Learning About My Personality Type Helped Me to Better Manage My MG

Retha De Wet avatar

by Retha De Wet |

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During a consultation with my psychiatrist, she told me I have a Type A personality. “Me?!” I thought. That can’t be right. However, I have tremendous respect for her as a medical specialist, so I took her word for it.

The more I read about Type A personalities, the more I started to understand the origin of my flaws in dealing with my own health.

Foolishly, I’d always thought that you had to check every single box to be a certain personality type. I believed Type A personalities were incredibly organized and meticulous, and I’ve always seen myself as unorganized chaos that floats by and fools people into believing I have my ducks in a row. Insecurity is also linked to Type A traits.

“You’re driven, competitive, and career-oriented,” my psychiatrist said.

At first I thought, “But I’m also a mess and clumsy and scatterbrained.” However, I suddenly realized that she was right. The three characteristics she listed have enabled me to succeed thus far in life, despite being a little absent-minded on occasion.

“You and your boyfriend are both Type A personalities.” She continued to drop bombshells of knowledge that would ultimately expand my understanding of my relationship and myself.

I am in a Type A relationship. We tirelessly support each other’s goals and secretly compete with each other — all in good spirits. We keep each other driven. My boyfriend always keeps me going, especially when I don’t feel like I can go any further.

“You are driven, competitive, and career-oriented.”

I am driven. That’s why I always push myself past my thresholds, emotionally and especially physically. I tend to keep going until I physically collapse or struggle to breathe. I won’t stop until my task is complete, often disregarding my own health and needs to reach the goal.

I am competitive. I struggle to ask for and accept help. I seem to have internalized the ideology that asking for help is synonymous with being weak. Since my myasthenia gravis diagnosis, I have made an effort to never be seen as weak in any regard. This flaw can be detrimental to my health and has resulted in a few hospitalizations that could have been avoided had I just accepted help.

I am career-oriented. I tend to equate success in my career to success in my life. The more I think about this, it’s obvious how little compassion I have for myself. You can count on me to discredit any personal growth if I have not met my career goals.

Because I am driven, competitive, and career-oriented, I often need someone to remind me to stop and rest. I am incredibly tough on myself and hold myself to the highest of standards — standards I don’t hold other people to. My inner circle has often told me that I need to extend the kindness I show to my fellow man to myself as well. In the past, I have been reluctant to listen, deciding that these three personality traits were the reason I was fooling people into thinking I was “making it.”

However, these three traits were also my excuses for not asking for help, pushing myself too far, and discrediting my personal growth. I am thankful that my psychiatrist showed me that I am more than a well-put-together, scatterbrained mess. I found great value in learning more about my personality type. It’s important to remember that all progress is important, not just medical progress.

Keep fighting. Life is beautiful.


Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


nancy locurcio avatar

nancy locurcio

just had my thymus out hope it reverses the myasthenia i have a possitive attitude wont let it get me down

Retha De Wet avatar

Retha De Wet

Good luck for the surgery!

David Cundy avatar

David Cundy

Life's too short. Chill...

Vimal avatar


@ Nancy thymectomy did helps a lot

Ant Katz avatar

Ant Katz

I am a fellow South African and read all your blogs. They are informal, yet enlightening and informative. I, too, have a Type A personality and have a daughter who is too. So, although she has no personal experience - other than walking this path with me for 12 years, she is the only one who really understands how it feels and what it means to live with MG. Trying to explain MG to people around you is impossible. You just have to accept that and get on with YOUR life. There will be those who feel offended when you cancel arrangements at the last minute, leave somewhere early (like in the middle of a meal). Neither my Psychiatrist, Endocrinologist or Physician struggle to understand MG.

Retha De Wet avatar

Retha De Wet

Happy to hear that at least you have your daughter on your side! Thanks for reading :)

Roberta Walker avatar

Roberta Walker

I have been told that a thymectomy at my age 67 would be dangerous and not effective. The disease has affected my lungs
fatigue, balance.


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