Neuroticism - the role of personality in illness

The personality chooses the disease?

Personality neuroticismFirst and foremost, an illness cannot be reduced in any way to a (direct) consequence of our personality. And yet. Our personality, our way of living, the way we interact with our environment and the glasses we put on to look at life seem to be extremely important for our susceptibility to disease.

The statement may trigger you because it sounds deterministic, and you are quite fond of your freedom and self-determination. On the one hand, it seems logical that your personality influences your interests, intrinsic motivation, preferences and certain choices (such as work, partner, friends). On the other hand, you may find it hard to imagine how your personality could make you sick. But of course it doesn't quite work that way. Incidentally, this does not only concern the psychological personality, this should be viewed more broadly. Nevertheless, it is interesting to return to the domain of 'personality psychology'. Personality doesn't seem to determine whether you get sick. But, when you become chronically ill, it does have a certain influence on which chronic disease you are most likely to get.

You may wonder to what extent you are 'responsible' for your own ailments. Realize that it's not your fault and that you shouldn't be ashamed of this, but it's not easy. When you experience 'stress' (social defeat, anger and sadness, disappointment in others, disappointment in things happening in the world), you are treated to, for example, an outbreak of eczema, vague stomach complaints, .... If this continues long enough, muscle and tendon disorders, for example, follow. It is important not to look at this in a mechanistic way, but to investigate a little deeper.

You may be skeptical at first about the connection between the two, but there is a large body of scientific literature on the relationship between personality and illness. Chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine, ... have one specific personality type in common: neuroticism.

What is neuroticism?

Tantra massage bij neuroticisme

Neuroticism is seen as the negative emotion dimension. In a sense, it reflects your sensitivity to experiencing negative emotions. This sensitivity is partly innate and naturally present, but can still change in the course of life. The younger you are, the more impact your experiences and circumstances have on developing this trait. Stress early in life will enhance neuroticism (even more sensitive to negative emotion). Security will attenuate neuroticism (less sensitive to negative emotion). Neuroticism can manifest itself in a sensitivity to fear, depression, self-criticism, self-consciousness, sensitivity to stimuli, worry and worry.

Neuroticism is one of the best predictors of whether an acute/sudden pain problem will become chronic. Even more than your physical fitness (and amount of exercise) or your BMI. Even more than smoking and eating behaviour. Yet we are rarely aware of this.

How do I pay attention to this as an energetic or tantra massage therapist?

I take into account the core need of patients who are very neurotic in nature: safety. It is crucial to quickly build a connection by listening actively and by providing the right information. When providing information, it is also very important to focus on positive elements. Those who are sensitive to worrying and detecting danger especially need to hear what is possible, what is solvable, and what steps can be taken together in our therapeutic alliance.

The usefulness of tantra massage

Tantra massage bij chronische klachten

Possible aspects of tantra massage that may benefit people with neuroticism and chronic health conditions include:

  • Body awareness and relaxation: Tantra massage can help to increase one's body awareness and promote deeper relaxation. This can be beneficial for people with neuroticism, as it can help them get more in touch with their bodies and learn to relax.
  • Emotional healing: Tantra massage can be aimed at promoting emotional healing and releasing held emotions. For people with neuroticism, who often deal with intense emotions, exploring and releasing these emotions in a safe and supportive tantra massage environment can be beneficial.
  • Improved energy flows: Tantra massage can work with the concept of energy flows in the body, as in the traditions of Eastern medicine. It can help clear blockages and restore a balanced energy flow. This can be beneficial for people with chronic health problems, as it can contribute to a sense of well-being and vitality.
  • Intimacy and connection: Tantra massage can be aimed at promoting intimate connections and increasing the sense of connection with oneself and others. For people with neuroticism, who may struggle with intimate relationships and emotional connections, tantra massage can provide a safe space to explore and strengthen these aspects.
Bron: kPNI nieuwsbrief