Is Your Type A Perfectionist Personality the Cause of Your Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Fibromyalgia?

Author| Dr. Sarno; Charles Moore

There is a correlation between intense, success oriented, achieving and usually very accomplished individuals and the severity of their pain. “In our culture, success often requires the ability to compete effectively and they do. They are accustomed to putting a great deal of pressure on themselves and often feel as though they have not done enough.

Sometimes the perfectionism manifests itself in usual ways.”1

A report in the current issue of the Journal Of Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics (P&P) describes the role perfectionism may play in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and in other possibly related medical disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia that are frequently coexistent.

The report observes that biopsychosocial CFS models suggest that personality and stress have predisposing and perpetuating influence in developing the persistent and unexplained fatigue that characterizes what has been classified as a functional somatic syndrome. The authors point to studies indicating that personal characteristics of many

CFS patients frequently include achievement-oriented and perfectionist personalities

and that those tendencies coupled with a drive toward self-criticism in these individuals that can compel them to work beyond the point of exhaustion to a degree that may initiate or perpetuate chronic fatigue symptoms. 2

  1. SARNO, JOHN E. HEALING BACK PAIN: the Mind-Body Connection. GRAND CENTRAL PUB, 2018.
  2. Personalities Predispose Persons to Chronic Fatigue?