I just had a big insight while reading the thread about "My Strange Affliction" -- as we all know there is a general lack of awareness and many misperceptions around psychogenic illnesses. People seem to think psychogenic illness means you're faking or that the pain isn't real or that you could easily stop the illness if you wanted to. Personally I always thought that labeling something psychosomatic was just a way for doctors to write off difficult cases. Going back for several generations, my mother's family used natural herbal medicine to treat illness (later they did also use some mainstream Western medicine). My maternal grandmother was always very skeptical of Western medicine. I don't agree with her views, but she died at 91, never lived in a nursing home, and never went to a doctor for the last 20 years of her life, so it worked for her! My mother has always been interested in the power of mind to heal and was always talking about various authors like Norman Vincent Peale, Norman Cousins, and later Dr. Sarno. I just thought this was mom's thing, though I did believe some of it. Sometimes when I was sick growing up my mother would suggest it could be psychosomatic and I remember getting really angry about that--thinking she believed I was pretending to be sick or that whatever the problem was, it wasn't real. She didn't think everything was psychosomatic but I think she probably cast a wider net on what's psychosomatic than I would. If you ever watch daytime tv you know there are tons of ads targeted at women for PMS, mentrual pain, bloating, etc. I remember watching tv with my mother and she would always say that was just "The Man" trying to get women to believe there was something wrong with them to buy these products. She didn't say it quite like that but that was the tone There must have been something to it because I've only had that kind of pain maybe 3 or 4 times in my life--and I have endometriosis. (I don't think PMS, etc. are always psychosomatic, but I do remember reading something like only 5% of women actually have these conditions, and my interpretation is that everyone else probably has some TMS-equivalent.) My mom read Dr. Sarno's back pain book back in 1998 after having really debilitating pain while her father was dying. She was one of those enviable people was was pain free after 2 days reading the book. Though I'm often skeptical of my mother's views on the power of the mind, I eventually come around When I read about Dr. Sarno on a headache forum back in December, I remembered my mother mentioning him and I thought I would give his books a shot. I told my mother about my TMS diagnosis a few weeks ago and she was really supportive. It's nice to have someone in my family that I can talk with about this. I realize now that it probably took me so long to consider my pain was psychological because I was somehow rebelling against mom being right. Well, I am glad she was right about pain. I'm happy to see it on its way out.