As regular readers already know, I like to include the work of cardiac psychologist Dr. Wayne Sotile on this site, mostly because what he writes about the psychological challenges of heart disease and recovery rings so true for me since my own heart attack.
His 1992 book Heart Illness and Intimacy: How Caring Relationships Aid Recovery looks at the profound emotional impact that the stresses of heart disease can have on patients, spouses and children.
I was especially intrigued by the chapter called The Personality Factor: Can We Change? which explores how our personalities and coping patterns can often determine how we’ll react to a life-changing cardiac event.
Based on the 1987 pioneering work of Stewart and Joines on Transactional Analysis, Dr. Sotile outlines in this chapter the six basic coping patterns that seem to drive our perceptions, our behavioural choices, and our corresponding emotional reactions to both everyday life and to a chronic and progressive diagnosis like heart disease. He explains:
“These six personality drivers become especially influential in shaping our reactions during stressful times like a serious illness.”
I was surprised to recognize myself in more than one pattern on this list. How many of these six personality coping patterns seem familiar to you? Continue reading “Six personality coping patterns that influence how you handle heart disease”