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Is TMS associated with your emotional/personality type?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Homestead Hermit, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    I have just discovered my personality type through Myers-Briggs test and read Your Emotional Type by Michael A. Jawer & Marc S. Micozzi, M.D./Ph.D. (I'm closer to the thin-boundary/skinned type). This research has led me to wonder and question if those aspects about ourselves lead us to be more prone to experiencing TMS than some?

    There have been some wonderful threads regarding highly-sensitive people (which I am) which also seems to coincide with TMS symptoms/suffering. I am a housewife, no children, who leads as much of a homesteading lifestyle as possible - NOT a stressful lifestyle by today's definition. I've ALWAYS been a worry wort and I seem to do better under ACTUAL, not perceived, stress (I was in the Navy and when on deployment didn't have near the symptoms I do now).

    For me, my "types" are the missing link between my TMS symptoms, why I even have them.

    What do you think? Do you have a similar story - not leading a stressful life but still having TMS. Not having childhood or trauma in general and still having TMS?
    grateful_mama likes this.
  2. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi homestead,

    I am not sure if connecting 'Not having ' a stresfull life and not having stress : is correct. You can have a bussy job and bussy life and still have little stress in my opinion. And you can have a 'quiet life ' and still have a lot of stress. Speaking for myself : if its too quiet i worry and stress i am not doing enough , not achieving things. You can have a full time job : but if you don't like it you can get very stressed out. So to me its more about being happy with what i am doing. Not just the ammount of work
    That's why pain makes me extra unhappy : not being able to do all you want to do , or only the most neccesary : all work and no play..
    Homestead Hermit likes this.
  3. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    Karin - great point! I do the exact same thing. Winter is my off-season as a homesteader and I find myself more stressed because there aren't as many tasks during the winter months. It's like I need something to occupy my mind in order to not feel stress or pain.

    I suppose the crux, for me, is discovering how to be happy. I've gone back and forth on the subject for years while on my spiritual quest: can you be happy in the life you are living no matter what OR are you supposed to follow your passion, so to speak and will only be happy when you are doing what you have a passion for.

    I always question whether I'm doing something suited to what will make me feel at peace...but the stress of trying to figure out what it is I "should" be doing also brings stress, ha ha!
  4. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi homestead,

    I am from the netherlands and just Googled the word homesteader : no idea what it meant. There is an explenation but not a translation : strangly : there is not such a word in my language. Explanation is : you are a farmer or b : you grow vegetables etc for your ow needs. Is that what it is?
    But that on the side : i think it does matter to have a passion for something and do something with that. Before i got into footpain i had a passion but it was not my job. Because of the situation that came on cause of the pain : lost my job etc. I decided to start studying for a degree in my passion. Doing it was some sort of a turning point. I really made that choice and i was / am able to do it while i was dealing with pain and searching for cure , or improvement. But also really important to me : to do something! Living in pain felt in the end as standing still, not going anywhere not having a future. I need that and need that still.

    Tennis Tom and Homestead Hermit like this.
  5. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi Homestead Hermit, my two cents on sensitive personality and not having stress:

    I'm not a highly sensitive personality, I'd say I'm average, but I do know women who are and was in a mindbody tms-type of group healing program last year and one week's lesson was about highly sensitive people. I think that highly sensitive people feel stress in situations that I wouldn't; whether it's something someone says or puts in an email, or a social gathering causes stress whereas I get energy from parties. (I'm a slight 'E" in Myers briggs.)
    In terms of thinking you should feel less stress when you are off season from homesteading, that's the equivalent time period to when I developed TMS. When I no longer worked full time at a company where our boss was a screaming dictator and I was at home able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, that's when TMS developed for me. I didn't know what to do with myself to feel 'worthy' and I didn't feel like I deserved to feel stressed because I no worked for a paycheck. In our society, we like to compete to say who deserves to feel stressed. Such as someone saying, "Oh yeah, well I worked 60 hours last week and answers emails all weekend." Off work season is also when our minds have time to put the body in pain.
    grateful_mama and karinabrown like this.
  6. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    Ha ha! Yes, that's basically what a homesteader is....I do as much as I can at home to not have to rely on stores, government, etc. I garden, preserve as much food as I can, cook/bake everything from scratch...I hope to raise animals once we get more land.

    That's a really important point: It's as if the pain holds us back from doing what we really want to do! If we hold that in for too long, it will manifest as pain.
    karinabrown likes this.
  7. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    Wow...that hit home. I know much of my pain stems from not feeling worthy because I'm not the breadwinner, not earning money. It is a competition these days to compare how much you've accomplished. I'd even go so far as to say we compare how much stress we have because it equals accomplishment :(
    grateful_mama and EileenS like this.
  8. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi homestead,

    I am not sure that i gotten into pain because i did not persued my passion proffesionaly.
    The fact is at the time it all began (pain) i was not unhappy, also not with my job. My passion i practiced' in my off time. So combined : and was happy with that. That is making my 'journy ' more difficult. The 'why ' and why then '
    I do not know.
    In fact i doubt if life ever will be that clear to me. The big 'aha' moment where you get it all and figured it all out ? I think not. Maybe slowly i get into thinkin i should digging not so deep but float more, trust more
    in myself and life in general
    Do you feel that way too ?
    But sadly there is always a lot to fear : and always will be. Life is not a easy picknick. Maybe learn to deal and live with fear and not let it keep us from being happy.

    Homestead Hermit likes this.
  9. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Eileen ,

    You are so right about social pressure.
    Working x ammount of hours etc doing sports, being a social succes etc etc and all this also at the same time. Like superwomen and men. Like Facebook also likes us to believe.
    The part about not earning a paycheck and therefor not alowing yourself to be tired or whatever : i have the same issue
    Its crazy and pressure from outside we let get to us. Lately, as i get older i start to think : what if i once will be 70-80 .. i bet i will not think then : i wish i worked like a maniac in terms of hours : but i will regret if i was not happy ..?so
    that's for me a thing to think more about : what will make me happier

  10. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    You are so right. I completely agree.
    grateful_mama likes this.
  11. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    Yes, I feel exactly the same way! I've always felt the only time I will be happy/not have pain is when I have it all figured out. But, like you said, I think that's an impossible goal. Maybe we as humans are not meant to have everything all figured out and that's the beauty of it :) But it's HARD. I'd also like to float, but I'm learning my mind is more introspective, I'm thinking ALL THE TIME, and I also don't trust...what a beautiful thing to be able to trust and to be able to float more :)
    grateful_mama and karinabrown like this.
  12. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member


    So here we are in two totall different sides of the world, different lives, but feeling so much the same. Maybe it is human nature. I think also its us women who overthink so much ..
    we talk about wanting to just float : but : why aren't we ???
    Controlefreak ? Scared of what will happen? Will be missed etc ? And yet still missing out on a lot of painfree living

    grateful_mama likes this.
  13. grateful_mama

    grateful_mama Peer Supporter

    @Homestead Hermit I've just spent the evening going down the Meyers Briggs internet wormhole and then saw your post! I'm so interested in personality types, too, and I was reminded of it today after listening to a podcast about HSP introverted women (check out the WANT podcast episode with Danielle Beinstein, if you're interested). I started wondering the same thing about TMS. Out of curiosity, what is your Meyers Briggs type? I think I'm an INFP (possibly INFJ) and definitely a highly sensitive person.
    But also, @karinabrown, I struggle a LOT with not being the breadwinner (or making much money at all) since I began a self-discovery journey which involved abandoning my professional career in favor of something more authentic to me and artistic (a journey that has lasted longer than I anticipated, and has frequently seen me falling back into my old job, since that's how I know to make money, but then getting depressed about not "making it" doing something new). And now that I have a new baby, it's even harder. To have to ask my husband for money is SO difficult for me. Looking back, I had a major TMS episode a few years ago, which coincided with me moving across the country away from friends, family and everything I'd ever known, and then getting engaged to be married, while finding myself without a job or money (thus, dependent financially on someone else in ways I hadn't been since before college). I threw my back out horribly, and had terrible skin and digestive problems that lasted for a very long time. I realize now that the money factor may have been pretty significant in bringing on symptoms.

    But ladies...it's true, we can never "figure it all out." The journey is so beautiful. Meditation has been key for me. The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle) was one of the first books to really change my perspective. You are a Badass (Jen Sincero) lit a fire under my ass last year, and got me excited again.
    Learning to trust myself is a challenge. But I am usually good at staying positive lately. Just stuck with this lingering pain...
    Homestead Hermit and EileenS like this.
  14. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Homestead Hermit,

    I think this is a great insight. Our ego/personality is very prone to searching for certain places that we think will be safe and OK, and we constantly compare our present situation to that ideal. This might be our level of pain, relaxation, ease, satisfaction, etc. This obsession to be OK is very important to see, observe, and have compassion for --but not identify with. This searching is endless and only fuels itself. Accepting this obsessive activity, and not rejecting ourselves is good too. In terms of Sarno's work, this comparing and measuring and anxiety are all part of the TMSing activity that we can understand is the cause --or related (as in a parallel activity), to mind-body pain. Seeing evidence of our anxiety and urge to fix the inner and outer world and knowing this is related to TMS is a main strand of Dr. Sarno's work and we don't have to do anything to change this inner activity, so much as connect it to the cause of our symptoms.

    Gospel of Thomas quotes Jesus: "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests, but human beings have no place to lay down and rest."

    Andy B
    EileenS and karinabrown like this.
  15. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi all,

    A saw a old movie for the second time the other day : 'as good as it gets ' (great title by the way) with Jack Nicholson. I loved it again.
    Lately that's the theme' i am thinking about ; all this fighting, strugling from time to time and searching .. what if this 'is as good as it gets'?
    Just be 'okay' with the way things are .. that would be a strange experience for me. Always bussy trying to be better , get better , grow stronger , wanting to do more .. stop that and just 'be'
    Maybe after all : that is real challenge ?

    EileenS likes this.
  16. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Excellent posts Andy B and karinabrown. It's all 'outcome independence' isn't it? I recently finally stopped having chronic pain, but then I started getting slight symptoms again. Upon reflection, I realized I had started caring once again where I was at with symptoms, so they had started coming back. "Let it be, let it be... speaking words of wisdom, let it be."
  17. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    I am INFJ
    Karina, I think that title is perfect! I think if I am ever in a point where I want answers, I just need to remind myself where I am is ok, too.
    Great posts @EileenS , @Andy B , @karinabrown , @grateful_mama , I'd love to reply to all of your wonderful posts, but don't have the time to do it at the moment...but you have all given me things to ponder and keep in mind :)
    karinabrown likes this.
  18. mouser

    mouser Peer Supporter

    I am an HSP, INFP. Steve O's book mentions these two types as being specifically vulnerable to TMS.

    I did not have a traumatic childhood, but it certainly could have been more loving. Then I married a covert narcissist. Again, shaming and not loving. I left X 6 yeas ago but the pain started just 3 years ago. I have grown a lot, emotionally and spiritually, but the pain persists and has gotten worse lately.

    I have been looking into current research on chronic pain. Many doctors seem to get now that it is the brain NOT turning off the danger/pain signal. They now would quite agree with Dr. Sarno when he said, 'there is nothing wrong with your back.' They also identify certain personality types who are likely to develop chronic pain after an injury. Pretty similar to Dr. Sarno's goodist.
    Homestead Hermit likes this.
  19. grateful_mama

    grateful_mama Peer Supporter

    You sound like me, mouser, with my tendency to research, grow, explore, go deep. I've rekindled my interest personality types lately, and have been reading and thinking too much about INFPs. It's fascinating and validating, but also for me, it's a little dangerous (the research). I've been working towards creative entrepreneurship for a while now, but keep slipping back into my graphic design job because it's safe, even though I no longer enjoy it. I think much of my TMS pain stems from feeling stuck in a job I don't love (ok, I hate it, but that's such a dramatic reaction, so then I try to figure out WHY I hate it so much, why I'm so angry about it...and why I'm having trouble accepting it as is...which is likely related to me feeling "blocked" as an artist...blah blah...and it's a downward spiral).

    I get so frustrated by having to do this work that I don't love...and wonder why I haven't yet made something else work...and I have so very many ideas and interests. So I was reading a career blurb about INFPs that started out: "It is perhaps more challenging for this type to find a satisfying career than any other type." Ahhh! And I was like...YES! This describes me! So that's satisfying to read.

    BUT...the reason it is dangerous is that I don't want this to seep into my subconscious and create a limiting belief that I can't be whatever I put my mind to. I'm so much more complex than just a blurb on a website. SO...That's what I thought of when I read your comment about Steve O's book. Yeah, I can see that it may be true that we are specifically vulnerable to TMS (and it certainly seems true for me) but I refuse to let that seep in and become my "truth." There's no reason INFPs can't, for example, overcome TMS, and go on to spread the word about healing, once it's overcome.

    I'm just a little wary lately of being susceptible to what I read, as opposed to looking inward for answers. Because I developed a whole new TMS pain this past week while working on a project I didn't want to do. And it made me wonder whether reading all the possible locations for pain on this wiki site might have contributed. Hard to say! But happy to report, that particular pain only lasted a few days.

    Good luck on your TMS journey! I believe in you ;)
    Homestead Hermit and mouser like this.
  20. mouser

    mouser Peer Supporter

    Hi Grateful, I do graphic design too. I work for a small town newspaper but it is not really fulfilling. Do you work for a company that isn't doing anything meaningful? I am working toward a BFA (I have a tech degree) and want to find a job that is meaningful to me when I finish after fall semester.

    I am in a FB group for INFPs over 30. It's a great group for discussions. That is actually where I heard about Dr. Sarno around July last year. I started devouring all the info I could and the diagnosis made total sense to me. I was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago but it has always been mild (so far). I think I got this illness from being with Narc XH for 25 years. I had a number of smaller illnesses clear up within 2 months of moving out so I KNOW illness can come from stress. MRIs show disc bulges, but nothing that bad. When I started getting weaker with some numbness, my neurologist did another MRI which showed NO MS activity. I just don't have any strong medical reason for my pain and weakness.

    Still, I continue to worsen. I fell twice a few weeks ago and hit my head pretty hard the second time. Now, instead of my walking stick, I use a rollator.

    I believe in the power of the mind/brain to heal ourselves. There are success stories all over this site! But am currently feeling pretty disheartened and exhausted physically. Otherwise, I am surprised at I have not sunken into anxiety or depression. Even with how I feel physically, I feel better mentally, emotionally and spiritually, than I ever have since my teens and marriage.
    grateful_mama likes this.

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