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So I have diagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, and I feel like this has to have been covered somewhere before, but how can I tell if I'm a 6 if I know I have an anxiety disorder? There's gotta be a distinct difference between the two, right?

I've just started doubting that I'm a six (again -__-) for a number of reasons. Firstly, because I have anxiety disorders. Secondly, because since I was pretty sure I was a 6w7, I thought I'd start trying to figure out my tritype and stuff. And I was looking at descriptions of all the ones with 6's, but none of them seemed to fit. So I started thinking maybe I'm not a 6 after all. And thirdly, someone posted a thing in another thread that said stuff about all the types, and it said the 6 superego message was "You are good or okay if you do what is expected of you," except that I don't do or even care about doing what's expected of me. I don't even like doing what's expected of me.

So yeah, I think I'm just confused about what 6 means at all. Also, though, I don't know how to tell if my anxiety is just making me look like a 6, and maybe I'm actually not.

MOTM February 2014
4,781 Posts
This might help:

And thirdly, someone posted a thing in another thread that said stuff about all the types, and it said the 6 superego message was "You are good or okay if you do what is expected of you," except that I don't do or even care about doing what's expected of me. I don't even like doing what's expected of me.
Ugh, I hate those things. There's little/no chance of a one-liner summing up an entire population of a type. There's many 6s here that will tell you they don't do what's expected of them, especially (but not limited to) counterphobics.

I always recommend "new" 6s to read this, which is (IMO) the best 6 description:


EDIT: Okay, the shorter, more concise answer is that 6 anxiety is more of a "background noise" whereas disorder anxiety is more of an "in your face" feeling. Average 6s are often able to work through (or ignore, or otherwise deal with) their normal anxiety, but disorders tend to remove all rational thought.

Yes, you can be both a 6 and have an anxiety disorder. The social anxiety and panic attacks I have, I don't think they're markers of what make me a 6 at all, they're separate from type. Yet I am a 6 vs. another type because we share the same motivations. For example, I'm concerned about trust, integrity, compassion (underdogs), support, skepticism; I truly feel like life didn't give me whatever knowledge it gave everyone else. This can all be found in a better 6 description.

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The type 6 misidentification thread brings me clarity when I'm trying to distinguish similarities and differences in enneagram.

I tested 6 but just figured I was four until it just kind of hit me one day.

From what I read about generalized anxiety it's similar in the way that they say the individual can always remember being anxious and that often there is little or no cause. It also mentions that the anxiety can affect the body. So, it's very internalized.

I relate to the "nameless anxiety" description that is mentioned about sixes. Perhaps, the difference is with a type 6 there is a cause. I know for me, I sometimes cover up what really makes me anxious. I also have read descriptions of sixes having trouble "getting into their body", or just experiencing something rather than analyzing it, and being removed from it.

Personally, I'm skeptical of the health care system. I don't like the shadow it casts on people. I don't like the whole impaired, deficient, or defective labels. I think sometimes the science gets in the way or more importantly what people perceive as science.r It reminds me of what happens in the world of law when people use it to manipulate things for their benefit. In my psychology class our teacher was talking about how they aren't sure if environment or physiology is involved in temperament, in disorders, you name it. I find that silly because I think there are multiple factors and they all are interactive.

I mean psychology is like one of the most sought after degrees, right now. Actually, everyone I know who has been to therapy (including myself) have toyed around with the idea and beyond that. But, the suicide rate has gone up. And though we have medications that work better or are more of a controlled substance than "self-medications" many youth blindly pop pills, namely opiates. Those are also dispensed by doctors. Then the people who do need them have trouble getting the pain relief they need.

Anyways, generalized anxiety. I suggest reading up on it. I suggest experimenting with treatments. I think behavioral therapy is a great option as well. But I wouldn't let it define you. So, if you're anxious and learning to work through it, and don't feel like youre a type 6, that's okay. I bet though learning about the type 6 personality or energy, or whatnot, would benefit you. Many people in this forum have overcome their anxiety or dealt with it more effectively in one way or another, or overall. Mainly, more than being anxious I think a type 6 enneagram could identify with being skeptical, curious, loyal, and rebellious.

Personally, sometimes it's my skepticism that brings me to anxious situations. I do a lot of stuff that makes me anxious. I guess I figure learning how to deal with something is what relieves it, for me. It's like the cliche ignorance is bliss. It's how I feel about ignorance when I'm like pouting about how it would be nice to turn a blind eye. I realize though that I'd rather know and do what I can and even come up short versus ignoring issues. Sure, anxiety has it's role, but we call that phobia/counterphobia around here.

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^^ that tendency to doubt u have might be an indicator for 6...while your social anxiety may not. Type 6 wants security and there are various coping strategies it uses to achieve security, certainty. Everyone experiences fear, but type 6 deals with that anxiety of having no guidance, nothing solid to hold onto, no faith in the external or internal, its that uneasy feeling that makes one question, doubt and probe for the truth.

Here is a good description:

Type 6

“Lost” essential quality: Faith in self, others and the universe.

Compensating belief: The world is dangerous, threatening. People can’t be trusted. You must seek or defy security, avoid or face danger.

Attention/coping strategy: Becoming vigilant, questioning or doubting. Scanning for what can go wrong. Seeking certainty either by defying security and facing danger (the counter-phobic style) or by seeking security and avoiding danger (the phobic style).

Trap: Seeking certainty for which there is never enough proof.

Driving energy: Fear associated with all the possible dangers or hazards.

Avoidance: Becoming helpless and defenseless, avoided either by aligning with authority (the phobic style) or by defying it (the counter-phobic style).

Strengths: Spotting hazards, heightened intuition, loyalty, thoughtfulness.

Paradox: Seeking too much certainty in an uncertain world creates more uncertainty and anxiety.

Path of development:

Accept insecurity as part of life
Develop inner faith in self, others and the world
Recognize that both flight and fight are reactions to fear
Observe fear and calm it
Move ahead in spite of fear
Ultimate task: Reclaiming trust in yourself, others and the world, and living comfortably with uncertainty.
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