What is the Dimensional Perspective?
We all have certain character traits that influence our behavior; this is a foundational principle of the dimensional perspective. Take the young, hyper active for example—the one always getting into trouble in class.
His behavior may not be a choice, but rather a direct result of high energy levels making it impossible for him to stay in his seat. Yet he’s constantly being told by his teachers that his behavior is disruptive, and his parents are getting calls that he’s in the principal’s office once again.
This internal struggle, coupled with an external environment that is un-equipped to cater to his needs, could ultimately lead to mental health issues like anger management, anxiety, or depression. Through tools such as talk and group therapy, individuals can better understand their personality and learn how to cope with societal stressors.
While everyone’s personality is different, there is a natural distribution of both physical & psychological factors that could predispose a person to certain mental health outcomes. It’s important to be cognizant of your mental health, and seek psychological help if you feel negative symptoms worsen.
A Tale of Divergent Paths
Jamie started the sixth grade at a new school this year. She always has her nose in a book, and even brought her favorite with one her on the first day. Walking around the hallways, she notices that all of the other girls are in groups on their cell phones.
She quickly feels different, and left out. The other kids seem to bond easily over their favorite influencers and TikTok videos.
It soon becomes easier to bury her nose deeper in books. She brings one to school everyday, and figures if she looks distracted, the other kids won’t try to talk to her. She utilizes this strategy the next year too. Then the year after that. Her fear that she won’t be able to contribute to the conversation manifests into anxiety.
She dreads going to school, and tries to isolate herself as much as she can. The other kids grow annoyed with her, and mistake her social anxiety for stand-offishness. The girls become mean and call her names. She keeps her head down and tries to ignore the nasty comments.
The bullying heightens her anxiety, which in turn evolves into a depression. She finds it difficult to concentrate during class, and becomes paranoid that the other kids are talking about her.
Jamie graduates high school with low social skills, which eventually lead to depression and anxiety.
Monica is one of the popular girls at her middle school, so it’s no surprise when a popular boy makes it known that he likes her. Monica isn’t sure if she’s ready for a boyfriend, but her friends push her into accepting his offer. She feels uncomfortable, but decides to date him anyway.
He pressures her into being more affectionate with him. She resists at first, but eventually gives in to avoid judgment from her friends. When he comments on her appearance and suggests she go on a diet, she takes the advice. She gets an addictive rush when she notices that her friends are jealous of her slimmer figure, and quickly becomes hyper-aware of every calorie she consumes.
Dissatisfied, her boyfriend continues to pressure her into doing things she doesn’t feel comfortable with. Instead of voicing her distress, she channels her energy into exercise. She is anxious around meal times because she doesn’t want to eat. Her anxiety suppresses her appetite even more.
Her friends have stopped hanging around her as much because of her irritability. Her boyfriend loses interest and breaks off their relationship.
She graduates high school with anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Everyone has different personality types and predispositions. Above, we have created a brief quiz oriented to help you analyze one dimension of your personality. Complete the quiz in order to gain a better understanding of where your personality type and existing predispositions fall.
*Note* This quiz should not be taken as a complete medical diagnosis.