person reaching toward neck with halo

“I rarely see people who are selfish and narcissistic in this program. Rather, it is the ‘good and kind’ people of the world who tend to suffer with Mind Body Syndrome.”
—Howard Schubiner with Michael Betzold, Unlearn Your Pain, Fourth Edition

Why, thank you for the compliment. I’m blushing.

But what kind of perverse, reverse karma is this? I’m a “good and kind” person, without “selfish and narcissistic” tendencies, and I get repaid with years of trauma caused by mind body syndrome (aka chronic pain)?


It happened because when I experience conflict in life, I take the burden unto myself. I don’t lash out at others. But I am learning to let out the emotions in constructive ways and create safe spaces for myself to be.

Here’s something interesting. All my doctors told me that I was in all of the high risk groups for longer-lasting concussion symptoms. Those risk groups are (1) females, (2) migraine sufferers, and (3) anxiety sufferers.

I would always ask the doctors why these groups were at higher risk. They would always say they didn’t know, but research studies have confirmed this.

They didn’t know?! Now that I have read Unlearn Your Pain and The Way Out, the answer is obvious.

(1) Schubiner and Betzold have a section in their book dedicated to why women are more likely to suffer from mind body syndrome. Lots of men suffer from it, too. But the statistics are skewed toward women, because women are more likely to bottle up their emotions and their needs than men are. Part of this is socialization, and part of this is genetics.

(2) Migraine sufferers are (perhaps?) already suffering from mind body syndrome, so a concussion would only perpetuate the fear-based pain in the head. Plus, I would guess that migraine sufferers already have brain circuits for head pain, and a concussion could use those same well-developed circuits.

(3) As for anxiety sufferers, well, anxiety is the same thing as fear, which is the same thing that causes mind body syndrome.

Everything is less mysterious now.

I want to tell the world. And I am trying to.

But Schubiner and Betzold caution that the world might not listen:

“Be forewarned: Most people you tell about this will not be interested, or they will refuse to think that their condition could be MBS. . . . Few doctors are aware of MBS and even fewer patients. Many people’s initial reaction to hearing about MBS is that they are being accused of being weak, crazy, or faking their pain, or that their symptoms are all in their head. They may not understand that people with MBS are just normal people who have emotional reactions to stress.”

It’s important that more people, and more health care providers, learn about mind body syndrome. And it’s important that we reduce the stigma around mental health issues of all kinds.

Are you interested?