Neurotic, Psychotic, Psychopathic

What would you be like if you became emotionally unhealthy?  I don’t mean temporarily worried or frustrated or angry – I mean sinking to the lowest of lows: mental illness.  Would you be a murderer? commit suicide?  become schizophrenic?…

If you’ve ever spent any time on self-reflection (and you’ve been fairly honest with yourself) you’ve concluded that you’re unique.  There has never been anyone in existence that is exactly like you – even in the case of identical twins. But I bet you know individuals that you feel you have a lot in common with you: crave the same results out of life; strive for the same “primary goal”: love, authenticity, knowledge, justice, etc…

The Enneagram defines nine personalities based on our “primary goal” and our fear of not achieving it.  If you don’t know your Enneagram type, please visit this post, remember who you are and return here.

Within each Enneagram type are levels of health from poorest to healthiest.  Of course, none of us spends 100% of our time at a single level of health.   We may hover primarily at a particular level, but then vary with circumstances and maturity.

If you are at the epitome of health your “primary goal” in life comes true.  But if you become very ill – emotionally and psychologically, the Enneagram accurately predicts the results: a paradox occurs – your primary goal becomes your nemesis, it defines your downfall.  The Enneagram details the illness and symptoms for each of the nine personality types.

Armed with this knowledge, the actions of some persons, actions that make us say, “You’ve got to be kidding – are they crazy?” are no longer so mysterious.

**The health of most persons is somewhere in between extreme health and extreme illness.  Think of a bell curve.  Very few persons are at the far ends of the spectrum.**

Locate your type below, and learn why you definitely want to strive for the healthy side:

Type 1: The Reformer

  • At your healthiest you are wise, discerning, realistic and truthful.  You accept reality completely, hence always know the best things to do in a given situation.
  • A Reformer in full pathology becomes a punitive avenger.  In the pursuit of righteousness and truth, they refuse to admit their own wrongdoings.  They fear being wrong and being condemned for being wrong.  They blame others for all wrongs, become cruel condemners, merciless to the point of murder.
  • Supporter of right –> judge and condemner –> murder

Type 2: The Helper

  • At your healthiest you are deeply unselfish, humble, altruistic, kind and truly loving.  You do not need love from others – you love yourself, and therefore others love you.
  • A Helper in full pathology becomes a psychosomatic victim.  The most loving of types demands love.  They becomes hysterical, self-induced invalids, hypochondriacs.  In their quest for love and attention, they drive themselves to illness and cause all those around them to suffer.
  • Most loving –> manipulative to get love –> hypochondriac

Type 3: The Motivator

  • At your healthiest you are authentic, inner-directed, charitable and benevolent.  You need no attention from others – that that comes from within is sufficient.
  • A Motivator in full pathology becomes a vindictive psychopath.  They dwell constantly on their own falseness and emptiness and fear that it will be known by others.  They will go to any lengths including murder to win.  They must have attention and affirmation from others.  They are full of vindictiveness, malice and jealousy.  Many bullies are Type 3s.  Click here to read more about the rise of bullying in our world today.
  • Most authentic –> false, psychopathic –> murder

Type 4: The Individualist

  • At your healthiest you are creative, honest, sensitive, intuitive, pursue self-knowledge.  You are able to transform all your experiences into something valuable.
  • An Individualist in full pathology becomes self-destructive.  They withdraw and become full of self-hatred.  In their quest for knowledge of self, they dwell on the negative, which becomes their new self-fulfilling reality often leading to suicide – the only thing they feel they have control over.
  • Most self-knowledge –> negative, self-hatred –> suicide

Type 5: The Investigator

  • At your healthiest you are perceptive, curious, excited by knowledge.  You make pioneering discoveries, new ways of doing and perceiving things.
  • An Investigator in full pathology becomes an imploding schizoid.  They see life as meaningless and horrifying.  They either commit suicide or become schizoid; they split their consciousness into two parts and regress into a part of themselves that seems safe – an autistic-like state.
  • Most knowledge –> life has no meaning –> schizophrenic, suicidal

Type 6: The Loyalist

  • At your healthiest you are trusting, independent, cooperative.  You are truly courageous, a leader with rich self-expression.
  • A Loyalist in full pathology becomes a self-defeating masochist.  They punish themselves before anyone else can.  Instead of being independent, they become clingingly dependent.  They become so dysfunctional that attempts of self-punishment may lead to suicide.  They often punish themselves with excessive alcohol and drug intake.
  • Autonomous –>most dependent –> masochistic

Type 7: The Enthusiast

  • At your best you are deeply grateful, awed by life, joyous, ecstatic.  You are responsive, excitable, vivacious and multi-talented, always in motion.
  • An Enthusiast in full pathology becomes a panic-stricken hysteric.  They consume all that is in their world, but it’s not enough.  Their inner world, which they have always ignored,breaks through with anxieties.  They become manic in hopes of escaping their fears. They usually suffer physical breakdown from pushing their physical limits, STDs, drug or alcohol abuse leading to no longer being able to escape their fears.
  • Most worldly, capable and happy –> riddled with anxiety –> physical breakdown

Type 8: The Leader

  • At your best you are magnanimous, merciful, courageous.  You have a vision and will work selflessly to achieve it.  You are truly heroic and may be historically great.
  • A Leader in full pathology becomes a violent destroyer.  They defy all attempts to be controlled.  They become ruthless, immoral, vengeful, sociopathic in their attempt to be invincible.  They develop delusional ideas about their power: megalomania.  They recklessly overextend themselves in a quest to control all.
  • Truly, actively selfless –> identify only with self –> murder

Type 9: The Peacemaker

  • At your best you are trusting, good-natured, genuinely nice, unpretentious, content.  You have a calming influence and bring people together.  You’re a good mediator.
  • A Peacemaker in full pathology becomes a self-abandoning ghost.  They must escape problems and demands often by living through others.  They show no interest in themselves and fragment into sub-personalities, retreating into a state that resembles autism.
  • Peaceful and self-possessed –> become depersonalized –> schizophrenic

13 thoughts on “Neurotic, Psychotic, Psychopathic

  1. Very disturbing….I’m an individualist and I don’t remember ever thinking about actually committing suicide, although I’ve often wondered if what I was going through at the time was all there is to look forward to…then thinking: “What’s the point?”. Not sure if this thought process is considered a “suicidal ideation” or not. Anyway, as of late, I’ve not experienced any life-wrenching situations so I’m good. 😉


    1. Valencia,

      My daughter is an individualist also. Feels deeply, is honest with herself and others, artistic in her trade – I bet you are all that.

      It sounds like you are fairly healthy. “What’s the point?” is no where near a suicidal ideation.

      It’s good to hear from you!


  2. Whew! *wiping forehead* That’s good to Is there a possibility that one single individual can have more than one Enneagram type? Ialso have distinct Reformer attributes to my personality as well. Suicidal murderer? Wow…I just thank God I’m in my right mind. Thanks for sharing this article….makes me appreciate who I am today.

    1. Valencia,

      I’m very impressed! When an individualist is very healthy, they “integrate” to a reformer!

      I’m a helper. My direction of integration – extreme health – is toward the individualist! A few years ago, I finally grew up enough to experience that integration at times. I always get so excited – I’m on top of the world: not only because I “know” I’m healthy, but that it feels soooo good to live to one’s potential.


      Personalities have a natural flow to become healthy. Someone who is healthy will naturally integrate to the healthy aspects of another personality type in the Enneagram.

      Follow the numbers and lines in the drawing below, and see if you can see the levels.

      Levels of integration –
      Enneagram symbol


      Growth is exciting!

  3. Debi,

    Though I love reading your story and can’t wait for the fifth installment I missed your posts on growth.

    I got a lot out of the perspective you offer in your comment: for as long as I can remember I have come across (and often presented myself) as confrontational and devisive. Now it seems I can adopt peacemaker qualities if I work on it. What a journey that would be!

  4. Christina,

    I missed the growth posts, too! My mind never stops pondering our existence and how to live it to the fullest.


    I hope I’m not being presumptuous:

    The posts in your blog ( – anyone reading this should visit) almost always deal with controversial subjects. They draw me in immediately. (I REALLY enjoy you and your blog.) But, despite the potentially divisive subject matter – an innate talent of loyalists – I’ve observed that you write with fair-mindedness: you employ diplomacy in your arguments – an innate talent of peacemakers.

    Considering these observations and your remark, I am guessing that you are a Type 6, a Loyalist (and of the counter-phobic leaning):

    “Some Sixes are basically phobic. Phobic Sixes are generally compliant, affiliative and cooperative. Other Sixes adopt the opposite strategy of dealing with fear, and become counter-phobic, essentially taking a defiant stand against whatever they find threatening.” (From ).

    My son is a Loyalist of the counter-phobic leaning. He is one of the most fascinating persons I’ve ever been around – and everyone who meets him eventually tells me that! He questions EVERYTHING; he seeks the reason behind all; he tirelessly observes, researches and sometimes defies! Before he learned to embrace this incredible talent, he was unhappy with himself. But he’s figured out that these abilities and tendencies are valuable and valued. Now he actively strives to cut to the core of issues and engage everyone around him. AND he has learned to add in the Type 9 peacemaker – not to cause heated arguments, but rather to offer wisdom from all viewpoints.

    This is what I see you doing in your posts.

    One last word: No matter our type, as we become healthier, we take on characteristics of ALL the healthy types – never to the extent of our own type or the type of our direct integration, but still some of all. Something for each of us to look forward to!

    Thank you for your constant honesty and search for answers,

  5. Right on and Fascinating. Feels like I have met your son already…

    Best and thank you for sharing your knowlegde, experience, and enthusiasm


  6. Debi,

    I’ve just revisited your post on Enneagram type. Your in-depth sharing & eye-opening analysis always amaze me – they offer a lot of self-understanding & outlook.

    I enjoy each subject very much, however, I often find myself having difficulty to nail down my “type”. I may recognise a few qualities which fit my personality. Toward the end, there’s always more than one category that I can identify with.

    Is that common? For example, I find myself belong to AX but I can also be AY or CX re to Enneagram analysis. It doesn’t bother me much as you did point out that there’s various growth and integration. Because this happens in every personality check, I couldn’t help but wonder if that ever mean I do not know myself enough. Or is it completely normal to have cross-personality? I’m curious.

    Fascinating stuff. Look forward to your sharing:)

  7. Hi Reese,

    I love puzzles!

    We each are closest to one personality type than any of the other types. With some persons, it’s obvious what their type is, with others, such as yourself, it takes a little more digging.

    I think there are two reasons why yours may not be immediately apparent. I think you have a very strong “wing” – one of the personality types next to your primary type on the Enneagram symbol. Also, you are female. Often females exhibit the characteristics of Type 2 (me) because we are raised to be loving.

    I have my theory of what your personality type is – based on your remarks and your wonderful blog ((I think you shine in it) –
    (everyone, please visit Reese’s blog – I want to go to Penang some day))
    but I need just a couple more pieces of information.

    1) When you take the MBTI test –
    – what are your letters?

    2) Are you more interested in: a) working “with” others nurturing compromise or b) do you visualize a result and take the lead instructing others on what to do or c) do you grab an idea with enthusiasm and go with it (even though you may or may not finish it)?

    I can’t wait to hear your answers!


  8. Very intriguing. I went through the MBTI test again and found some of my answers relative. I pressed on nonetheless. The result is INFJ which I consider a close reflection.

    As for question 2, I can go for both A & B depending on the “idea” or context.

    Can’t wait to hear your revelation!

  9. Reese,

    I’m sorry for the delay – you stumped me!

    Which should have immediately given me a clue as to what personality type you probably are – the one that is hardest to discern!

    Now, I’m not saying that I’m 100% convinced, but I do have an idea.

    I need to ask you a couple more questions:

    Would you read (listed below) the B section of the Enneagram again, but think about what you were like BEFORE Mark came into your life and not necessarily just within the safety of your family. Also, the Y section. And then, I added a description – does it sound like you?

    B. I have tended to be quiet and am used to being on my own. I usually don’t draw much attention to myself socially, and it’s generally unusual for me to assert myself all that forcefully. I don’t feel comfortable taking the lead or being as competitive as others. Many would probably say that I’m something of a dreamer—a lot of my excitement goes on in my imagination. I can be quite content without feeling I have to be active all the time.

    Y. I am a person who has strong feelings about things—most people can tell when I’m upset about something. I can be guarded with people, but I’m more sensitive than I let on. I want to know where I stand with others and who and what I can count on—it’s pretty clear to most people where they stand with me. When I’m upset about something, I want others to respond and to get as worked up as I am. I know the rules, but I don’t want people telling me what to do. I want to decide for myself.

    You are creative in the root sense of being able to bring something new into the world. Of course, profoundly creative moments come and go, because creativity is difficult to sustain. But you are open to inspiration when you transcend your self-consciousness. You draw your inspiration from a wide variety of sources. Like an oyster, you can transform all your experiences, even painful ones, into something beautiful.

    If you still are not sure, will you ask Mark to read the “You are creative” paragraph and see if you sees you this way? If you are who I suspect you might be, you have a tendency to not see yourself clearly at times.

    And if this just doesn’t make sense at all, we will keep exploring!


  10. Hello Debi,

    My sincere thanks to you for taking the time to guide me along on this personality search. It has been an inspiriting exchange. I must say that these explorations are very timely as I am now in a transitional phase – preparing for the next major changes in life. So I’m gaining a lot of insight through your analysis.

    After taking in some of your pointers, I looked at the Enneagram again and would say I am between A (60%) & B (40%). But then again, I can be C. As for Group II, I’m inclined toward Y, but can be X in certain aspects. Sorry, don’t mean to give you more puzzle. I think it’s possible to have various personality depending on the situations & contexts, no?

    Interesting interpretation on the creativity part. I’d love to think that I’m like an oyster – able to transform all experiences into something beautiful. And most women I know, like yourself, are good examples for me to believe in that.

    Thank you once again! I’ve enjoyed this.


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