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17 years old.. could this be tms?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Christian95, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Christian95

    Christian95 Peer Supporter

    My name is Christian, im only 17 years old (Soon 18) im from Denmark, and i think i have Tension Myositis Syndrome. I have been watching alot of videos about this on the internet, and reading alot about it. I hope someone will have time to read my story and maybe answer it. I will try not to make it too long.

    Feburary this year i started having back pain, mostly in the lower back, only 2 months before this i had started at a new school, i wanted to get good grades, so i could get into law school when i was done with high school, so at the time my pain started i was very set on getting good grades, so i could go to law school, and later in life have a big car, house and enough of money, beacuse i grew up in a family that didnt have much money to deal with, so it was very important to me that my kids som eday should not experience the same. So the day that my back pain started, was a saturday, and i had been writing a danish assignment for monday all the day, thinking alot about making it good, since it was my first assignment in Danish at my new school, later the same day i was out shopping with my mom and then my back pain started.. and now a half year later i still have it..
    I of course just thought it would go away in a few hours, but it didnt. I think its important to say that i have a huge history in social anxiety, and also health anxiety, but also just anxiety in general, and i still have. I also had a hard time growing up with not many friends, and many bullied me, but thats a long story ;)
    So when my back pain had been there for a few days i started getting alot of thoughts about what it could be, cancer, and all other serious diseases, so i worried for some weeks, and i started having pain other places, i went to see the doctor, i had blood tests done that looked fine, and i had an MRI scan, and it showed that nothing serious was wrong but that i had something called a "small bulging disc", so when i found out that nothing serious was wrong with me, all of my pain except for the back pain stopped, which i think means that the other kind of pains (Leg, rib, stomach pain and itchy skin etc) was caused by anxiety. But my back pain countinued and now i have seen a physical therapist a few times for the bulging disc and it havent helped.
    It is just a small bulging disc, but i have lower back pain every day, the pain also moves place in the back all the time, so its not the same place in the lower/middle back all the time, and it is driving me crazy...sometimes i feel like im panicking, i feel that my life is over, i mean im only 17 and i have back pain every day. Sometimes i see more positive on things. This summer (In July) i was a week in Norway on holiday, and i didnt have any back pain for that week, but i was also having fun and seing alot of new things, and the trip meant alot to me since i would love to live in that country someday.
    I must admit that i am very focused on the future, and especially around the time i startet having pain, now i dont expect as much from myself as i did before, all the money, houses, and cars i wanted before, dosnt mean anything to me anymore, i just want my back pain to go away.

    Do any of you think that this is Tension Myositis Syndrome? what could i do about it?
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, Christian, you did the right thing going to a doctor and ruling out any major physical causes for the origins of your back pain. That's a necessary first step to arriving at a TMS diagnosis. The situation you describe - anxiety, social isolation, being bullied, and the way your back pain disappeared when you moved to Norway - certainly point toward TMS as the culprit. Not being an MD, I can't diagnose, prescribe or treat your condition, only offer advice and support. You might want to try beginning to work the Structured Education Program (SEP) available on the TMS Wiki site or dropping by our weekly chat group on Saturdays that meets on the web at 12pm Pacific Time (don't know how that translates to your time in Denmark, but you can look it up). Check out the various audio-videos presentations on the Media tab of this site too. A good place to begin is to listen to the various TMS success stories because they can give you some perspective on your own situation. I do notice that you're placing a great deal of pressure on yourself to succeed and self-imposed pressure is one of the classic causes behind the appearance of TMS pain symptoms. Hope this helps.

    All the best,


    PS- Have you read Healing Back Pain by Dr John E. Sarno? That's perhaps the most succinct, easily readable introduction to TMS and how to recover from it.​
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Christian,

    Your pain certainly sounds like tms. To add to BruceMC's wise advice I would encourage you to simply enjoy your life. You are deliciously young and learning about your emotions and how powerful they are is an immense gift. Many people here will probably tell you that looking back, they see the seeds of later woes in their younger selves and most importantly, in their emotional reactions. Dive in here. Learn about tms. Take a peek at Alan Gordon's Program which has it's own subforum and many people who are benefiting from it.
    The beauty of psychological exploration us that it is always and only good.
    Welcome here and don't be shy about any questions.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Christian,
    I agree that your pain sounds like TMS. You describe several of the classic signs--it was triggered by a stressful situation; it was absent when on vacation; a difficult childhood; a personality where you put a lot of pressure on yourself to succeed.....Also, you describe having a great deal of anxiety, and many believe that anxiety is a form of TMS. Also, I can attest to the fact that age has nothing to do with the presence of TMS. Now that I have an understanding of TMS, I can trace the beginning of my symptoms to age 4 when I first started having migraine headaches.

    I suggest starting one of the structured programs you can find for free here, either the Structured Educational Program (SEP) or Alan Gordon's program. And begin reading books on TMS. The one BruceMC suggests is a good place to start, or Steve Ovanich's book "The Great Pain Deception" which is being discussed now in the Call-in Discussion Group. You can listen to the recordings of those discussions.

    Welcome to the forum....
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Christian. The others have given you some very good advice and I agree that​
    your pain appears to be TMS. You can read more about Dr. Sarno and his book​
    HEALING BACK PAIN by looking at TMSWiki.com/forum postings past and present.​

    By way of a very brief explanation, Dr. Sarno says if we have back or other pain
    and a physical examination shows no structural abnormality, the pain is psycholgical.
    “In my experience, structural abnormalities of the spine rarely caused back pain,” he
    wrote in Healing Back Pain. He explains that our unconscious mind inflicts back, shoulder,
    arm, leg, stomach, neck and other pain on our bodies to keep us from thinking about or
    even acknowledging past and present negative emotions such as anger, rage, fear, all kinds
    of worries, anxieties, and stresses related to relationships with spouses, siblings, children,
    parents, bosses, etc., pressures of our daily home and work lives. Pain also can be caused
    by our personalities. Strong candidates for developing TMS symptoms are perfectionists,
    worriers, the very ambitious, those who are self-critical and compulsive, over
    conscientious and responsible, and people-pleasers. All of these emotions create stress
    which can cause pain and, as some say, stress can kill.

    Dr. Sarno also says that even if an X-ray, MRI, or Cat scan shows structural
    abnornality such as a herniated disc, the pain may still not be physically caused because
    many patients found to have such structural damage did not suffer pain from it, so the
    pain, again, is psychological, from repressed negative emotions. The same can be true
    of the elderly who believe, or are told by their doctor, that their back aches because of
    arthritis or other “normal” deterioration due to their age. Many people in their seventies
    and even those decades older may have back pain because of repressed bad emotions.

    Why does our unconscious mind give us pain? Is it being a friend or a foe?
    That’s not known for certain, but it is giving us pain because we are repressing potentially
    dangerous emotions such as anger about ourselves or others which might harm us or
    them. In that case, our unconscious mind is doing us a favor, not punishing us. The pain
    tells us to dig into our past or present emotions and identify causes of our distresses.
    Once we’ve identified them, our unconscious releases the pain.

    It’s like a pressure cooker… steam builds up pressure inside the pot (our head or
    other body part) and when the steam is gradually released, the pressure goes down and
    then disappears. I'm of Polish descent and humorously call pressure cookers
    “Polish microwave ovens.” My mother gave me one for my first apartment nearly sixty
    years ago and I still use it, mainly to make delicious and healthy chicken vegetable soups.

    Some people find relief from pain by talking sternly to their unconscious, even
    yelling at it that they know the pain is from repressed emotions and not from any physical.

    Reading more about TMS you'll learn that a big step toward healing pain is to "journal,"
    to write about your past which can bring up repressed emotions that can cause pain.
    It really helps to journal.

    Good luck and we're all glad you found us. We'll do all we can to help you.
  6. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi and welcome.

    I have a large herniated disc or two and did have bad back pain. I read Dr. Sarno's books (2 or 3 of them) and "did the work" he outlines. The pain went away. So just because you have a herniated disc doesn't mean it's the cause of your pain--and it probably isn't.

    I had to smile when I saw that when you were on vacation you had no symptoms. Isn't vacation a wonderful thing!? Then we come back to reality. I used to get pain whenever I was coming home from vacation!

    Healing hugs to you.
  7. Christian95

    Christian95 Peer Supporter

    Thank you very much for all the helpfull answers, it really helps to read about, and i feel hopeful that my pain soon will go away.
    Again thank you all very much.

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