What Does An Enneagram 5 Go To In The Stress?

This article will take a look at the type 5 enneagram and how they become when they experience stress. Furthermore, the article will also talk about the dark side of this enneagram and introduce it in detail to the audience. The article will then attempt to provide suggestions as to how it can improve and reach a healthier version of themselves.

What Happens When An Enneagram 5 Goes Into Stress?

The type 5 enneagram under stress becomes more like the type 7 enneagram who focuses on pleasing themselves instead of dealing with their anxieties or stressors; they will give in to their impulses and not worry about the problem at hand. 

This enneagram type will also become uncontrollable – they will follow their whims and desires without considering their consequences. As a result, they will mess up their family ties, lose friends and possibly get kicked out from their job or lose the business they spent so much time setting up.

Another effect of going into stress is that they try to escape their own selves; they forget about their responsibilities and commitments and even throw their values or beliefs out of the door. They want to get rid of any source of conflict or stress and try to enjoy what little peace of mind they can get before they fall into a pile of even more dangerous problems.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Impulsive
  • Addictive Behaviours
  • Childish
  • Self Destructive Behaviours
  • Abusive

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.

Before we take a look at these behaviours in detail, let us introduce the type 5 enneagram to the audience!

Who Is A Type 5 Enneagram?

These individuals are very much interested in learning things that are relevant to their area of interest. They will investigate its elements and try to gather as much information as they can! The enneagram type 5 is alert, innovative but secretive at the same time.

People with this enneagram type have the ability to build complex ideas and skills; this is possible only because of their focus on the specific area they are working within and their dedication to master it.

The type 5 enneagram has an innate need to learn continuously. They want more and more information and want to increase their reservoir of knowledge. It bothers them if they have an interest in a certain thing or phenomena however, they are not able to learn more about it. Their curiosity is indeed a problem for them. At the same time, this desire to learn more about their interests distracts them from other things in their life especially the practical ones. 

Another defining trait of this enneagram type is that they want to be different from others in what they learn or study. They want to discover a new area or an area that is least researched by others. They do not want to focus on things that are common or conventional; they want to study the bizarre, unknown, beyond limits, unexplainable topic on the list!

Why Self Improvement – Fears & Desires 

Why do we need to focus on the self improvement of enneagram type 5s? What is it that necessitates these individuals to improve their own selves. We will explore the basic desire and fear of this enneagram type!

The Basic Fear – Type 5 Enneagram

The basic fear of these enneagrams is that they will become useless in the sense that they have no skill or knowledge. They are scared they will not be competent in any field of life which they can master. The fear is not associated with showing off but to give their own self a sense of assurance that they have a skill they know very well and it makes them stand out from others.

The Basic Desire – Type 5 Enneagram

Their basic desire stems from their fear of not being competent. The desire is to learn so that they are competent and skilled in a certain area that is of much interest to them and not so common or known amongst others. They desire to be different in the knowledge they possess and skills they can employ. It gives them a sense of competence, capability and assurance.

The Dark Side – Lack of Self Improvement.

Although these individuals may seem very intellectual because of how they work out everything in their head, this may take a deep dive if they do not work on their self improvement. Slowly, but gradually, enneagram type 5s start to stay in their head. Because of this they like to test and imagine whatever idea they have in their minds and not practically.

This may seem okay but it allows them to touch upon areas that are unlikely to happen and this will engage in overthinking. They will think of scenarios which may scare them from taking practical steps and it is unfortunate that their thoughts take irrational forms which are dark.

Enneagram type 5s will become isolated from others because they are wound up in their imaginations. They are prone to look into darker things and this will further twist their thoughts causing them to be more and more negative. This is dangerous because they become fixated on their ideas and beliefs. If someone opposes them they will become reactive and take on an antagonistic stance without really considering what the other person says.

If this enneagram does not take care, they will become highly detached from others fearing opposition or aggression for their ideas or thoughts to the extent they can become schizophrenic or even suicidal. 

This, folks, is why they need to constantly focus on self improvement like everyone else!

Type 5s & Stress 

In this section, we will take a look at the more frequent behaviours this enneagram exhibits when they are in stress!

  • Impulsive: They will act on their impulses without a second thought. Whether it involves eating all those sweets on the table or inhaling that white powder right in front of them, this enneagram will go all the way in when it comes to stress. They don’t think about the consequences or how it will affect other areas of their life. They will not consider waiting out that urge – they just act according to how they feel.
  • Addictive Behaviours: During stressful times in their life, this enneagram will develop addictive behaviours that they engage in when they are too stressed out. It is their way of coping with things. One of the side effects of engaging in such behaviours is that it becomes difficult to leave them. So even if the type 5 enneagram has an awakening where they want to reconsider their actions and they have also gotten out of that stressful stage of their life, they are unable to do so because of the addictive behaviours that have enthralled the type 5 enneagram.
  • Childish: Sometimes you wont recognize your type 5 friend when they are under stress. They will become a different person who doesn’t really care about the real life consequences of their actions. Like a child, they will do as thou wilt! They will take life non seriously and play around without thinking about their commitments or the promises they have made to others with regards to important tasks. They will set things to fire and cackle away – a type 5 is truly a sight to see when under stress.
  • Self Destructive Behaviours: To get over the stress and somewhat cope with their negative feelings that are aimed at their own selves, the type 5 enneagram will slowly hurt themselves. They will engage in smoking, excessive drinking and possibly self harm or extremely risky behaviours.
  • Abusive: They are running away from their problems – type 5 enneagrams. So if anyone tries to remind them of these problems they will become quite offensive and even hurl abuses at others.

How Can An Enneagram Type 5 Work On Self Improvement?

The enneagram type 5 can work on self improvement by focusing on the following areas:

  • Think Less, Work More
  • Fact Check
  • Small Steps In Planning
  • Teach What They Learn
  • Confront Thoughts


This article took a look at how the type 5 enneagram behaves when they become stressed out and also what they can do to deal with the stress. The article also introduced this enneagram in detail to the audience. 


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