Being neurotic may have health benefits: study

Being neurotic

In a surprising discovery, researchers have determined that being neurotic may have certain health advantages.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center tapped into the National Survey of Midlife Development in the US (MIDUS) database, a survey of over 1,000 Americans from across the country.

The database contains information on disease-related bio-markers (like cholesterol levels and body-mass index [BMI] scores) as well as personality traits, including neuroticism.

Neuroticism is typically associated with a number of unhealthy traits.

"Most studies find that a higher level of neuroticism is associated with increased substance abuse, higher inflammation and increased risk of mortality," Livescience quoted Dr Nicholas Turiano of the University of Rochester Medical Center, as telling

However, the neurotics in the MIDUS database who also had conscientious personality traits - organised, hard-working, responsible and self-controlled - showed some interesting health advantages.

Their levels of Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a biomarker for chronic disease and inflammation, were significantly lower than the IL-6 levels found in other personality types.

The conscientious neurotics also had lower average BMI scores and were diagnosed with fewer overall chronic health conditions than other personality types.

"[W]hat we found was that when people are high both in neuroticism and conscientiousness, the conscientiousness buffers the negative effects of neuroticism," Turiano said.

According to, more research is needed into the link between personality traits and health before it can be said that "healthy neuroticism" confers any real physical benefits.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.