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Advice: TMS with a Stressful Job

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by elizabethswan, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. elizabethswan

    elizabethswan New Member

    I have hit sort of a reversal with my TMS progress. I thought I was doing really well, I was in progress on the structured education program, I felt like I had control over my emotions and how I was reacting to my back pain, and I felt like it was bothering me less on a day to day basis.

    Recently I moved out of my apartment - it was a long drive up which I was originally very apprehensive about, and after about 1 hour in the car I started to feel pain, but I told myself "you are okay there is nothing wrong with you" and shortly after the rest of the car ride was generally pain free. The move itself was also better than I expected. I thought I wouldn't be able to move heavy boxes, I would need to take really frequent breaks, and my back would seize up. However, (while I did need to take frequent breaks) it actually went a lot better than I thought it was going to, and I was really excited!

    Since I moved in with the parents to save some money while we wait for the "return to the office", I visited my boyfriend while I was in town. The first week was fantastic. I was barely noticing any pain - most of the normal activities I'd notice when I was home I didn't notice while I was staying with him. It was amazing! I also didn't have a lot of time to be doing the structured education program (so I was missing a lot of days) but I wasn't upset about it - it was nice to not be thinking about it all the time. But this is where it gets tricky:

    The day I felt like the pain started to come back was the same day I had a session with a TMS therapist I recently began working with - really to see if they could help accelerate the healing process and be another "factor of proof" for the TMS diagnosis. BUT what makes this tricky is really when the TMS pain was coming back was also at a time where my work was getting more stressful than usual. So to me now, there are two factors in play at the same time. Less stress from work, and not thinking about TMS (in addition to the distractions of being in a different place with different people) = back was feeling better, but also thinking about TMS and more stress at work = back feeling worse.

    I was worked through the Labor Day holiday weekend (until 2am on Labor day - pretty ironic), and then until 2 am for the whole week thereafter. I think I am slowly starting really connect a lot of my stress with work, but I don't know that I am seeing the "physical" benefit yet. I am really trying to think psychological, but with this recent "regression" and really late working hours I find myself slipping into thinking physical and also not having as good a handle on my emotional response (e.g., getting frustrated, feeling helpless, wondering when this will ever end - if ever).

    Anyone here have any tips or advice for those with a particularly stressful job, and how you have gotten through this? I am really trying to keep myself of the "think psychological not physical" path but it is really hard when it is taking so long so see any tangible results.
  2. BagelSchnitzel

    BagelSchnitzel Peer Supporter

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I've had and recovered from multiple TMS symptoms in the past. But I too am going through a super busy period at work, I'm currently in charge of a large office move and all the IT infrastucture over the next few weeks, with all the increased stress, my TMS is back to rear its ugly head.

    Current symptoms:

    - Abdominal pain/IBS

    I think I need to find a way to better manage my stress levels. I've just started the Wim Hof method again (first time in a while last night) and got some relief from symptoms and the anxiety/stress I was feeling. going to try and continue with it. Anything to get me through these next few weeks then I can get back to working on myself again without the high stress levels which keep setting me back.

    Hope you find some relief with your stressful job.
    elizabethswan likes this.

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