Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) personality traits

Photo of clouds shows that chronic pain from Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) can be dissipated by resolving emotional pain.

Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) is a condition that has been the subject of much debate and discussion in the medical community.

Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) is a mind-body disorder in which repressed emotions and stress cause physical pain in your body.

According to Dr. John Sarno, a pioneering physician who developed the concept of Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), the pain associated with this condition is actually a distraction from emotional pain.

By addressing the underlying emotional issues, you can alleviate your physical symptoms and achieve lasting relief from chronic pain. Many people have found relief from chronic pain by exploring the emotional factors that may be contributing to their symptoms.

Dr. Sarno found that many Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) sufferers shared common personality traits, such as perfectionism, a tendency to be hard on oneself, a need for control, and a fear of failure. These traits can lead to repressed emotions, which in turn can manifest as physical pain in the body.

Being aware of these seven personality traits can help you take a proactive approach to managing your chronic pain and improving your overall quality of life.

1. Perfectionism

People who are perfectionistic set very high standards for themselves and are often overly critical of themselves when they fail to meet those standards.

They strive to succeed at every activity, be it their career, familial relationships, or hobbies. While perfectionists are typically organized and detail-oriented, they also tend to take on more than they can handle and ignore their own needs and emotions in pursuit of an idealized version of themselves.

Do you have a perfectionist personality trait?

  • Do you have an unyielding expectation that everything you do must be perfect?
  • Do you have a clear and precise vision of how you want things to be?
  • Do you always have a task that needs to be completed?
  • Do you prioritize completing tasks over your own well-being and emotions?
  • Do you believe that there is only one correct way to accomplish something?
  • Do you consistently put 110% effort into everything you do?

2. Goodism

People who display traits of goodism tend to please others at their own expense.

They seek approval and validation from those around them by adhering to societal, cultural, or religious norms of what constitutes a good parent, spouse, child, employee, or friend.

While their actions may be altruistic and appreciated by their communities, they often ignore their own needs and suppress their emotions, desires, and feelings. Deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth underlie their need to please others.

Do you have a goodist personality trait?

  • Do you frequently adjust your plans to accommodate the schedules or needs of others?
  • Do you feel compelled to volunteer to help organize or work at social or religious events?
  • Do you tend to act as a mediator in conflicts between others?
  • Do you struggle to voice your opinions or thoughts when they differ from those around you?
  • Do you tend to go along with what others want when making plans, rather than asserting your own preferences?

3. Stoicism

People who have stoic traits have a tendency to repress their emotions or deny their feelings, which can lead to tension and pain in the body.

They may perceive sharing their feelings and emotions with others as an uncomfortable task. As a result, they tend to display little or no overt signs of emotions such as anger, sadness, love, or sorrow.

This emotional control is a conscious choice to regulate their life.

Do you have a stoic personality trait?

  • Do you find it challenging to communicate your emotions to others?
  • Would you consider yourself to be someone who experiences mild to moderate emotions rather than extreme ones?
  • Do you believe that having emotional control contributes to a sense of control in your life?
  • Do you worry that others might view you negatively if you were to display your emotions openly?
  • Do you feel uneasy about crying in the presence of friends and family?

4. Anxiety and fear

People who are anxious and fearful traits tend to worry excessively about future events or things that may or may not happen

They tend to fixate on worst-case scenarios, worrying incessantly about the possibility of a catastrophic event. They may experience anxiety about potential disasters, such as the death of a family member or a natural calamity, even during minor occurrences such as a slight thunderstorm.

Additionally, they may worry that others may harm them, leading to feelings of shyness and social withdrawal around new people, even in the absence of actual rejection.

They are liable to catastrophize minor medical issues, assuming the worst possible diagnosis even for trivial conditions such as a cut finger.

Do you have an anxious or fearful personality trait?

  • Do you tend to worry about the possibility of worst-case scenarios, even in minor situations?
  • Do you experience apprehension when your family members are out of sight, fearing something terrible may happen to them?
  • Do you feel nervous when meeting new people, fearing rejection or being judged?
  • Do you assume that people will reject you if you express your genuine emotions or opinions?
  • When visiting a doctor, do you worry about being diagnosed with a severe medical condition, even for minor ailments?

5. Low self-esteem

People who have low self-esteem traits may feel inadequate, inferior, and unworthy.

They may doubt their ability to perform even basic tasks, feeling inferior to others and suppressing their thoughts and emotions out of a belief they are undeserving of being heard.

As a result, people with low self-esteem may develop psychosomatic symptoms stemming from pent-up emotions and unconscious rage.

Do you have a low self-esteem personality trait?

  • Do you feel that other people are typically more competent than you in various areas?
  • Do you believe that people do not like you as much as they like others?
  • Do you experience anxiety in social situations, such as meeting new people or being in crowded rooms?
  • Do you question your ability to accomplish tasks or achieve success?
  • Do you feel undeserving of praise or recognition?

6. Hostility and aggression

People who tend to express anger and aggression in situations that do not warrant extreme action may repress their true feelings.

They may be easily agitated, hot-headed, or highly-strung, and react strongly to minor events. In many cases, the source of their anger may not be related to the specific event or issue that they are reacting to, but rather rooted in deeper, unaddressed issues.

People with this trait may repress their true emotions and avoid discussing them, which can contribute to the development of psychosomatic symptoms.

Do you have a hostile or aggressive personality trait?

  • Have you ever noticed yourself overreacting to minor events?
  • Do you experience intense anger or frustration when driving, such as “road rage”?
  • Do you have little patience for people who make mistakes?
  • When conflicts arise, do you tend to blame others rather than consider your own role in the situation?
  • Do you struggle to understand other people’s perspectives in arguments or disagreements?

7. Dependency

People who have a strong need to be taken care of may have difficulty asserting their own needs and boundaries.

They may experience frustration or anger towards those on whom they depend.

Additionally, they may be drawn to careers that offer stability but lack challenge or fulfillment.

Do you have a dependency trait?

  • Do you tend to defer to others when making plans, preferring them to take the lead?
  • Are you inclined to avoid job opportunities that involve challenges or risks?
  • Do you tend to seek out relationships where you rely on the other person to take care of you?
  • Do you feel more comfortable when others make decisions for you, rather than making them yourself?
  • Do you find being alone or isolated to be an uncomfortable or undesirable experience?

Combination of personality traits

It is common for people with Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) to exhibit more than one personality trait.

In fact, it is often a combination of several personality traits that contribute to the development of Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) symptoms.

For example, a person may exhibit traits of perfectionism, low self-esteem, and a tendency towards anxiety and fear. It is the combination of these traits and the way they are expressed that may contribute to the development of symptoms.

Recognizing certain Tension Myositis Syndrome personality traits can be the first step toward managing the condition.

If you have recognized some of these traits in yourself, it is important to seek help from a qualified health professional who can guide you through the process of managing the condition.

Self-care strategies

In addition to seeking professional help, there are several self-care strategies that can be helpful, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in regular exercise, journaling on a daily basis, improving sleep habits, and reducing stress.

Developing healthy coping mechanisms and finding ways to manage stress can also be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS).

It is important to remember that Tension Myositis Syndrome is a real condition that can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

By recognizing the personality traits associated with the condition and taking steps to manage them, you can work towards reducing the symptoms and improving your overall quality of life.