Hey everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a writer and musician living in Berlin who has been unable to work or continue my graduate studies during the past 3 years due to severely disabling symptoms. I finally have hope that months down the line (or even sooner!) I'll be able to update you with my own success story. I've struggled with mental and physical health for my whole life. After starting the Curable program, I finally feel like I have some understanding and hope of my confusing and disabling symptoms, and why so many medical interventions have just made things worse. I would appreciate any thoughts, encouragement, or resources you'd like to send my way! Here's a little summary of the diagnoses I've received over the years. Childhood: Asthma, Anxiety Teen Years: Panic Disorder, Major Depression, TMJ (botched splint treatment led to invasive jaw surgery), Fibromyalgia College: GERD/IBS, Chronic Wrist Tendonitis Post-College: Steroid-Induced Adrenal Insufficiency (caused by over-aggressive asthma treatment, now in remission), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Agoraphobia, Chronic Ankle Tendonitis, Tension Headaches And the long version: As described in the TMS resources I've checked out, I definitely fit the personality of the perfectionist and goodist, having been raised in a very strictly religious family. Excelling in school and the arts were one of my few sources of pride over the years. Despite the many symptoms I endured, I managed to (or rather forced myself) to maintain a pretty functional life (work, school, relationships) until 3 years ago, when a hidden mold infestation (likely in combination with TMS) led to a severe asthma exacerbation. Over months, this exacerbation was treated unsuccessfully with high steroid doses, and it didn't improve until I moved into a different place. Unfortunately, by that time, I was unable to wean off the steroids and it was determined that I had developed Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency (a scary diagnosis in which your adrenals cease producing their own natural steroids to sustain life, which scared me even more when imaging showed bilateral adrenal atrophy and I was told I may never recover). That started some really nighmarish months in which the doctors could not find any steroid regimen that would control my symptoms (which progressed from weakness and dizziness to extreme hot flashes, orthostatic intolerance, and becoming severely deconditioned and bedridden - unable to even feed or clean myself). Since Adrenal Insufficiency was the only structural diagnosis I had received that could even vaguely explain my symptoms, no matter how tenuous, doctors continually increased my steroid doses until I was on insane amounts and only getting worse. I was convinced I was constantly on the brink of adrenal crisis (a life-threatening even that occurs when you don't have enough steroids in your system to support life), despite taking well over normal daily dosages. Finally during one hospitalization, I found a doctor who had the sense to start tapering my steroids and pointed out that anxiety and deconditioning was certainly a big factor in my problems. That was the turning point. From then, it took a year of rehabilitation through slow weaning off steroids, physical therapy, psychotherapy to get me out of bed into a wheelchair, then from wheelchair to cane, and finally walking again. And finally, my adrenals regenerated enough to allow me to get off steroids for good. At some point, I hit a plateau, where many of my symptoms including weakness, pain, heat intolerance, and "crash" symptoms after over-exertion have continued, long after I discontinued the steroids, leading me to get diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I also developed agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) due to so many traumatic experiences with my symptoms, and have never gotten back to work or my graduate degree. A couple months ago, I spent a couple weeks hospitalized in a psychosomatic ward. While I now believe they were correct to hypothesize that I am suffering from "a single psychosomatic illness that has expressed itself in different ways" throughout my life, their program lacked the right ingredients to (1) convince me of the diagnosis, and (2) help me listen to my body and emotions, instead of perfectionistically pushing myself to recover. After retelling my trauma many times to one busy indifferent professional after another, feeling totally like a number, and straining agains immense symptoms to keep up in their group activities located all over the hospital, I suffered a major crash. During this past crash, just a few weeks ago, I discovered Curable and the works of Dr. John Sarno, and I've been improving gradually since then! I already feel less fear and have been increasing my activity. I finally feel good about the future. Anyways, thanks to anyone who slogged through that story. It feels good to write it out and know that this group is the type that will encourage my bravery and optimism, rather than reinforcing my fears.