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Advice for my friend?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Caroline Rumur, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Caroline Rumur

    Caroline Rumur Well known member

    Hey everyone!

    I have a serious question for you guys, I am pretty sure my friend has some sort of TMS related illness. I went to college with him, he studied sound design. He is the type of guy who always helps out with projects and is very positive but I feel it is hurting him. We worked on many projects together and he would go through multiple ailments.

    He started to have problems with his wrists and he can no longer play the saxophone, and he is such a talented player. :( He also has had ringing in the ears and other ailments that I am pretty sure are TMS related.

    How should I approach him about it, I don't want him to be offended and think I am saying that it's all in his head because I KNOW the pain is real but I really want him to play saxophone again. Do you think I should just give him one of Sarno's books or approach it a different way?

    Let me know what you guys think

  2. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Hey Caroline,

    I totally relate - I'm in a similar situation with my sister. Like you, I asked folks here for advice, and got some pretty great replies about how to talk to others about TMS. (Feel free to read through the thread if you think it'd be useful: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/what-to-do-when-others-might-have-tms.5497/)

    Does he know about TMS? Or at least is he familiar the overall mind/body connection (mental stress having an effect on the physical body)? And do you think he'd be open to the TMS approach, or would he reject it? There are definitely ways to approach the conversation where you avoid using the "in your head" sort of terms but ultimately it's up to him to accept the diagnosis. You can offer your support, share information and resources with him, but in the end it has to be his choice (for lack of a better word) to accept that he may have TMS. This is so difficult when you care about someone so much, but you can't force TMS on anyone. Accepting the TMS diagnosis is such a vital part of the recovery process. It won't work if that acceptance isn't genuine.

    That's what I've come to understand, anyhow. I'm still struggling with how to have the conversation, or if I should even have the conversation in the first place. So I don't know if I can help as much there. Do other people have thoughts or suggestions?
  3. Caroline Rumur

    Caroline Rumur Well known member

    Hey Becca!

    Thanks for replying! He doesn't know about TMS. He is pretty open so I can try first with bringing up the mind body connection and go from there. I think I will start with sharing some articles like the most recent one I shared with TMS wiki and slowly introduce TMS. I want him to take it seriously. I will def look at that thread! Thanks for the advice :D
  4. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    The trick (if there is one) is to connect TMS with someone or something your friend already knows and respects. That might be you, with a bit of luck. Howard Stern fans will listen to his comments on his recovery. People who liked the movie What the Bleep Do We Know, mind/body fans, people who trust doctors and read Sarno before they read his detractors, conspiracy theorists, can all be approached from the appropriate angle.

    It's shocking to me how few people respond with an open mind even though the benefits of at least giving TMS theory a try are enormous. Like many others, I happened across a book, read it, and my chronic (very painful) back "condition" was gone within two weeks. I think Dr. Sarno said only about 15% of his new patients responded positively. The rest didn't bite despite their chronic pain and suffering. In his later years, he said he could tell (on the telephone) who was likely to respond and didn't give the others an appointment. No point in wasting both their time.

    I'll give almost anything a try, yet here I am, over 20 years later, and my brain occasionally comes up with new TMS equivalents to distract me. I know the theory but somehow that's not quite enough to put the problem to rest for good.

    Alan Gordon skipped to the bottom line, saying, "When the thing your anxious about is a higher priority to you than the fact that you're anxious about it, the anxiety will persist. When the fact that you're living in a constant state of fight or flight becomes more distressing to you than the thing you're anxious about, that's when change occurs."

    I guess it's just human nature that, as adults especially, we may resist changing until we really have no alternative. Good luck with your friend! Most of my friends and relatives have TMS in one form or another and all my persuasion has been in vain. They just say, "Yes, but ..." which usually means they aren't ready to even think about the possibility. They have seen me recover but that's me, not them.

    Sigh :rolleyes: . Malcolm Gladwell might say we (individually and collectively) just haven't quite made it to the "tipping point". There do seem to be more and more experts in their fields who endorse the idea that mind and body are one, or at least interconnected. Someday that will be as obvious to most people as it is to most on this forum. Then the world will be quite different. Until then, it's hard to watch.
    Becca, Tennis Tom and Ellen like this.
  5. Caroline Rumur

    Caroline Rumur Well known member

    Thanks njoy for the advice! Yes you are right! I think I will see what celebrity he trusts and possibly start with that route. It's really hard seeing someone you love having TMS related symptoms and knowing you can help them but it really is up to them in the end. I am going to start giving him articles to read and slowly introduce him to the topic and then I'll give him Sarno's book. I think that may work---hopefully.

    It's so crazy that people could see you recover and STILL not believe it. Alan Gordon makes a really good point.

    Thank you so much!! :D
    cindi f. likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Caroline. All you can do is give your friend the TMS knowledge. Hopefully he will try it.
    Caroline Rumur likes this.

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