Q&A: What's the difference between Conversion Syndrome and TMS?
Answer by Audrey Berdeski, DC
There really is no difference. Dr Sarno wrote that the terms psychosomatic, TMS, conversion syndrome, and even what used to be called hysterical pain, are all descriptors for any physical pain that has a psychological origin.
This woman's story in the article however is confounded by the fact she is taking anti-depressant medication. Granted she might need to have her brain chemistry altered in order to be relieved of her psychological symptoms, which will also impact her physical symptoms. But according to Sarno, "Mindbody symptoms exist to serve a purpose. If you thwart that purpose by taking away the symptom without dealing with its cause, the brain will simply find a substitute symptom or disorder". By the intensity of her stressors she had significant emotional pain, so both treatments were probably warranted. My fear for her is that the medication may take away the symptom without addressing the cause. Until she is able to understand the unconsious cause(es) of her physical symptoms, she may (okay, more than likely she will) manifest new ones.
I would recommend that she continues the psychotherapy, preferably with someone who understands TMS, and has been psychodynamically trained. Can someone send her a copy of The Mindbody Prescription? She has had the psychotherapy but says that she can still not quite believe her symptoms were caused by her psychological condition, and she is better but not cured. Perhaps the Dr.'s in that ward she was treated in could use a good book to read too. Is there anyone who would like to speak to Dr.'s in Psych wards about Dr. Sarno's work? We need people to reach out to educate the medical community about TMS. The more docs we can educate about this, the more people that can be helped.
It is important to recognize that no information on this wiki can be considered a specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. Reading information here does not create a doctor/patient or other professional relationship between you and the answering professional. As always, you should consult with your physicians and counselors regarding new symptoms and any changes that you might make in medications or activities.
- Q&A: Must my therapist believe in TMS?
- Q&A: I like my therapist, but she doesn't know about TMS
- TMS frequently asked questions (FAQ's)
|DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.|