Is there a multiple sclerosis personality? An MS personality? Behaviors, attitudes and ways of being common to those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?
What is Personality?
To begin this discussion, we must first understand ‘what is personality?’ Because personality is not “just the way I am!“. Personality is the behaviors learned and the goals that motivated us in childhood. And these behaviors and goals became stable over time.
And once they become stable, they become unconscious. Just like driving a car. Once you’ve learned and done it enough times, it can become habitual, and you drive without much of an awareness that you are doing it. Similarly, we learn these patterns of behaving, and they become our automatic response to life. It is not your identity. These are adaptations to childhood stressors.
“Adaptations that help you survive the immediate stress in childhood become sources of pathology later on. They are unconscious. No one chooses to behave in these ways.” Gabor Mate “When the Body Says No”
And unless you get a wake-up call of some sort, such as multiple sclerosis, you’ll continue to respond this way.
Is There An MS Personality?
Are there habits, beliefs, and behaviors common to those diagnosed with MS? Take the test below and then continue reading or watching the presentation.
Note: As you take the test, consider how you were before you began to get symptoms of MS as there are behaviors that you are no longer able to do because of the symptoms (and there is a reason for that that we’ll discuss shortly) –
How is the Multiple Sclerosis Personality Formed in Childhood?
Interestingly enough, the personality traits that were most admired and encouraged in childhood are the ones that later become multiple sclerosis. Why? Because as they develop further and gain incredible importance in our lives, they become unsustainable. The almost superhuman traits cannot be maintained by the human body.
Traits such as being a good student, the favorite daughter or the hard worker or athlete become, as it continues to motivate us and increase its importance, a never-ending strive for success, overachievement, and to do lists. Things can always be done even better… Even carrying for others develops into an inability to say “no” even when we are exhausted. Helper becomes an automatic way of being, jumping at any request, and being helped is nowhere in the picture. Emotions? Emotions are for others as, through childhood and early adulthood, we’ve learned that they are not ok and thus repress them.
These are some of the examples of how some of the multiple sclerosis personality traits are developed. Everything is ok and a strength, until these behaviors and beliefs takes over our lives. We need to develop the resources to create balance in our behaviors.
Creating Balance of the Multiple Sclerosis Personality through NLP
Neurolinguistic programming( NLP) can help create the balance of these behaviors that turned into extreme personality traits. There is no judgment of these behaviors. Instead, there is a curiosity about what created this behavior and kept it in place so many years. NLP presupposes the following:
“Every behavior is useful in some context.”
“Behind every behavior is a positive intention.”
By understanding the positive intention behind the behavior and when it’s useful, we can begin to understand healthier ways to achieve that intention.
Additionally, symptoms of MS are not, according to NLP presuppositions, ‘failure of the immune system.’
“There is no such thing as failure, just feedback”
“Symptoms are a communication about needed action.”
Symptoms are only feedback. The body is saying ‘this way of behaving is not sustainable.’ It is requesting action. Once the action behind the symptom is taken, the symptom is no longer necessary.
Working through the MS Personality to Heal Multiple Sclerosis
“People diagnosed with MS have ingrained habit patterns of the mind specific to their symptoms. When those habit patterns are transformed using a combination of methods that bring (1) insight into a person’s habit patterns and (2) resources to modify those patterns, the symptoms decrease and frequently disappear.” – Eva M Clark “The Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy in Treating MS”
By working through the MS personality traits that have become major problems in adulthood, you could effectively reduce the symptoms of MS. An example of the work you would do using medical hypnotherapy in the Healing Multiple Sclerosis Program would be –
— Understand the cause and meaning behind MS and each specific symptom
— Eliminate the inner critic and create the inner coach.
— Make peace with perfection.
— Creating inner congruency and balance. Become conflict-free.
— Master anxiety.
— Create strong boundaries around others.
— Removing the belief “I’m not enough / worthy” once and for all.
— Get your needs met. Put yourself first before helping others.
— Understand and harness your relationship with control.
— Become guilt and shame-free.
— Exploring any unconscious inner obstacle to healing. Is MS serving you more than you think?
— Release the trauma of a negative diagnosis and the expectations it’s going to get worse.
— Creating a compelling empowering and fulfilling future
Healthy Personality Traits
As these personality traits begin to change into healthier mental patterns, they become sustainable and fulfilling, and the body is relieved of its burden and can begin to heal. The amazing results of those that have worked with me as well as those I interviewed during my journey to develop the most effective healing program for multiple sclerosis is testimony of the incredible shifts that can occur.
Don’t do this alone. There is help. Your MS personality is not who you truly are; it’s who you learned you had to be.
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This series was produced by Eva M Clark and recorded at the National MS Society Self-Help MS Group in Santa Cruz, CA. The National MS Society respects the rights of people with MS to obtain any and all information they want related to MS, including information on wellness, medical treatments or complementary therapies, and products or services. The information presented at these meeting does not necessarily reflect the views or official position of the Society, nor carry the endorsement or support of the NMSS. Read our disclaimer here.