The number of friends & family who are suffering from TMS continues to increase, while I continue to struggle to convince them to at even consider the possibility of a psychosomatic source of the problem. The fact that I am hopelessly mired in my own TMS definitely makes it a heckuva lot harder to maintain any credibility on the subject. At this moment, I am standing and leaning over my desk in an unbelievably awkward position while I’m typing this because the pain in my lower back is so relentless now that I’ve tapered down to only 10mg of Prednisone. I’m writing this today because of one friend who is suffering terribly, for many years now, from chronic back pain, depression, terrible migraines, and the latest diagnoses: Lyme Disease and Bipolar Disorder. She’s actually excited about the Bipolar Disorder, because she’s been taking antidepressants for 15 years now and hasn’t found one that really works. A big part of the problem is that she is married to a neurosurgeon (who incidentally is certain my problem can be fixed with a scalpel), so despite his best intentions, he is undoubtedly represents an influence in the ‘other’ direction towards Western Medicine, despite its complete lack of efficacy. She is on antibiotics now and likely a number of other treatments for Lyme Disease, but it really feels like one of those diagnoses doctors fall back on when they can’t figure out what’s wrong, especially on the East Coast where there are a lot of those Deer Ticks around. Anyway, despite her familiarity with the material, she is clearly unconvinced that TMS is the root of all of her problems. She lives with crippling anxiety stemming from her fear of being unable to care for her children, despite doing a fantastic job in spite of her limitations. She manages to worry about workman’s comp claims and finances even though she would be considered quite wealthy by most standards. Anyway, none of the meds for migraines or anything else she’s tried has worked, but even though her symptoms are worse than ever, she has a renewed optimism now that they have the Lyme Disease & Bipolar Disorder to point to…both conditions that can include a number of vague symptoms that could have a hundred other causes. I can’t stand to watch her suffer like this, and she’s reached a dangerous enough level to have been hospitalized twice this year as a suicide risk. The closest I came to recommending revisiting Dr. Sarno’s work was in recommending she try to start meditating again. We have many shared experiences, especially the challenges that go along with “not LOOKING sick”, and I am just afraid to throw this at her & risk being perceived like one of her other friends or family members that tells her crap like ‘you just need to be more positive’. I want to convince her that she has nothing to lose and am just certain that it is the depression/MBS that is 100% the cause of all of it (I wish I could be as sure about my own situation), but can’t risk a response that negatively impacts our friendship or even makes things worse. I’ve thrown in the towel when it comes to my aunt (back/neck pain) or 2 cousins (back pain/vertigo) who won’t even watch the documentary (I gave up trying to get them to read the books) & prefer to continue suffering. Yet this person is much more in touch with these emotional disturbances and I feel has a better chance at recovery if she could just accept the diagnosis. Any advice on the most delicate way to approach this?