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Am I doing the right thing? Symptoms are changing after reading about TMS.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Beaulieu, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Beaulieu

    Beaulieu New Member


    I'm new to TMS and currently figuring out if it is what causes the vague symptoms I have had since I was 8. I have a history of anxiety, stress and worrying too much. There only have been a few short periods in my life where I've felt at peace, and where I didn't worry too much. Those were also the periods without symptoms.

    Yesterday I had some succes I think. This is gonna be a very looong post but I would like to share my story, and hear from others if my symptoms could be qualified as TMS and if I'm doing the right thing, if I'm on the right path etc.

    First a little background story:
    I've always been a very anxious child, with fear of abandonment. According to my mom I've been like this since I was born. When I was 8, my dad suddenly passed away due to a heart attack, probably partially caused by a very bad lifestyle full of stress (I'm very much like my dad in that way). My mom said that I mourned for only 1 or 2 days, and that after that I just blocked everything in my mind and never cried about it again, and that I never showed any sign of grief ever again. Probably this life event was too big and too difficult for me to handle at the age of 8. But this is where the trouble began. I started to develop health anxiety. When I felt my heart beating very fast, I thought I was having a heart attack, and to me it seemed very logical since my dad died of a heart attack, so why couldn't it be me? This is where the negative thoughts started. I also started to pee my pants very frequently, always when I was having fits of laughter with my friends. It became such a big problem that I always had to bring an extra pair of pants to my friends houses and to school. Eventually I went to a urologist that told me that my bladder became very big, and my pelvic floor very tight or cramped, and that during fits of laughter, my pelvic floor couldn't handle it anymore. Therefore I peed my pants during laughter. This lasted till the age of 18.

    When I finished highschool I didn't know what to do so I went to Spain to work as an au pair. There I met a Spanish guy who became my boyfriend. This was a toxic relationship since he was (sexually) abusive. Very bad for me. I ended up being pregnant and I had an abortion (with all due respect for people who are against abortion, I felt that I had no other option since I was a complete mess at the age of 20 without a proper education or a job, and since my ex was a psychopath). I developed chronic hyperventilation and was constantly monitoring my body and heart. I also lost 24 lbs because of all the stress. This lasted for nearly 3 years. I ended the relationship after 1 year, but I needed at least 2 years to process everything that happened to me. Afterwards I think I didn't really process it, because I went to college and was fully focusing on my education. This was a good distraction for me and I was very succesful so that boosted my self confidence. However, I think I never processed the heavy emotions I've felt during and after this toxic relationship. Now that I'm writing this down, I notice that I'm still very angry with him and since I deleted him from my life very abruptly, I feel like I've never had the chance to express my anger towards him. I know I have to process this myself and that I have to accept what has happened, but it is difficult when the person that caused all this negativity is gone and is living his life like nothing bad ever happened.

    Some time after the Spanish guy I met another guy. He was not like the Spanish guy, but he was psychologically abusive. He was always telling me that I wasn't good enough, always criticizing me and he never stood by my side. At this time I still suffered from chronic hyperventilation, but I also started to develop bruxism and TMJ, and my breasts started to hurt like hell like I was very hormonal. I also started to have frequent yeast infections.
    After this relationship ended, the chronic hyperventilation subsided, my breasts started to feel normal again, and I've never had 1 yeast infection ever again. The TMJ however remained.

    So after this boyfriend I decided to be single for a while, just to come at peace with myself and my life. I started graduating. One of my professors kept telling me that my work wasn't good enough for graduation, so I had to rewrite everything multiple times. This affected my self confidence since I've always been a very succesful student, and now suddenly apparently I wasn't. I started to develop migraines with aura. Every 3 or 4 days I had an attack that lasted for 2 or 3 days. Basically I had a constant migraine. This lasted untill my last exam. When I passed my last exam, I had one final migraine attack, and it didn't return after.

    After graduation there were some other life events that I think caused symptoms. I developed extreme premenstrual syndrome, headaches, neck and shoulder pain and tinnitus. Looking back at my life, I think I am always trying to meet requirements of others, always trying to get people to like me, always trying to do the right thing. I'm always extremely anxious for not doing the right thing and being bothersome to others. I think this fits the TMS personality type.

    The neck and shoulder pain and the tinnitus are the most recent symptoms I was dealing with. After almost 2 years of tinnitus, that made me suicidal at first, I finally accepted it and it wasn't bothersome anymore. I was living a happy life with the best boyfriend ever. Then last month I went to the doctor to place an IUD (mirena) for my premenstrual symptoms. I was very anxious for the placement. The placement also was done by the doctor I had a very negative experience with. During my dark tinnitus days, she was the one that gave me the feeling that I was weird for being anxious and depressed about tinnitus, and that I shouldn't be such a dramatic person. When I told her I was anxious for the IUD placement, she told me again that I shouldn't be dramatic, and also that I shouldn't hyperventilate, cause if I did, we would have a problem. Not the right thing to say, seems to me. So the placement was a very negative experience, it hurt like hell and it reminded me of my abortion. I felt very vulnerable. Also the placement of the IUD was something that deep down I didn't want. Due to hormonal changes I have moodswings and I can be a total bitch. I didn't want that for my boyfriend so I thought the IUD could be a good option because it regulates hormonal changes. I've had one before. But now that I think of it, I was sending myself the message that I am not good enough with my moodswings and that I need treatment so it will be easier for others to deal with me, even though my boyfriend told me he doesn't have any problem with my moodswings. Therefore I think I'm actually self destructive without having noticed it before.

    At the day of the IUD placement I heard that my current boyfriend and I got a new house and that we could move there within a month. That gave me a lot of stress because I was in pain of the IUD placement, I was worried that I wasn't able to lift things because of the pain etc. Also, I had an exam planned for the week that we were supposed to move to our new house. Besides that I was under a lot of work pressure. This is when I started to feel tingling sensations in my left leg, going up to the genital area. My legs also became heavy and cold, and they felt very weak, even though they weren't. After that I also started to have PGAD symptoms on and off, tingling in my right leg, arms, neck and head as well, pressure in the pelvic floor, pressure in the abdomen, muscle twitching.

    After I read about TMS, it made sense. I always ran away from my emotions, and I always suppressed my stress and anxiety. I never really dealt with it. After reading stuff about TMS, my symptoms started to change every day. One day I have just pressure in the pelvic floor, the next day I have PGAD, then I have burning feet and legs, then I have a heavy and itchy feeling behind my pubic bone, then I have tension in the abdomen, then I have sciatica, then my butt muscle starts to spasm. Yesterday I had what I think was a little breakthrough. I started to read one of Sarno's books and it made complete sense to me. I have the exact TMS personality type. My burning feet and legs started to feel more normal when I was reading the book, and after I had a phonecall with my mom about this, the burning sensations disappeared completely. So I had a very nice sleep. However, today I woke up with muscle twitches in the perineum and my vagina, itchy feelings under my skin at the pubic bone (like my nerves are tickling me), and muscle twitches over my entire body. It made me nervous and anxious again, but I think that this is the whole purpose of TMS, trying to get you to focus on weird symptoms again that you can't explain. Oddly enough my tinnitus isn't bothersome anymore, and my neck and shoulder pain is also gone. This is also why I think I have TMS. My brain lost it's grip on me with the tinnitus and neck and shoulder pain, so now it comes up with other weird symptoms, and it chose the perfect moment to manifest those symptoms which was during the IUD placement so that I HAD to think it must have been something structural due to the painful placement.

    So based on my story, I'm pretty sure I have TMS. I saw my GP 3 times and she didn't see any reason to refer me to a neurologist or another specialist because she thought my symptoms are inconsistent, not localized, and therefore not alarming. Still I am a little worried, but again I think this is the vicious cycle of TMS, getting tricked by your brain into thinking you have something structural. Deep inside I am worried that something went wrong during the IUD placement and that my nerves got damaged. On the other hand, when I rationalize the situation, i also know deep down that I have TMS. It is just very difficult to 100% feel it that way.

    Should it be a good sign that my symptoms change EVERY day, and sometimes even throughout the day? How do you let go of the need for a structural explanation?

    Again, sorry for my long post... :)

    Any advice is welcome!!
    nowa likes this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to the forum! You clearly have all the traits of a TMS personality. The best way is to start reading posts under Success Stories. It will help you to understand the variety of conditions that can be cured by mindbody approach. You also should look into the pain recovery programs by Alan Gordon. Also, start doing searches on this forum for your symptoms and read what people have to say. We, who already recovered, have been where you are now, and we made it through. Read, absorb, listen, ask questions. People on this forum are wonderful and eager to help. Best of luck!
    nowa likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. Symptoms moving around is normal and usually a sign that the TMS unwilling to give up the strategy and is looking for another way to distract you. "You aren't believing this anymore? How about...THIS?" . It's also a sign of it going away.

    In the time I have been free from pain, TMS has TRIED to get my back, legs, feet, wrists, fingers, arm, elbow, neck and knees.... that is not counting the things that are hard to quantify like stomach disturbances, colds,etc

    keep reading.... than re-read it and get other texts. I know there are new writers out there now but I always felt Sarno was the clearest and to the point-est.

    you are right on time.
  4. Beaulieu

    Beaulieu New Member

    Thanks to both of you for replying! @TG957 and @Baseball65 .
    I am making progress I guess. I've read so many things about TMS now, that I'm starting to get more and more convinced that it is what makes me suffer. I'm really trying to get out of the 'structural world' and trying to stop looking for structural explanations. At the same time this is very difficult for me. My symptoms started after a medical intervention, an IUD insertion in my uterus that was extremely painful. I'm still scared that my pudendal nerve got damaged or something. But according to Dr. Google (stupidddd to Google, i know....) this is very rare. Also, if my pudendal nerve got damaged during the insertion, it would be very coincidental that my pudendal nerve on the other side got damaged as well since I've been experiencing symptoms on both sides of my body (mostly the left side, but the right side has symptoms as well).
    Yesterday I started to meditate and I was genuinely asking my brain what it tried to tell me, what was really going on. Then suddenly a memory popped up in my mind and I realized that I felt a lot of regret and guilt towards the person the memory is about, my grandfather. I feel like I neglected him when he was sick, because I didn't visit him that much, but I can't do anything about it anymore since he died 2,5 years ago. I was too late, cause when I heard he was dying, I went to the hospital where he was back then, but I was 5 minutes late. He died 5 minutes before my arrival. I feel like I never had the chance to make it up to him.
    When I realized that I still felt that much regret and guilt, I started to cry uncontrollably. I tried to not push the emotion away and really feel it, not just mentally, but also physically. It was intense. My body became very hot, I felt muscle weakness, I felt like I had to vomit and I got a headache. Afterwards, I felt relieved. I didn't feel the need to cry about it anymore. I still feel bad about it, but there's not that much emotion attached to it anymore since I let that emotion float by yesterday instead of trying to stop it. I guess I now know what true regret and guilt feels like. And guess what, it's not that scary. My chronic physical symptoms are scarier. During the cry my symptoms seemed to subside. They came back later, but I think that is because of the anxiety that's programmed in my brain. Also, yesterday I had muscle twitches in the perineal area and urinary frequency. Today I still had a few muscle twitches in the perineum, but later today I felt it move to my right buttock, from my right buttock to the back side of my upper leg, and from there it went to both of my feet that feel very cold right now. I'm trying to maintain calm and consider it TMS. There must be other suppressed memories and emotions that cause this distress, I think. I wasn't even aware of the fact that the memory of my grandfather still did so much to me. When I started this TMS journey, I never would have thought that specifically this memory would pop up in my mind and cause such a heavy emotional reaction. You see, the brain is a very good actor and capable of playing some nasty games.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is a sad but also a very powerful story of guilt, forgiveness and healing. Congratulations on your first success and hope that better days are ahead of you!

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