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How Taking a Personality Test Can Help Guide Your Mental Health

Updated: May 4

Looking after your mental health is essential and one step to improving your anxiety and overall mental wellness is understanding both your unique condition/s as well as your overall self. Mental illness can make you feel chaotic and different from everyone else, it can be incredibly isolating at times and all you want is to be like everyone else. A personality test can help guide you towards some clarity and a life filled with greater self-awareness, fulfilment, and an overall better understanding of who you are and how you function. This post will explore the benefits of taking the Myers and Briggs 16 personality test and how its results can impact your thinking and attitude.

1) Benefits of Taking a Personality Test Personality tests are often used to increase workplace communication but they can also be enlightening on a personal level and an invaluable tool when it comes to increasing self-awareness and understanding individual behaviour. Personality tests can break down personality differences and encourage better relationships in the workplace and in general. Studies have also found that taking personality tests can help reduce stress, increase job satisfaction and even lead to career advancement. A sense of self is so important when you live with mental illness because through it all you lose sight of what are you and what is the illness, a personality test such as the Myers and Briggs test can help you re-discover those essential parts of you once again, in turn helping you move forward and develop your understanding of yourself further. The knowledge gained from taking personality tests can provide insight into the ways you interact with others, offering guidance on how to build stronger connections and more meaningful relationships.

2) Myers and Briggs 16 personalities test

The MBTI theory of personality test created by Katherine Briggs and Isobel Myers was first published in 1962 after 20 years of extensive research into personality types, inspired by the Second World War. Since it was published it has become the most widely recognised personality test in the world with approximately two million people taking the test every year. When it comes to understanding your personality, Myers & Briggs' 16 Personality Types can be a great resource. The system categorizes individuals into 16 different types based on their preferences towards situations, activities, and how they interact with the world. The categories are divided into four dichotomies: Extroversion versus Introversion, Sensing versus Intuition, Thinking versus Feeling, and Judging versus Perceiving. Each of these four dichotomies helps explain the different personality types, for example, an extrovert may be more likely to seek out social activities, while an introvert may prefer some alone time. Mental illness can strip you of the ability to identify your likes and dislikes, things you previously enjoyed may be avoided now due to anxiety and you no longer remember why. It's incredibly difficult to find clarity within the mental illness, but the pillars of the Myers-Briggs test is a great place to start. Understanding your Myers & Briggs type can help you gain insight into how you interact with the world and can jumpstart your journey of self-discovery.

(Above: the 16 personality variants)

How the 16 Personalities test and the Discovery Journal are similar

Both the Myers-Briggs test and the Discovery Journal are designed with discovery in mind. Clarity and understanding of one's self are the ultimate aims of both, with the Discovery Journal aiming to use that understanding in the aid of mental illness recovery (anxiety specific) and the Myers and Briggs test to aid in self-development through identifying personality traits. Both of these practices, use a structure to help the user narrow down their thoughts and remove the strong emotional components that can cloud judgement and self-reflection. Asking the user to highlight, their environment, interactions and relationships to discover patterns is the ultimate aim of both.

Personality test for mental health

(Above: ASC Discovery Journal)

3) Potential Risks of Taking a Personality Test

Personality tests can present both opportunities and risks. It is important to understand that the results of a personality test are not necessarily set in stone and should be used as a guide rather than taken as gospel. It's attractive and far too simple to get the results of a test and say to ourselves "This is why I am the way I am and that's okay"; but any test of this nature should be understood as a guide to better understanding, and used to as a starting point to explore behaviours and traits that may be causing more harm than good to your personal development. It is also essential to consider the potential implications that the test may have on others, big decisions should not be taken lightly and certainly not due to the outcome of the test. Ultimately, the decision to take a personality test should be made honestly and with the understanding that the outcome may not be what you desire or expect.

4) How to Make the Most of Your Test Results

Once you have taken the Myers and Briggs Personality Test and have the results, you should use them as a great tool to learn more about yourself, delve further into your traits and use the results as a way to improve upon them and your life in general. You can use the results to assess your strengths and weaknesses, understand how you interact with others, and identify which environments and roles suit you best. It's also an excellent way to gain insight into the interpersonal dynamics of a team or group and develop strategies on how to best build on your relationships and work effectively. A Myers and Briggs Personality Test can open up a lot of doors, so use your results to the best of your ability!

5) How to take the test

The Myers-Briggs 16 personalities test is free to do via the 16 Personalities website, but do set aside some time as it is quite extensive and thought-provoking.

6) My Experience taking the test

There seems to be a name for everything these days, a label. I’ve always searched for answers about why I am the way I am. The idea of knowing that I’m a certain way because of something definitive has always really appealed.

Living with anxiety and OCD for what feels like my whole life has brought with it uncertainties and confusion. Always trying to work out why this has happened to me and what I can do to make it better. I lost myself a little. Trying to work out whether I’ve never liked something or whether anxiety has striped the enjoyment of it away and replaced it with fear. I even asked myself if I was an easy target, did anxiety get me because I let it in? Was I just more susceptible to it in some way?

As the years have gone on, I’ve done a lot of work on myself and continue to do so, not trying to answer the questions of the world but simply answering some of the questions about me. I’ve always thought that the more I know myself and am honest with who I am the easier life will be for me.

I came across the test by accident and was curious about what it meant. I was of course sceptical at the time, wondering if this was a "horoscope" thing or a "pay for results" situation, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't come across anything like this. Once I'd completed the test and received my results, I had a sense of clarity I hadn't in years. The results were extremely extensive and had different sections for how my personality type deals with work, relationships and likely career paths, all of which seemed to be scaringly accurate. I had a sense of being understood and accepted and a sense of normality I hadn't felt in years because I felt there were likely to be other people out there similar to me and I wasn't alone in the way I think or act. My anxiety and OCD often left me feeling "unique" but in a bad way, I felt like no one could understand and it was hard to explain why I do what I do and think the way I think. Taking this test allowed me some breathing room and made me feel less alone.

Taking a personality test can provide valuable insights into your mental health and can help you develop greater self-awareness. Knowing what type of personality test best fits your needs and taking the time to understand and apply the results of the test can help guide you to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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