What Does An Unhealthy Enneagram 4 Look Like?

This article will look at the type 4 enneagram and not only introduce it to the audience by highlighting their traits, fears and desires but also explain how this enneagram behaves in its unhealthy state. The article will also comment on how they can improve their own self so they can reach their healthy state.

Unhealthy Type 4 Enneagrams – How They Behave?

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. 

In this article, we will examine the unhealthy state of the type 4 enneagram by exploring the following levels:

  • Level 7: Unhealthy State
  • Level 8: Very Unhealthy State
  • Level 9: Extremely Unhealthy State

Before we explore all these levels, let’s take a 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.

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.

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.

The Unhealthy Levels – Type 4 Enneagrams

In this section, we will take a look at the levels of the type 4 enneagram which are considered unhealthy!

Level 7: Unhealthy State

When this enneagram is unable to meet their goals or fulfill their dreams they turn on themselves; they become angry inside and self inhibiting – this means they shut down and do not work on the things they can. They become self destructive and waste their time and whatever work they have achieved by leaving it incomplete. It is like a mini nervous breakdown but only because they choose not to work.

This affects their emotional and mental state too. They become emotionally blocked and shut down their feelings either by ignoring others and how they feel or suppressing their own ones too and becoming numb in a way. It becomes difficult for them to process information as they are unable to focus or retain much of the perceptual stimuli they do receive.

Deep down, they are ashamed of themselves for failing and they are also tired – all this prevents them from functioning efficiently and hence they become stuck in a circle where they do not perform and face failure at every corner.

Level 8: Very Unhealthy State

At this stage, the type 4 enneagram is stuck in a deep mental mess which is only experienced by them – no one really knows how bad of a mess they are in! They are dealing with self contempt and want to hurt themselves – this can turn into a personality borderline disorder where they engage in self harm in a worse case scenario. This is extremely destructive behaviour. 

Furthermore, they try to torture their own selves in every way – whatever happens or whatever they think about becomes a source of self torment – they link it to themselves in one way or the other and use it to increase the hate they have for themselves.

At this point, if anyone tries to help them they blow up and drive them away. They do not want to be helped but revel in their morbid thoughts – it becomes an addictive habit which brings them a dark sense of pleasure but slowly deteriorates their mental and emotional state. They truly fall into a deep pit of pleasure and agony.

Level 9: Extremely Unhealthy State

The power of negative thoughts starts to pour in at this point and the type 4 enneagram will engage in self destructive behaviour for sure at this level. They may engage in suicidal behaviours due to their concrete belief that they are innately wrong and deserve to be tormented or punished.

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.

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.

Check What Does A Healthy Enneagram 4 Look Like.


This article took a look at the type 1 enneagram and introduced it to the audience by commenting on it’s traits, fears and desires. Furthermore, the article also discussed the unhealthy levels of this enneagram and pointed out ways to improve their personality and hence become a better version of themselves!

If you’ve enjoyed the ”What Does An Unhealthy Enneagram 4 Look Like?” you should take a look at ”Are Enneagram 4s Bipolar?” and ”Do Enneagram 4s Cry A Lot?” too.



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