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Many individuals who experience substance abuse, or identify with being a problem drinker, see themselves as being “Type A.” Others view them as being intense, impatient, competitive and quick to anger. However, these individuals are often highly achievement focused, purpose driven and passionate about their goals.  

Type A’s often gravitate towards high stress demanding jobs that do not provide the systems/structure/resources required for completion of tasks, this results in high levels of stress. A desire to be successful in spite of environmental stressors results in frustration and irritable responses. They often feel as though they are behind the eight-ball reacting to other people’s lack of organization and inefficiency.

There is a lot I want to accomplish, I am a "do-er" and get frustrated with systems that don't work.

Everyone else is too slow.

My mind is going a mile a minute.

Type A can spend considerable time analyzing and worrying. This often interferes with sleep and results in an inability to “wind down.”  Often, these individuals will experience challenges in personal health and conflicted relationships both personally and professionally.  The challenge for Type "A" is to find ways to maximize the benefits of this trait while finding ways to address the negative physiological and psychological problems that result.

Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW

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