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Advice for overcoming doubt

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JanAtheCPA, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi everyone:

    Following last Saturday's chat, someone asked me this question:
    "Is there any feedback you have regarding doubting going all in with TMS?"

    I said I would answer this question in the public forum, just in case someone else is wondering the same thing, so here goes:

    Personally, this was not a problem for me, because I had somehow been brought up to believe that I had more control over my health and well-being than many people think we do. So I was already into visualization and deep breathing and and self-care rather than running to the doctor for everything. I believed in the mind-body connection, but I didn't have all the pieces, and I certainly knew nothing about the TMS brain mechanism, which is why I was falling apart as I reached age 60 (along with my lifelong anxiety spinning out of control).

    Dr. Sarno provided those missing pieces, and I was ready to take in everything he had to offer (my first book was The Divided Mind). Seriously doing the work (the SEP, and other resources - you can see the list on my profile) and sticking around here were the keys to getting my life back. I still struggle - getting older doesn't help - but my recovery is quicker, and I'm no longer in danger of becoming housebound with crippling anxiety and other symptoms.

    Here is what I generally advise doubters, which is to ask yourself: "What's the worst thing that can happen if I abandon the physical focus for now, and think psychologically instead?"

    In other words, are you in any kind of physical danger if you abandon physical thinking and physical procedures for a while? Have you been checked out for your condition(s) and is there some kind of medical intervention that you've been advised that you must do for your health and well-being? Typically, for people who have found their way here, the answer to that question is no. Most people have been offered possible options, but they aren't usually urgent, and some (like surgery) are downright risky. Even more people have tried all of the options, and they are ready to abandon them.

    Consumer Reports, the magazine for the great middle-class consumer, has been saying for a year or two now: "Don't have surgery until you've tried exercise, PT, yoga, and meditation." Which to me is revolutionary.

    I recently came across this article on Vox: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/17/17276452/chronic-pain-treatment-psychology-cbt-mindfulness-evidence (100 million Americans have chronic pain. Very few use one of the best tools to treat it.)

    I believe that mind-body awareness is right on the edge of going mainstream. The traditional medical profession will probably be the last to get on board.

    So with that in mind, and given the virtually zero cost and zero side effects of thinking psychologically - you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Just be very alert to the fact that your primitive fearful brain is going to fight you every step of the way. Because THAT is where your doubt actually comes from.

    Lynn S, Lizzy, karinabrown and 5 others like this.
  2. westb

    westb Well known member

    Jan, thank you for this. Very helpful. I've just read your story as well and there are so many parallels with mine, including that we are of a similar age, though in my case I am still definitely a work in progress. But after many years of lurking here I am now finally convinced that my digestive and occasional back issues are a form of TMS. What I am working on now is not being thrown into panic and discouragement when the symptoms do flare, doing the emotional footwork and I am also searching to revive the creative and meaningful activities that have fallen by the wayside these past few years.

    It's such an extraordinary path that we are following!
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  3. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Thanks for the link to that article. And I agree with you that it's sooo close to going mainstream. I hope someday I can go to my doctor and have a conversation about whatever symptom I might have and have him/her totally understand what TMS is and believe in it. I'm not holding my breath though, but it is so far further than back in '07 when I first found Dr Sarno's books.
  4. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    I know this is going to sound negative...But that article was informative, but, IMHO, gave me the impression that CBT was a placebo only. They bring up this guy who had chronic migraines and didn't get better at all and the one gal who was treated for ulcers and after the bacteria was gone still had chronic pain...She too did therapy, but just learned to manage the pain without drugs, but still had it to a lesser extent that she could work...How is that encouraging? Why couldn't both of them get rid of their pain? In short this article read more of how to manage pain without drugs...Am, I missing something here?

  5. Marinedad

    Marinedad Well known member

    I agree with you Kalo , sometimes I feel people say they are better they are not...I been fully in tms belief for 7 out of my 8 years and never had a sign of relief.
  6. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Well, that wasn't my point....I have seen people fully recover from TMS or mindbody syndrome.

    I guess what I was trying to express was that the mind can do more than pain management, it can actually heal chronic pain.

    I guess I just wanted to read how mainstream is staring to see the healing effects rather than just pain management effects.

    Bodhigirl likes this.
  7. Marinedad

    Marinedad Well known member

    For me it hasn't done either
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I guess I'm less interested in the individual details , and more encouraged by the general concept that "thinking psychologically" is being heard more, and becoming more accepted.

    I'm going to take a leap here and say a couple of things:

    1. Getting hung up on individual details in the stories of one or two individuals is just another way that your brain creates doubt. It's also a form of perfectionism - and we all know where that leads, right?

    2. Continuing to look for proof or confirmation from other people - whether they are medical or mental health professionals, or fellow-sufferers - gets in the way of recovery. And... it's yet another way that your brain creates doubt.
    Enrique and Marinedad like this.

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