Feature Archive

What Is Your Health Personality?

Your health personality influences the decisions you make about how you take care of yourself.

By Carol Sorgen
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD

Are you so up-to-date on the latest medical news that your friends call you for a diagnosis before they call their own doctor?

Or are you so nervous when you see a doctor -- if you even do -- that your blood pressure goes through the roof? There's even a name for that -- white-coat hypertension.

Which end of the spectrum do you fall on? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Your health personality affects your behavior and the choices you make about how you take care of yourself.

Does that matter? Health care professionals and researchers are beginning to think it does.

"It's important to know what type of health personality you are," says Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, MScED, MFA, co-founder of Daily Life Consulting in New York. "The more clearly you understand yourself, the less destructive you will be ... or, in more positive terms, the most constructive you will be."

While not much research has been done in this area, one organization, the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), a health and wellness research firm in Harleysville, Pa., has been conducting annual surveys of more than 2,000 American households since 1999. Through their surveys, the firm has found that Americans typically fall into one of five health personalities, according to company President Maryellen Molyneaux.