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/personality-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20354463

Personality Types | 16Personalities. (2022). 16Personalities. https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

Stafford, S. (2019, February 19). The Things That Make You Worry, Based on Your Personality Type. Personality Growth. https://personalitygrowth.com/the-things-that-make-you-worry-based-on-your-personality-type/

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