Doctor Discovers Personality Traits Can Trigger Pain Doctor Discovers Personality Traits Can Trigger Pain
Adventist News Network

If you’re in pain, there might be more than a physical cause. Trying to meet unrealistic standards in your life can cause chronic pain, according to Dr. Scott Brady, an internist at Seventh-day Adventist-owned Florida Hospital. He says people can develop chronic pain like migraines, fibromyalgia and back pain from the way they handle stress and negative emotions.

Author of the new book, Pain Free For Life, Brady says he has discovered the main cause for chronic pain is what he calls an overload of the autonomic system through “pain-prone personalities.”

He explains that certain types of personalities are more susceptible to pain and are even more so when you add religion: “Perfectionists … are highly critical of self and others. They are very exacting and put a lot of pressure on themselves, especially if they are religious. Many who are religious feel they always have to [be a perfect Christian] so they put on a nice face and stuff their emotions.”

He points to another personality type who reflects everyone’s ideal Christian. “The people-pleaser is nice and sweet and always helpful. But to be that sweet you have to neglect your own needs continuously for other people.”

This is where understanding pain-prone personality types comes in. Brady explains it this way: There are five pain-prone personalities; each repressing emotions predisposing you to Autonomic Overload Syndrome.

Autonomic Overload Syndrome (AOS) says Brady “is a group of chronic painful symptoms caused by harmful levels of stress, pressure, and repressed strong negative emotions that have built up in the subconscious mind.”

In other words your personality traits could be affecting your subconscious and causing you to handle your emotions dangerously.

Determining the source of AOS and finding ways to relieve those symptoms then can, and Brady says have, healed many of what they thought would be lifelong pain. He also suffered from chronic back pain but cured himself using the techniques he lays out in his book.

In addition to discussing how personality is linked to chronic pain Brady says the book takes a wholistic approach to pain.

“When most people go to doctors they go to doctors who have been taught purely body medicine,” Brady explains. “They do a CAT scan and give you medication which treats you but doesn’t cure you because you have to take medication for the rest of your life.”

Dr. Brady describes his own experience with chronic pain: “Over several years I saw all the right doctors and did all the right things [with no relief]. I was told I had the discs of a 90-year-old man and would be in pain the rest of my life.”

“But when you look at it from a mind-body-spirit perspective, there’s hope,” he says. In his book he advocates this wholistic approach. He says he has helped hundreds of patients with this technique at the Brady Institute located at Florida Celebration Health Hospital in Orlando, Florida.

Although he has not read the book, Dr. Peter Landless, associate Heath Ministries director for the Adventist world church, says he agrees that wholistic healthcare is the best approach to wellness. He adds that this approach is “the whole essence of Adventist health care’s philosophy.”

“We are very conscious of the importance of spirituality and health and the interplay of the two components,” he adds. “That was Christ’s method. He dealt with the physical needs of people, healed diseases and ministered to emotional and spiritual needs.”

Brady says his approach is not a strange new theory. “Everyone intrinsically understands that a stressful day at work can cause their shoulders to get tight. There is a connection between emotions and the body.”

“When I see patients they learn about AOS,” he says. “They learn that there is something else responsible for their pain. Often it is not herniated discs, not heredity or migraine.”

So how does knowing all this help relieve pain? “I teach people how to get repressed emotions on the surface. I teach them about AOS and how to become their own counselor. I don’t engage in any kind of counseling or psychotherapy. Once you understand the true cause of pain is AOS it’s very easy to understand how to reverse it.”

He says even those who are not very religious can benefit from the book. However he says, those who have a source of peace and comfort, better “resolve core issues that lead to pain in the first place.”

Brady concedes that there are some patients who definitely need surgery. He says though that 80 percent of his patients have completely erased chronic pain from their lives. Yet he maintains he has successfully treated patients with lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and others.