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Alex B. Am I repressing fear?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by eskimoeskimo, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    What's the difference between repressing fear, and not giving in to it? I feel like this is a big part of TMS treatment, but I'm always worried that I'm doing something harmful, rather than helpful, in response to the fears and anxieties that come with physical and mental pain.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2015
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Eskimo, thanks for the great question. This is an important topic with a lot of varying perspectives. I can offer up my interpretation, which is based on my own practice and experience.

    I think that we have to start by differentiating between fear and anxiety. Fear is the unconscious detection of a threat that triggers an activation of the somatic and autonomic nervous systems. This is a fancy way of describing symptoms such as sweaty palms or pounding heart, etc. When these symptoms are triggered by our feelings we call them anxiety. Anxiety tells us that the feelings inside of us are being interpreted as a threat. So in summary, fear is brought about from external threats or danger (like a tiger in the jungle – this a very ancient mechanism) and anxiety is a product of internal emotion and feeling.

    Okay, so now that we understand that, what’s the deal with TMS? When you have symptoms is that fear or anxiety? Surely the symptoms pose an existential threat, I mean if your back hurts it must mean there is something wrong with it and you could be permanently injured, etc. This is exactly the purpose of TMS: to conflate internal emotional distress with real threats, thereby distracting you from the actual source of anxiety. The physical symptoms are the mind’s way of keeping you distracted from the actual issue: while it may be hard to believe, it is easier (unconsciously) for you to face the fear of pain than to face and experience the underlying feelings and the accompanying anxiety.

    So the goal here is not to “repress” your fear by ignoring but rather understand the underlying process that is occurring when are experiencing the fear of symptoms. This is why it is so very important to accept the TMS diagnosis and reframe the meaning of the pain; once you realize that your symptoms are not existential threats but a distraction, you can begin to confront the underlying issues and the anxiety they provoke.

    As I said above, this is a fairly complex issue with a variety of opinions. I encourage people to offer up what they think about this explanation, brief as is it, so that a larger discussion on the nature of fear and anxiety can continue. I hope this is somewhat useful.

    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

    honey badger likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Eskimo. Alex Bloom's reply to you is wonderful, but I am not a person who does a lot of cranial work in my TMS.

    I just keep TMS simple and tell myself who cares if there is a difference between repressing fear or giving in to it.

    I just tell myself #@% fear. If fear is my bogeyman, I tell it to go away and not to bother me.
    Then I push it away with distractions... things that I enjoy doing or thinking about.

    Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders to TMS knowledge and healing is all we need.

    I like Herbie's extended version of them.

    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but its caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does cause real pain too.
    2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or in anxiety then the the blood is restricted from going to your lower back for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain - remember, where theirs no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, The pain stays because of fear and focus to physical organic symptoms and repressions.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from tms healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. Tmsers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits,traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks its helping you.
    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you wont have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed cause you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear then I feed the pain, If I fear Its impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless.If I want to work against the pain I could but its better to lose some of the pain so when I start my life over I=t have to be in pain trying to heal cause facing the repressions and all the other activities that cause the pain and reversing my fear and focus to them then I can heal.
    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my bodies ability to heal now. I can move how I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how its hidden -- its illusion, Its fear.
    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face everyone of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present, in flow.
    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling. The science behind mind-body/tms healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of tms. Tms will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off psychical symptoms and on emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore thus making the tms of no effect. This will in return, give us the cure.
    Grateful17 likes this.

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