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Personality Traits

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by NIClubber, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I have had some reductions in pain, but they only generally last a few short hours before coming back. I have talked about some horrible things to my therapist. Although she is not specifically trained in TMS she does understand the basic concepts.

    I have started to wonder why the pain doesn't stay reduced. I now think it could be due to one of the personality traits ....... probably "Perfectionism", but could also be "People Pleaser".

    Would I likely have a permanent reduction in pain by just talking about the traits I have and why I have them, or do I actually have to change things in my life around those traits???
  2. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Nic, I was a perfectionist and a people pleaser when I was ill with tms. I completely "cured" my tms and many other mind body syndromes years ago and I'm still a perfectionist and a people pleaser. I also found that there are million of perfectionist and people pleasers living all around us. And they have no tms. These personality traits can not hurt you. It can not trigger tms in you, unless you allow it to produce anger. Who is more perfectionist than Thomas Edition? He did thousand of tests just to make a light bulb.
    Your anger, your rage, or your other life trauma and stress trigger tms symptoms, but it is the fear of your symptoms is what keep that symptoms alive. You fear the symptoms will get worst. You worry the symptoms is a sign of something terrible will happen to your body. That fear, that worry feeling is what trigger negative changes in your body's chemistry. Your thought constantly feeding your mind "danger" signals. Your mind in turn keep producing fight and flight responds, one after another. you are not stuck in the "fear" loop.
    FEAR -> DANGER -> FF RESPOND -> SYMPTOMS -> FEAR................
    If you don't get rid of your fear thought and stop your worry, you will never "cure". Your symptoms may reduced for a short time now and then, but usually due to placebo or other distractions. You got to try to stop your fear of your symptoms if you want to get rid of your tms for good.
    No one on earth can get rid of their tms symptoms without getting rid of their FEAR of the symptoms. No one. Doesn't matter what method they use, what book they read, which guru teaching they follow, in the end, they all teach the same thing which is not to fear the symptoms. All method try to achieve the same goal which is no more fear.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    For me what has helped, is making a connection between my TMS symptoms and the role my personality plays in producing the symptoms. In other words, I need to realize that I am doing this to myself. By having that awareness I am empowered to choose another way or to accept things as they are.

    For example, if I realize that I have pain following an incident where I agreed to do something for someone else even though I didn't really have the time for it, not because I wanted to do it, but because I wanted that person to like me. Now I'm aware that I'm angry and frustrated about doing this thing that I don't want to do. I am able to connect my pain to my anger and frustration that has come from being a people pleaser. I can accept that this is the way I am and let go of the anger and frustration in the moment. But I can also make a commitment in the future to not agree to do things for others I don't want to do just to please them. I can learn to say "no". Either way awareness is key.
  4. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I've talked about just about every emotional thing I can think of. I have had some small temporary successes over the last couple of months, but the pain keeps returning and often worse than before.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi NIClubber,

    To begin to focus on the personality is very wise. This was the greatest contributor to TMS according to Dr. Sarno. More than life history, or current stressors. How we habitually treat ourselves is what causes the most saddening, hurtful, enraging, etc. reactions in our Inner Child.

    I know balto makes a good point. I also agree with Ellen. My answer is that you don't have to change your personality. That is what Dr. Sarno said in his lectures, and in books.

    I think, as Ellen suggests, a great deal can be done just by being aware of how you treat yourself. With more awareness of how you treat yourself, you may for awhile be even more rejecting of yourself! Rejecting yourself for rejecting yourself!! So I hope you are doing something to cultivate loving-kindness toward yourself.

    The more you inquire, the more will want to treat yourself with more love and respect. This means that over time, your treatment of yourself will change, but it need not change in order to work skillfully with the TMS. It will change on its own (which does take tremendous effort, but the effort arrives in its own time). This is my experience, at least. I did not change my personality, but the TMS left because I could connect the dots.

    I sometimes have clients put three columns across a piece of paper:
    The Event The Way My Personality Deals with the Event How my Inner Child (Probably) Feels About This

    This way you can really contemplate how your personality handles things, how you habitually treat yourself, and how this makes the Inner Child feel.

    Andy B.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    NIClubber, Dr, Sarno writes that we don't really have to change ourselves in order to heal from TMS "knowledge penicillin."
    We just have to learn the psychological reasons for our pain.

    You recognize that you are a perfectionist and people pleaser. It would be hard or impossible to completely change those
    character traits, but I have them too and find that modifying them helps a lot in healing pain.

    I work for a book publisher who is a perfectionist's perfectionist, and had to learn not to try to please him as much as I was,
    because that gave me a lot of emotional stress. I learned that I had to work at my own pace, not his.

    As for pleasing people, some people will eat us alive. Do most people appreciate how much we try to please them?
    Do they try to please us as much?

    Andy's advice is excellent.
  7. jlm

    jlm Peer Supporter

    Another perfectionist and people pleaser here. I think Balto's post had a lot of good points. Fear can run/ruin our lives. I don't mind being a perfectionist, except when it keeps me from starting something, but I am working on the people pleasing.

    I wrote, I burned writings, etc, but nothing stayed gone until I started tapping on past and present issues. So far anything I've been able to reduce the charge to 1 on a 1-10 scale has been eliminated. EFT or tapping. There are many practitioners with sites on the web. Carol Look and Nick Ortner are the first that come to mind. I personally resonate with Nick Ortner. I've even done tapping while driving to deal my fear of big white pickups on my right. I totaled my car 5 years ago when one pulled out in front of me on the right side. Darn turn right on red! Broke a leg, collapsed a lung, burned my lungs from the airbag so I have been afraid of white pickups approaching an intersection from the right. No more.
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    It isn't perfectionism or goodism by themselves, I'd like to add, but it's when those two personality traits work in concert to create unconscious internal rage. I notice after a long meditation session when I've apparently gotten into a very tranquil and peaceful state that suddenly I'll start lashing out at people who've attacked or downgraded me in years past who must remind me of my father's constant criticism: "Who do you think you are? What have you ever really accomplished? If you're so smart, why isn't the world beating a path to your door?" Substitutes for my repressed rage against "Big Daddy"? You can see how perfectionism and goodism were really attempts on my part of refute my late father's constant criticism, which was really an extension of his own inferiority complex. And so it goes, generation after generation! It is nice to observe that after having a good screaming match against memories of my persecutors that I really do break into a more peaceful state. Self-knowledge does lead to personal freedom, doesn't it?
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  9. tattvamasi

    tattvamasi Peer Supporter

    The pain is caused by your brain in order to distract you from unpleasant emotions. As long as the pain can keep you distracted, it serves its purpose and it will not go away. As long as you try to get rid of it, you are distracted. By trying to get rid of it, you give it it's power. By going to the therapist, you are still trying to run away from your pain. That is what your brain wants, it wants you running away from your pain. It can keep you busy this way. So stop running away from it and instead run towards it. Then and only then will it stop bugging you, once it has absolutely no power over you.
    tgirl, BloodMoon and BruceMC like this.
  10. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I have had some good results from talking and some from writing very short notes about what I think the pain is caused by.

    Always, the pain comes back, sometimes more than before. This causes me great frustration, as I'm sure you can imagine.

    I am about to start reading one of Sarno's books, so hopefully I'll get an inspiration from that.

    Do you think I should stop going to the therapist?? I thought it was good to talk about how I feel.
  11. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    My anger is almost certainly at my mum, who forced me into changing schools as there had been a government report out saying it could be beneficial to children. I was also involved in a game of "Chicken" with a friend from down the road, when I ended up breaking my collar bone. From then on, I was grounded for over SIX or SEVEN YEARS, as my school work wasn't great (probably a reaction to having to change schools, when I didn't want to, and hadn't been asked my opinion).

    The back pain, I think, started as a reaction to her telling me that I was two stone (28 lbs) overweight, although I was only about half that.

    The strange thing about it is, that I'm pretty sure she has TMS-related back pain.
  12. tattvamasi

    tattvamasi Peer Supporter

    Going to the therapist and working out your issues is a great thing. But don't expect it to cure TMS, and don't get frustrated if it doesn't. It does not really matter that much what exactly is in your unconscious. Of course you have repressed emotions, maybe anger, maybe sadness, maybe some other emotion, but it doesn't matter. You already know that you have SOMETHING that needs to be repressed, so you already can understand the need for TMS. What is ultimately going to cure you of TMS is your knowledge, and by that I don't mean the knowledge of the exact feelings that you have repressed or the exact personality traits that generate unconscious rage, I mean the simple knowledge of the fact that your pain is due to psychological processes and is produced in order to distract you from unpleasant emotions. If you understand this, you will realize that there is nothing you can do about it. Everything you do will give TMS more power, because that is what your brain wants, it creates pain and wants you to do something about it, to obsess over it, to feel bad because of it, to get completely involved. If you take a look at your life, you will notice how much that pain really has you doing things, avoiding things, feeling bad etc. So to stop all this, you have to do nothing about it. The moment you realize this, you are on your way to be free of the pain.
    BruceMC likes this.
  13. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    NIClubber and ttatvamasi,

    I think this is true. Dr. Sarno says that you can even use your "imagination" to figure out (or contemplate) emotions your Inner Child is experiencing that "don't want to be felt."

    But he also says that some people need to "feel more," therefore he sent them to therapists. So there is still clearly a validity to you seeing a therapist NIClubber. In my experience, some clients have much more relief when they feel more, and know more about what runs them beneath the surface, compared to their progress with the standard TMS practices without this added depth work.

    There is also the added benefit that you are learning to hold more of your suffering for yourself, with the training. You have more capacity to stay with yourself, which is its own reward.

    Andy B.
  14. tattvamasi

    tattvamasi Peer Supporter

    I can not agree with the notion that some people need to "feel more", that they need to go to therapy, possibly for a long time. I've heard of people who have gone that route and have done tremendous inner work, yet are still in pain. Even Dr. Sarno has stated that psychoanalysts, people who are well aware of their unconscious workings, still have TMS if they know nothing about the distraction strategy. And I'm not against psychoanalysis, I think it is what everyone should take up. But to take it up in order to get rid of the pain is just delaying the cure. What you are essentially telling yourself is that you're not ready and you need to go to therapy first. You are not ready to drop the obsession, and as long as you keep the obsession going, the pain continues. Why psychotherapy sometimes works is that it gets people in a state of mind where they can drop the obsession about TMS. When they see that they really have unconscious feelings that can be dangerous, they relax and instead of fighting the pain, they realize that it is actually a good thing. But there are lots of cases when it doesn't work and then people just conclude that there is even more work to be done, and this is NOT the case.

    So, take up psychotherapy, but realize that ultimately only YOU can cure yourself. If you hope the therapist will cure you, you still don't get what TMS is about.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  15. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I've been going to a psychotherapist since the start of October and it has helped me clear my mind of a lot of emotions, that were probably clogging up my brain.

    I have been swimming a little, and will be starting to go out at the weekends to see if that helps any more.

    Is there anything else I could be doing, other than maybe reading a bit more about TMS?
  16. encee

    encee Newcomer

    hi all,

    hope it's okay that i'm chiming in (i'm a first time poster so kindly let me know if i should be starting another thread!)- this discussion is getting to the heart of some knots i'm also trying to untangle. I'm becoming more and more aware of how my neck and back pain is a response to personality traits that I surely developed to survive having a very wounded man as a father (controlling, bullying, verbally and physically abusive, sulky, unpredictable, and many more fun things) and the last straw came when i started developing anxiety and panic attacks in my early 30s (i'm 34 now.) In between that and chronic back pain that perfect X-rays and MRIs couldn't explain away, i knew something deeper was going on. I'm now on my healing journey but still have a job to keep.

    I realize that many of the pain and panic symptoms I have are in response to my perfectionism (when he paid attention to my report card, my father asked why I only got an A) but i'm unclear how to make peace with it - what to do next if the realization and the connection i make doesn't make the pain go away. A real world example - this morning my boss and I were elated to hear that we received a big grant at our nonprofit, but my joy privately and quickly turned to panic and stress about everything i would have to do to make sure I didn't "mess it up" (purely fictional doomsday predictions based on nothing at all.) I lost my breath and immediately started feeling a dull sciatic pain. Even though i know it's likely because my drill sergeant is giving some seriously outrageous orders and abuse ("you're already so behind" "you can't do this," "they should just hire someone else", "you don't know what you're doing," "don't f this up" etc) i'm not sure what to do next. Yell at the perfectionist? Talk to the inner child? Go for a run?

    I'm seeing a somatic experiencing therapist, which has been amazing but i'm still finding my legs in between twice monthly (expensive) sessions. Anyway, it felt similar to what NIClubber was talking about so i hope it's okay to post here. please let me know if it's an interruption and i can post elsewhere. I welcome any insight and advice

    thank you
  17. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

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