Though I no longer visit this TMS Wiki website, I am posting this in the hope it will give someone else hope – as these success stories helped me in the past. The reason I no longer visit the TMS Wiki website is because I’m out and about enjoying my life. However, this time last year I spent hours every day on this website and the internet in general googling my health symptoms. I also have OCD health anxiety which magnifies my sensations and fears. I was filled with anxiety from the minute I woke up until I went to bed. My heart raced and I slept poorly. I was obsessed with my pain symptoms and it consumed my life. I was severely underweight and life was not fun (nor was I fun to be around). I have had TMS most of my life, including a bout of lower back pain, sciatica, burning mouth syndrome, eyelid twitches, eczema, thumb twitching, migraines, hemicrania continua, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, globus, toe pain, TMJ, IBS, panic attacks, abdominal pain, chest tightness, acid reflux and more. My most debilitating brush with TMS involved upper GI/ abdominal pain. I was diagnosed with gastritis a few years ago (via endoscopy) and after a very difficult, extremely painful and prolonged period of time weaning off a proton pump inhibitor similar to Nexium (never again will I take those), I was left with abdominal pain, heart burn, chest pain and extreme fear of food. I slept with a wedge pillow, took a plethora of supplements and restricted what I could eat to the point I became 15 pounds underweight. I became fearful that I had every possible malady that could affect the upper GI region, and researched them all incessantly for symptoms and solutions. I was consumed with contacting doctors, getting tests and researching health issues. My chest felt tight and painful all the time (it moved around a bit). I had an ache in one side of my abdomen on and off for 12 years. I had invasive medical tests that showed the gastritis was gone and everything looked good. But I still lived in pain and fear that consumed my life. Fortunately for me (and my family who had to put up with me), I live only an hour’s drive away from the Pain Psychology Center in Beverly Hills. I also live close to Dr David Schecter. After talking to me and reviewing my test results, Dr Schecter told me there was nothing physically wrong with me. He also pressed on points in my back that confirmed I was highly susceptible to TMS. At the Pain Psychology Center I began weekly meetings with my therapist, Daniel Lyman, to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. He calmly and patiently helped me come to believe what he was confident of all along – my symptoms were TMS. There was nothing physically wrong with me. This was all just anxiety coming out physically. It took a while for me to truly believe this, as my pain and fear felt so real. But through continued work with Daniel, including directly addressing my OCD with exposure response prevention, my pain started to leave. Today I only infrequently have abdominal pains or chest pains, and when I do, it doesn’t create the same fear in me. I can acknowledge that my anxiety must be acting up and think about what is probably bothering me. The pain always goes away. I’ve gained back my weight and am eating things I was scared to put in my mouth. I sleep well again. And though I still get heartburn sometimes, I know this will pass too as my fear continues to subside (true to TMS, when I eat “safe” foods I tend to notice heartburn more than when I eat something like barbeque pork ribs with cornbread). I no longer use a wedge pillow. It was also very helpful for me to take an SSRI for my OCD (I’m on Celexa). While it may not be for everyone, for me, the addition of an SSRI helped my OCD immensely by turning down the volume on my incessant obsessive thoughts so I could resist acting on them, thereby rewiring my neural pathways and teaching my brain that the thought was irrelevant. I don’t plan to ever go off it because I feel a million times better on it. I still see Daniel regularly as he continues to help me with TMS, OCD and life in general. I’m happy to say that now I love my life – spending time with loved ones, exercising, traveling, doing my hobbies and enjoying my career. I no longer read TMS books or visit TMS sites because there are too many fun things to do instead, though I’m extremely grateful for the help they gave me. And if a new pain comes along, I’ll know it too will most likely be TMS, and that’s ok. Just that knowledge that it’s TMS takes the wind out of its sails. So hang in there. There is hope and there is help. And life can be fun again.