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24/7 symptoms + feeling overwhelmed: Coping strategies?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by introverted, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    My symptoms (buzzing, stabbing, stinging, tingling, twitching in my feet and legs) occur every minute of the day. They sometimes become so severe that I start to get headaches, brain fog, burning head/chest, and an inability to focus for long periods of time.

    I've been practicing mindfulness meditation very intently for about a month now, doing 1-2 thirty minute sessions each day of focusing on my breathing while allowing the symptoms to be there without reacting to them. This has been helping alleviate some of my emotional distress, but it's still very difficult. I also remind myself of my true diagnosis (TMS -- nothing structural), which helps settle me down sometimes.

    1) For those of you who deal with CONSTANT symptoms (24/7, or literally every minute) -- what has helped you cope with and manage them without feeling distressed and overwhelmed all the time?

    2) I have no trouble believing the diagnosis anymore, but I have a lot of trouble with the fact that my strategies are not "working" the way I want or expect them to. I've had these symptoms on a constant basis for almost 2 years and I have reduced my stress and extensively targeted my hidden emotions/underlying factors. But the symptoms have barely budged.

    (P.S. All medical testing is negative -- doctors say it's stress/anxiety, etc.)

    Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
  2. Edmond

    Edmond New Member

    I am in a situation that is very similar to you, my symptoms are constant too, today and many times before I managed to reduce the intensity of the pain and tension by changing the perception I had about the symptoms. That means, when I look at a symptom I look at it with all the background from the past (all the fears,experiences and knowledge accumulated by me about that symptom during last years), if I manage to look at it differently, without the knlowedge from the past interfering, the tension reduces. All the time I had improvements on my symptoms was because I looked at them differently than before and with less fear.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Peace I think the good news is you can be sure of your diagnosis, that in itself is helpful to your recovery. It seems to be the lingering doubts that are blokages to recovery. You mention mindfulness meditation the fact that you can sit for 30 minutes twice a day is wonderful, I struggle with 10. Perhaps look at what's positive.

    My question to you is have you worked with a therapist to help you uncover what this anxiety is all about? Or one of the programs that are offered on this zForum. I'm not a pill pusher but perhaps a medication that would help calm down your nervous system might be helpful.

    I'm sorry I can't be more helpful but perhaps something I suggested will resonate.
  4. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Thanks Susan. I have been seeing an anxiety therapist for 17 months, and started seeing a TMS therapist a few months ago.
    I have also been taking an anti anxiety medication for quite some time now.

    I've tried pretty much everything but the symptoms haven't really budged much. Just doing my best to continue with my strategies.
  5. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Peace take a deep breath you are doing everything you can do. I'm so sorry you're having such a difficult time. You are apparently a fighter keep fighting and you will win.
  6. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    PEACE you will get there. I know how hard it is. Right now the pain is not cooperating with all of your efforts and desire for it to go away. That is frustrating and discouraging. The pain may not be leaving because it is successfully distracting the heck out of you. When I was really locked in, when the pain was intense and didn't leave me for a waking or sleeping moment, I did my very best to do some of the things that I knew I loved and got real pleasure from when the pain wasn't there. I would go for a bike ride, visit with a friend, take a bath... sometimes if felt like I was really going through the motions because it was difficult to truly enjoy these things with the pain. But I did them anyway. And I would tell myself that I was okay and that the pain would go away but I had to do my best not to monitor it. I am a multi tasker and I was thinking about the pain all the time! It was a very tough habit to break. I obsessively played a game on Luminosity that took a lot of focus and concentration. It was all about switching tracks and getting trains into the right colored stations. If I stopped for a second I would miss a train. Sometimes I would do that for 1-2 hours a night just so that I wouldn't think about the pain. I was trying to break myself of the constant habit of thinking about the pain. That with the other therapies worked. This work is very individual and it does not need to be such a long, drawn out process for you. Its just that if you continue to work at this, you will feel better. And it can happen in an instant. But we can't force the timing of that moment, just keep doing your best, trust that you are okay and be ready for it. I have had panic attacks and seen therapists for anxiety previous to all of this. Then during my recovery there were times it went through the roof. There were days my entire skin was crawling from the anxiety, I couldn't sleep and it was miserable. I don't know if you've seen the videos on this site about welcoming the individual sensations related to the anxiety, but that exercise helped me more than any medication I have ever taken. I still use it whenever I feel anxious but that is not very often anymore. Its a very simple exercise but works better than anything I have ever tried. It doesn't just work better, it works! Have you read much about outcome independence? The whole idea of outcome independence made me very mad in the beginning. The idea of doing all this work and somehow not being tied to the outcome just didn't seem right. But there is method behind the madness and if you can just accept the concept and work toward achieving it, it will help. It is what will get you to truly look beyond the pain. Hope this helps. Hang in there. The meditation is good. It helps to take the edge off.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    Yinlin, tgirl, billiewells and 4 others like this.
  7. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    Ann gave you great advice take it and run with it….and for my 2 cents I suffer the same issues you do . I found tms therapist helpful but just in small amounts don't go over board…Get educated on TMS only book in my opinion with everything you ned to know is Steve O book THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION.

    Regarding your anxiety medication if you been taking it for so long and you are not getting any help from it, then maybe its time to let that go ( WITH YOUR DR PERMISSION AND HELP). I also was on many meds for many years with no help. If anything maybe ask your Dr for something to sleep, in my experinace with TMS if I did not sleep I was done the next day…..thankfully I am off them and on occasion take Melontoin for help to sleep.

    Try and find something that brings you some pleasure and do it…also abook to read is Fred Amir book.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  8. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Hi all, I appreciate your replies very much. It means a lot to me.

    I will be leaving the TMS forum now, for the time being. I don't know when I'll be back. But I find that I continue to obsess about my condition and coming back to this forum to read and read and read, and it's starting to make my head spin. I wish you all the very best in all you do!
  9. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    Introverted.......I found the only thing that works for me right now is keeping my mind occupied...... it is annoying to not be able to relax w/o worrying abt twitching; however, I spent a lot more time outside with my kids this summer which is a good thing. When I'm active I rarely notice twitching as I'm concentrating on other stuff which helps keep worrying at bay. It's not a complete solution but it buys time while I work on this in other ways...........and hopefully makes me a better father in the process.

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