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Do I have TMS? Please answer!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by cirrusnarea, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    I would like the opinion of the community whether or not I have TMS. At this point I am pretty sure, but it having it confirmed by an outside source will help convince me fully which will speed up my recovery. In January this year I started having chronic groin pain which brought on a lot of fear and anxiety. Would I ever get better? Could I have a normal sex life? Do I have a disease? After a lot of testing, nothing was found. In my research, it looked like Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Once I started looking around at clinics that treated this condition, I started getting a pain in my middle back. I had been to a chiropractor and had fell numbness in this area afterwards. A few weeks later while walking, I started having back pain in that same region. The same scary thoughts bombarded me. Did the chiropractor crush a disc? Trap a nerve? Will I ever get better? Most pain is in low back, will I have a serious condition since it is my thoracic spine? X rays turned out good, no MRI recommended yet.

    I have a history of issues that are probably mindbody related including frequent urination, severe allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression/anxiety. Looks to me like the mind is continuing to ramp up its message. When I started feeling good about the pelvic pain by seeking treatment, it knew it had to change course to my back. Since I had the numbness when seeing the chiropractor, it had a point of weakness to work with. Please let me know what you think.

    Edit> I have all the common TMS character traits including: Low self esteem, perfectionist, high expectations of myself, need to be like, guilt complex, hard on myself, overly responsible, people pleaser, worrier, difficulty making decisions, reserved, etc.
     
    eric watson likes this.
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    My opinion? Yes, TMS. Not because I think everyone has TMS, but because you describe typical symptoms and show you are pretty worried about them.
    See it as a step upwards. Healing can begin :)
    good luck, accept the tms, surf the tms and give yourself plenty of time to get better.
     
    eric watson likes this.
  3. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks, I think so too. I think once I am 100% sure I can heal faster. I've only been suffering for 6 months roughly, and yet all I can think is my life is over. I'll never be able to work a normal job and I'll never make my current girlfriend happy. Sounds so typical of the TMS personality. Also, I think I neglected to mention I have all the TMS character traits. I'll have to add that.
     
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    The symptoms you describe all certainly sound like they're TMS or PPDs. However, we're not here on this Forum to diagnose and prescribe, but rather to provide support and advice. The only way you can really tell whether your symptoms are caused by TMS or no is to have your condition diagnosed by a TMS physician, of whom there are many listed on the TMS Wiki. But what you describe certainly sounds like many, many other cases of TMS documented here and in Dr Sarno's books. If it is, going to the chiropractor for treatment of what you believe is a physical problem will only further confirm a physical or structural cause for your condition, which of course is exactly what feeds the psychological strategy behind TMS. Since you've been checked out by traditional doctors who could find nothing physically wrong with you, it certainly could't hurt to begin working the SEP (structured education program) available on the TMS Wiki. In any event, you'd begin to learn a lot more about your unconscious emotional life that could be behind your symptomatology.
     
    eric watson likes this.
  5. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for the advise. I have begun the SEP, today is my first day actually. I just nee to be 100% sure. I stopped seeing the chiro that I had the bad experience with. The one I'm going to now is extremely supportive and not even charging me. He just wants to see me get better. I'm lucky to have found him. Once I'm sure he can't help, I will stop seeing him. I've only been having the back pain for 2 months or so, so I'm going to pursue what my medical practitioners advise before stopping. That will help me be completely sure it's TMS.

    Here's the thing. The first time I was having this back pain it lasted about a week. It began shortly before I scheduled my first treatment for pelvic pain. I was really worried about the back pain and it was very bad. I scheduled with this new chiropractor and the day after my first adjustment the back pain was gone like it had never been there. Maybe he really did correct the problem, but TMS brought back a phantom condition? Otherwise, it could have been the placebo effect.

    Anyway, I know you're not here to diagnose. I just need confirmation that it sounds like TMS to the TMS community. And I could certainly use whatever support and advice you or others have for me.
     
  6. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cirrus, you'll never get 100% certainty.
    You might get some more reactions of people who all tell you there is a high probability. Even a TMS physician can't be 100% sure. All we can do is make the leap of faith you have to make as small as possible.
    I've had and sometimes still have the pelvic pain incl. back and leg. I was scouring the internet as well for all kinds of possible causes and all it did was make me more stressed. Since I learned about and started to treat it as TMS, I've only become better; less worried, more relaxed and ... less pain. I feel I am at 90% recovery at the moment.
    Hope you find the courage to dismiss that small percentage of uncertainty. Life is full of little uncertainties you know. Good luck
     
  7. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks, Gigalos,

    I was worried I wouldn't get better if I wasn't 100% sure. I'm mostly sure, but there's a shadow of the doubt. I've begun the program and will take it where it leads me.
     
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    The phenomenon you describe here sounds very much like "symptom substitution" where TMS changes the physical location of your pain symptoms from one place to another in order to confirm a physical or structural diagnosis. Ergo, you're still being distracted from the underlying psychological and emotional reasons for your pain. Of course, an internist would point out that the pain in your back could be incidental and due to an entirely different cause than your pelvic pain. But you should also keep in mind that chiropractic procedures can have a very strong placebo effect depending on your faith in the individual chiropractor and the hands on procedure he/she performs. Never doubt the power of the placebo effect; however, it doesn't usually result in a long-term cure. IOWs: The pain comes back or moves to a new location later on, leading to further trips to the chiropractor.
     
  9. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    I think you're right. I stopped being worried by the pelvic pain. It had decreased, I found someone who could treat it and I felt I was on the road to recovery. Then I get hit by the back pain. The chiropractic was probably placebo, at any rate, it hasn't been helping. So I may have to stop going as nice as he is.
     
  10. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cirrus - you sound like a really nice person and I just wanted to say a few things. Whether you have TMS or not, now would be a great time to take a look at how you are thinking and be aware of the messages you are sending yourself. I say this out of kindness and from years and years of of suffering from anxiety and catastrophic thinking. I am just now getting a handle on it and grateful that I am at last. It takes a lot of work but it is well worth it. When you say things to yourself such as "all I can think is my life is over. I'll never be able to work a normal job and I'll never make my current girlfriend happy" it can really create a lot of fear and anxiety. I know, I have had these thoughts before. Truthfully, no ones life is over until it is over. I have seen people recover from the most devastating terminal illnesses. I am not trying to be critical, I am trying to be encouraging. I have recovered from numerous chronic pain episodes only to realize 20 some years later that I have TMS. Even with all of the doctors reports, lots and lots of evidence, I am still having to work very hard to convince myself to not have doubts. I have a life time of deeply ingrained negative thought patterns. For some it is a process and each time I come back from questioning, getting another test or visiting a doctor, I become more and more resolved. You mentioned quite a few previous issues including anxiety/depression. TMS, at least for me, is very much connected to my anxiety disorder. There seems to be an overlap between treating the TMS and my anxiety. Many of the people who have recovered from TMS have also resolved their anxiety. Or some say the anxiety is just another distraction like the physical symptoms. In any case, there is so much that you can do such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness meditation, journaling, exercise, etc. that can help you not only with this current back issue but for future challenges. I wish you all the best.
     
  11. scorsese

    scorsese New Member

    I have the same problem.I had minor trauma to my pelvis and spine many years ago Now i have chronic back pain , groin pain , adductor tightness and frequent urination. I have been diagnosed Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Tried the TMS approach with minimal results.
     
  12. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks so much Anne,

    I have had bad anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder you could say, since I was 16 and had a bad LSD trip. Ever since I have had these anxiety and what I now believe are TMS issues. ie. the irritable bowel an frequent urination. Whatever the cause of the pain, you're right, I need to change my way of thinking. Maybe the pain is forcing me into finally doing this. But, easier said than done. Your comments mean a lot, thanks again.
     
  13. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Hi Scorsese, sorry to hear of your lack of results. Do you have the common characteristics of TMS? Do you have bad anxiety accompanying the pain? I still believe in CPPS, but the problem I have might be moreso TMS. Have you looked into treatment for the CPPS, such as internal trigger point? Hope you the best, it is rough, I can say I know what you're going through. It's traumatic, I just want it over.
     
  14. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think, Cirrus, that Dr Sarno lists three major criteria for a real TMS recovery:

    1.) No more physical treatments (i.e. PT or Chiropractor or steroid injections).
    2.) No pain meds.
    3.) Engaging in any kind of physical activity you want to without fear.

    Not so easy after you've been told over and over again that your pain is due to some physical or structural (instead of emotional) cause. Well, you've satisfied one of his criterion: No more chiro!
     
  15. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Hey Bruce, I've stopped taking pain meds too, mainly because they have NEVER worked. Had to recover from a hernia operation with no pain meds because they didn't work, just made me sick. For anything except headaches. It's been frustrating when doctors tell me to take an ibuprofin and I keep telling them it doesn't do anything and they just ignore me.

    The last one is tough. Maybe you have some insight?

    I was convinced the back pain was TMS, so I did some heavy yardwork, my back was absolutely killing me. I just blew it off. The next morning I woke up with no pain, in fact, I remarked to myself that I had felt better than I felt in a long time. That day I went for my daily walk and run, the back pain came back, minimally. But, the next morning I woke up with the worst back pain I've had and it has ceased to let up. While it does lighten up, it never goes away totally as it had before. I'm afraid to engage in physically activity now for fear it will get worse again. That was awful. BTW, thanks for your help.
     
  16. scorsese

    scorsese New Member

    I have done physiotherapy, massage, chiropractor, acupuncture , cortisone injections and medication.It eases sometimes, but always returns.I have not tried trigger point therapy. My MRI shows no abnormalities. They say you have to try to get the pelvic floor muscles to relax. Also my prostate is normal. It is also referred to as non bacterial prostatitis.
     
  17. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Okay, not sure if you have read either of these books. A Headache in the Pelvis by Wise-Anderson, and Heal Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein? If not, buy and read these books. Probably I'd read Amy's book first since it's shorter and provides more practical advise. Since you're ruling out TMS, at least for the time being, get these books and do the stretches everyday as prescribed.

    Also, find someone in your area who perform trigger point therapy for CPPS. It took me a lot of internet searches before I found someone that does the internal technique.

    I hope you the best! It's a nightmare, I know. If you go through these books and get the treatment and it still doesn't help, I'd turn back to TMS.

    BTW, I know what you mean about all the things you've tried. I've done it all too, lol. I was seeing success and then the back pain came in to take over.
     
  18. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Cirrus, that third prerequisite to recovery is the roughest row to hoe I'm afraid. However, it seems when I combine meditation to relax the mental tension in conjunction with trips to the gym that I keep feeling less and less pain and gaining more and more flexibility. Trouble is that each individual TMS patient has a different recovery curve. It seems to me that the TMS backed off on its own irrespective of the kind of physical exercise I was engaging in. Seems like the stuff has a mind of its own and just lets up when it decides to let up. For me, there was no instant cure, just a gradual lessening of symptoms at the same slow, almost glacial rate. The exercise may I suspect serve as a way of distracting you from the deep emotions that are driving your TMS symptoms. I think it's like Steve O. says (to badly paraphrase him) "TMS lets up when it's going let up". But not paying attention to it is a big part of the recovery process I'm certain.
     
  19. scorsese

    scorsese New Member

    Cirrus is your problem a result of trauma to you back or pelvis? Did the trigger point therapy help?
     
  20. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Scorsese, I think Dr Sarno notes that one of the common characteristics of TMS patients is that they consistently blame their pain on some old physical injury or trauma that preceded the onset of symptoms. I do know if there is a big time lag between the initial injury and the beginning of a pain symptom, then the pain is very likely psychologically induced. For example, I had a TMS relapse in 2007 right after taking a fall while out running. However, after the fall, I dusted myself off and ran 1.5 miles back to my car at the head of the road and felt absolutely no pain. The pain began 3 days later and kept building over a 6-week time frame until I couldn't weight my left side. If there's been a broken bone or torn tendon I would have felt it immediately. When the top hip man at SOAR, Dr Mow, checked me out, he said there's nothing wrong with the range of motion in your hip, like a 20 year old. But still the pain continued and began to move around from hip to back to knee to foot. I never stopped to consider that the onset of pain also coincided with a bunch of self-imposed stress I was having at the same time. In fact, I was out running to burn some of that off. Obviously, my fall functioned as a psychological trigger that initiated my TMS. You should never underestimate the power of the unconscious mind.
     

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