[Enneagram Type 4] Health Levels for 4's and Mental Illness

Health Levels for 4's and Mental Illness

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This is a discussion on Health Levels for 4's and Mental Illness within the Type 4 Forum - The Individualist forums, part of the Heart Triad - Types 2,3,4 category; I am usually a pretty healthy 4 now -- usually levels 2-4, sometimes level 1. However, sometimes due to my ...

  1. #1
    Type 4

    Health Levels for 4's and Mental Illness

    I am usually a pretty healthy 4 now -- usually levels 2-4, sometimes level 1. However, sometimes due to my mental illnesses I will briefly fall to unhealthy levels of 4, sometimes even level 9. Before being properly medicated I was a very unhealthy 4. I am bipolar with PTSD and anxiety. These are the reasons I think I became an unhealthy 4 starting around age 19 and stayed that way for a few years. I didn't think I would ever get out of that, but finally I found the right medication combination. I know some people think medication just covers up problems, but unmedicated I'm seriously crazy and feeling negative emotions for no reason I can think of. When I'm medicated I can reflect more on my feelings and actions and understand them better. I don't feel like a different person. So my point is I'm usually around the healthy levels of 4, switching levels fairly often. What level(s) are you usually at now or in the past? Do you identify with the different health levels?

    Here they are, for reference:
    Healthy Levels

    Level 1 (At Their Best): Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.

    Level 2: Self-aware, introspective, on the "search for self," aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate.

    Level 3: Highly personal, individualistic, "true to self." Self-revealing, emotionally honest, humane. Ironic view of self and life: can be serious and funny, vulnerable and emotionally strong.
    Average Levels

    Level 4: Take an artistic, romantic orientation to life, creating a beautiful, aesthetic environment to cultivate and prolong personal feelings. Heighten reality through fantasy, passionate feelings, and the imagination.

    Level 5: To stay in touch with feelings, they interiorize everything, taking everything personally, but become self-absorbed and introverted, moody and hypersensitive, shy and self-conscious, unable to be spontaneous or to "get out of themselves." Stay withdrawn to protect their self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings.

    Level 6: Gradually think that they are different from others, and feel that they are exempt from living as everyone else does. They become melancholy dreamers, disdainful, decadent, and sensual, living in a fantasy world. Self-pity and envy of others leads to self-indulgence, and to becoming increasingly impractical, unproductive, effete, and precious.
    Unhealthy Levels

    Level 7: When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function.

    Level 8: Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self-reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything is a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them.

    Level 9: Despairing, feel hopeless and become self-destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely. Generally corresponds to the Avoidant, Depressive, and Narcissistic personality disorders.

    Source: 4 - Enneagram Type Four: The Individualist
    theatrical blood, wandrere, Spades and 1 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    Type 5w4

    I'd say I can range anywhere between healthy and average these days, 1-6. Last week I was in the healthy pretty much the whole time. I can feel myself more in the average at the moment. I think it's because I haven't painted the last two days. Once my self-discipline slips, I slip.

  3. #3
    Type 4

    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    I'd say I can range anywhere between healthy and average these days, 1-6. Last week I was in the healthy pretty much the whole time. I can feel myself more in the average at the moment. I think it's because I haven't painted the last two days. Once my self-discipline slips, I slip.
    I'm the same way! When I don't have a creative outlet I'm less at peace.
    alionsroar, Happy about Nothing. and sodden thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    Type 4w5

    I've been around levels 5-8 lately. I fled myself when things started getting unbearable and ran off into a relationship and now that I've withdrawn from even that, I don't know where I am. I feel I could go either way at this point; though I'm going to try to steer myself upwards. I always forget how amazing creative outlets can be. I'll try that when I'm less lethargic. I usually hit rock bottom at least two times per year and I hope it isn't coming soon. My energy is just gone for now, but I know it will return. It's so hard to take care of myself and to care about the outside world. I respect any of you who have been here and are doing well for yourselves (or are trying).
    treeghost, treeghost, treeghost and 19 others thanked this post.

  6. #5
    Type 4

    I'm sorry you are struggling, @sleeper ! I used to be very suicidal and got kicked out of college for it and went to the psych ward twice (one time in the Eating Disorder unit for anorexia). I promise things can get better!

  7. #6
    Type 4w5

    Gosh, I think I am mostly at average, but can hop around in the healthy ranges then sink right over to unhealthy fairly quickly.

    I'm just allover the place.
    theatrical blood, unico and sodden thanked this post.

  8. #7

    I think I have been at all of the levels at one point or another... but usually I hover around 5. I'm rarely in the "healthy" levels. I think probably some of it is that I am cyclothymic, OCD spectrum, and have panic/anxiety disorder with specific phobias. When I'm stressed I know I definitely go to the 7-9 range.... I get myself so caught up in my emotions and introspection that I am practically paralyzed and feel like I can't do anything to help myself... I also struggle with the "morbid thoughts" and the desire to self-harm, although I haven't actually cut in a while (now if I could just quit picking and pulling at my skin...). The scary part is that even where I am today is better than I was a few years ago, when I was practically always in the unhealthy levels. Now I'm medicated and have a therapist, and it seems to be helping a lot, but still not to the point that I'm really "healthy." Every once in a while, especially when I'm in a cyclothymic up-swing, I'll get spurts where I act like I'm at a level 1-3, but they don't last long, and I think they're probably pretty artificial, because there's always that undercurrent, the knowledge that it won't last.

    @unico - I completely agree with you about medications. I resisted going on any for a long time because I thought it would turn me into some zombified alternate version of myself, but that's such a misconception. For me, medication is one of the only ways to get through the day without obsessive thoughts driving my anxiety level through the roof and triggering a panic attack (although I have panic attacks for no reason at all, too... but the OCD and my phobias compound things...). Medication doesn't change my personality or who I am; it just helps me be a better version of myself... a version that I can live with, and that the people around me can live with. It's definitely not a cure-all, though... it doesn't fix the problems... just makes them more manageable.
    sleeper, unico, theatrical blood and 1 others thanked this post.

  9. #8

    I tend to bounce between levels 6 and 7.

    I'm just glad I've gotten out of the level 8 range. I was probably there around my senior year of high school. It was nasty. Withdrawing from people, having constant arguments whenever criticized, coming home from school and bursting into tears. Rather unpleasant to say the least.

    I'm doing a little better now.
    sleeper, unico and theatrical blood thanked this post.

  10. #9
    Type 4w5

    I would say my main level is between 4-5 right now or 4 getting used to getting out of 5. I've been trying very hard to keep myself afloat and from sinking into the lower levels whenever I get overwhelmed, which can be very easily. I wish there was more to be said about each level; it's very interesting.
    theatrical blood, sleeper, unico and 1 others thanked this post.

  11. #10
    Type 4w5

    I feel like I'm between a level 4 and 5. I can relate to everything described at level 4 at this point in my life. The only ones of level 5 that I would say that I can still relate to right now would be being self-conscious (I feel like I'll always struggle with that, my tritype I'm pretty sure is 4-6-9), I still have a lot of trouble getting out of myself and being spontaneous. Like setting things up with people that I haven't seen in a long time. I always feel extremely hesitant and usually don't. I mean, I would like to, but I feel really anxious about it as the time draws near. Maybe it's a way I protect my self-image, because I don't want to put myself in a situation where I can't predict how it will turn out and that scares me.
    sodden, treeghost, theatrical blood and 2 others thanked this post.

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