Personality Type

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by thisonecoolgirl, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. thisonecoolgirl

    thisonecoolgirl New Member

    I'm pretty new here, so forgive me if this topic has already been discussed at length.

    My doctor, after diagnosing me with CFS (I'm a pretty text book case - serious viral infection and personal tragedy about a year ago - the body just didn't bounce back) and asked if I would consider myself a "driven" person.

    I thought this was kind of interesting. "Driven" isn't a word I would have chosen, but am I the type of person who gets things done? Yes. Am I the person you can count on to deliver? Yes. Am I the person people turn to when things fall apart? Yes. I've never questioned any of that. And then he said, "It's extremely common for your personality type."

    Has anyone else heard this? Did we all mentally and emotionally over-achieve ourselves into this mess? I mean, the irony is pretty rich - we took care of so much, now we can't take care of anything, and any energy we do have is spent learning about and managing and making our lives over for this disease.

  2. astroherb

    astroherb New Member

    Unfortunately, I believe that many (not all) of us do fall in that category. Just read the very long thread entitled something like "what did you do in your former life." All of the people who have responded are "doers" and "results oriented" in one or another way.

    Also, many of the fibro/cfs books that I have talk about the type of person who ends up with those diseases. Same thing as what your doctor suggested.

    The more I study (and study, and study) the causes and cures of these diseases, the more I think that for many there is a strong adrenal connection. The body can only stand so much stress before it breaks down.

    Interesting thread, I'm glad you brought it up.
  3. becc

    becc New Member

    I've always wondered how many people would actually claim that they are not 'driven', 'results oriented' or a carer for others. I certainly haven't met many in my life. The interesting factor would be whether a person's friends and family think these attributes apply to them. As far as I know, such a study has never been conducted.

    I have met several people (both with ME or FM and without) who claim to be "type A" personalities who are anything but, IMO.

    In my opinion, the personalities theory is just more psychobabble - another way to blame the victim - and I don't think any serious researcher gives it much credence these days.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/19/2009]
  4. chrissy12

    chrissy12 New Member

    It seems from being on these boards and the people I personally know with this illness were "driven" personalities. I was always on the go and willing to help anyone who needed it. Now I am lucky to help myself. It is ironic that we are the ones who get ill.

    I don't think it is the cause of the illness or should be used to blame the victim as becc pointed out. To me this is just an interesting side note. Did we burn out our adrenals?? I don't know; chemical, environmental, viral, genetic makeup, etc. all probably contribute to this illness. All we can do is hope the scientist/researchers are able to find the common thread which connects all of us. There is a common thread and I don't believe it is "our personalities."

    It is just interesting that many people with this illness do/did have an outgoing achieving personality. I don't know if I had it to do all over again if I would live differently. I lived my life with enthusiasm and passion. I am not sorry for that. It is what it is...
  5. Yes this has been discussed before and yes I was always on the go, a perfectionist, and one that listens to everyones problems. And also right when my fibro kicked into high gear a horrible tragedy did happen in my life. Its been 15 yrs since then, so it is time to let the fibro go away!!!

    to kathy I don't think the dr is "blame the victim" I imagine this personality is what he has seen with fibro over yrs.
  6. astroherb

    astroherb New Member

    I don't think for a minute that the patient should be blamed for a personality type. I do think it can be helpful in diagnosis. That is, some people are more prone to heart disease than others because of their personaity (which translates into how they live their life etc.). Why wouldn't it be true of fibro and CFS also?

    I don't believe "fibro personalities" are necessarialy Type A. But, they are usually there when needed and quite a few have a perfectionistic streak.

    This knowledge can be used by the fibro person to back off a little when they are giving or doing too much for others. Perhaps, that time could be better spent resting and recuperating.

    Just a thought.
  7. thisonecoolgirl

    thisonecoolgirl New Member

    When I posted this, the whole "blame the victim" thing never entered my mind. I don't feel that my Dr. was blaming me - simply making an observation. And an interesting one at that, because I am the worst - absolute WORST - type of hypocritical overachiever.

    Example: I will stay up all night making a get well basket for someone and writing them long letters about how they need to put themselves first, take it easy, don't worry about the work, let someone else be in a charge for a while, blah blah blah - and then get up at 6am to bake cookies because the girls in accounting have been working so hard and they deserve some recognition.


    I consider myself a pretty bright, extremely introspective person, but sometimes I can be the thickest, dumbest blonde on the planet. So, for the most part, I'm taking this CFS as a wake up call from the Universe: "We tried to tell you. Several times. You refused to listen. So, now you've got no choice."

    I don't regret the way I lived my life before, and I am well aware of the mental/emotional parts of me that need work - perfectionism, low self worth, fear of never being good enough. CFS is a bitch, but it's also making me face those issues head on. Hell, I'm lying in bed most of the time - don't have a whole lot else to do!

    All this said, I'm no Pollyanna. Don't think I'm over here so grateful that I got CFS because it allowed me this fabulous opportuntiy. I'm angry and frustrated and still grieving my former life. But, as Chrissy said, it is what it is. I can pull the covers over my head or I can accept it as one of life's many speedbumps (or potholes, depending on the day.)

    Thanks, everyone - I honestly don't know where I'd be without these boards. I write and journal, but it's so different when you think your words might actually be read and have some kind of an impact.

    Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!
  8. stschn

    stschn New Member

    [This Message was Edited on 09/21/2009]
  9. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    No- you didn't 'overachieve' yourself sick.

    I listened to the same types of diagnosis for years when Dr's just really didn't know what was wrong. They try to blame stress, etc., but that is not WHY you are sick. Stressors can bring about changes to your hormone system that can let underlying problems come to the forefront.

    I had been Dx'd w/ FMS, then chronic EBV and CFS, but the UNDERLYING PROBLEM was undiagnosed Lyme disease and mycoplasma infections that werre taking me down.

    Before you say "but I don't have lyme", you need to get PROPER testing for mold issues, an Igenex Lyme test, tests for mycoplamas, etc. I never saw a tick, had a rash, etc., and had a Dr that had suspected lyme give me a western blot, but he did not give me a sensitive enuf test, or really understand the results. I do not live in a 'high lyme area', but I guess lyme didn't know that.

    Since you are new to this, let me try to save you about 10 years of searching, missed diagnosis, and self doubt.

    Now that I am treating the underlying cause of my illness, I have improved 100 times over.

    There are many here that have found the same things.

    I wish you the best,