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Anxiety And It’s Role In TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Tms_joe, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Woukd I be wrong to say that all of us suffering from TMS experience anxiety and worry? I’m well along my journey to heal my rsi pain, but I think I’m stuck at the point where feeling ANY tightness in my arms brings doubt and FEAR. Today I just could not stop thinking about the issue. I couldn’t think about other things for any length of time. I would call that anxiety.

    I’m beginning to think that you have to resolve your anxiety issues to be able to fully shutdown the TMS symptoms. I was able to do so earlier this week, and I went pain free with so much typing that I just can’t logically convince myself it’s NOT TMS. Still I find myself worrying.

    I’m just interested in others thought on how anxiet in general ties into TMS. I’m taking drugs prescribed by a psychiatrist in the last 2 months to help. I do feel like they’ve helped me calm down to focus on my stressors and such, but it’s no silver bullet. I’d like to think they are just a crutch u til I figure it all out.
    Saffron likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nope. You are not wrong. Not in my opinion, based on my personal experience with anxiety, and my experience on this forum for six years.

    My go-to recommendation, the second book that saved my life after reading The Divided Mind, is Hope and Help For Your Nerves, by Dr. Claire Weekes. This little book has helped many, many, many people.
    Time2be likes this.
  3. stevow7

    stevow7 Well known member

    i can tell you that my tms manifest when im having major anxiety or stress.
  4. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I downloaded the audio book and listened to it. It's focus seems be that the fear is the one thing that will keep the symptoms around, and that it could take quite a while to resolve everything. I think I'm in that stage. I need to figure out what is causing anxiety and recognize when I have it. I keep getting hyper-focused on the pain when it flares up.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Or you may be over-analyzing. I don't recall thinking any such thing while I read it, but I certainly took comfort from her knowledge, and took her advice to heart.

    The two crucial things I took away from Claire Weekes were:

    1) To know without any doubt that it was up to me whether or not fear would rule and ruin my life

    2. To practice this exercise every time fear arose:
    - Face and accept the fear
    - Float through the fear
    - Allow time to pass, without judgement
  6. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes! It turns out that both anxiety and TMS occur when the sympathetic nervous system engages in "fight or flight" reactions in the brain...this causes anxiety and the pain cycle to occur. Alan Gordon speaks about this in his program on here. Claire Weekes also discusses this. The two really go together, I think all of us on here experience anxiety as part of our TMS. After all, if we didn't worry about the pain, it wouldn't be sticking around! Medication can certainly help with anxiety or depression (especially when severe) but like you said its not a silver bullet, you still have to do the work and self-help strategies. Also think of it this way- you are human and will never "fully resolve" your anxiety...it may be a part of your personality/temperament, thats ok! Just as many of us still get twinges of TMS sometimes, that is also ok. It's a matter of not letting them control you, recognizing them and knowing how to release them if TMS/anxiety pops up.

    I'm also prone to anxiety and sometimes get a few days or weeks of it (especially recently as I get closer to the end of my pregnancy), but I like to use the strategy Jan wrote above that Claire Weekes teaches. It really helped me worry less if my sleep was affected and get back to feeling calm more quickly. Radical acceptance of your body, mind and symptoms is a big part of it for me, telling myself it's ok if I feel anxious, or ok if a TMS symptom pops up. My mind is able to relax much more quickly if I don't feel upset about the symptom and it eventually dissipates.
  7. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    This is very relevant to me today. Had just an awful day. I went to a friend's business to install some new networking gear I recommended. I expected to be there an hour. It spent 7-8 hours wildly chasing after the problem. My nerves really got the best of me. I experienced acute anxiety like I have in a long time. My hands were shaking. I got scatter brained as well. I'm disappointed in myself about this for some reason. I probably should have some sympathy.

    Anyway, the point to make here is that I was typing and mousing the WHOLE time. The pain in my arms/hands did not escalate. I was way too distracted to pay it any attention.
    Click#7 likes this.
  8. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Just read a book by Claire Weekes and her comment to you might be..."so what if your hands were shaking...you still have 2 good hands that work." Many folks on this forum said to read her book (Hope & Help for your Nerves) so I did read most of it and I believe Dr. Sarno must have read it too back in the day ! She is on youtube too.
    Time2be likes this.
  9. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I always thought anxiety is just a form to tms. Some got back pain, some got IbS, some got foot pain, some got anxiety.... They are all a symptom of mind body syndrome. Just different symptoms of a mind illness.
    Click#7 likes this.
  10. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just a reminder that Dr. Schubiner has a good book on treating anxiety and depression like TMS. It's called Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression.
  11. mm718

    mm718 Peer Supporter

    Fear is a part of the human experience, it's the repressing, fighting, and pushing away of the fear that is the problem. If you turn toward your fear instead of away from it and allow it to express itself it will fade and not have as much power over you in the future. Fear has a natural course in which it rises and falls but if you keep pushing it away it sends a message to the brain that there is danger and this keeps the fear cycling going.
    Ellen likes this.
  12. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Isn't that interesting? Also interesting is that you didn't need to think about fear, you just felt it. The strategy from Claire Weekes (as Jan describes it) helped me also:
    "- Face and accept the fear
    - Float through the fear
    - Allow time to pass, without judgement"
  13. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Yes, exactly. Now today the pain my arms is very high. I've just decided I'm going to proceed with anything and everything I want to do in spite of it. I know it's not real damage so what's the risk? None.

    I couldn't believe how anxious I got yesterday. It's been a very long time since I've felt anything like that at that level. Anxiety or elevated anxiety preceded the RSI symptoms 3 years ago when this started. RSI happened as soon as I asked myself what would happen if the pains spread from my elbows to my hands.

    This morning when reflecting and journaling on this I was hit with a WAVE of emotion. Haven't been in that state for years. Not once during the time I've had the TMS symptoms. I told myself I couldn't go on with life like this and meant it. I knew that the pressure I put on myself was largely the cause of my TMS, but I thought I was addressing it. Obviously not. I'm going to have to not only make the job change as I already intended, but I have to change my everyday life to assess if I am pressuring myself to do something rather than approaching it with outcome independence. The RSI symptoms are just TMS to distract me from the constant pressure and/or anxiety. It seems very clear now.
  14. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Sounds like something important happened to you, an evidence and clarity that will help you find out more about the root of the anxiety and pain your you experience. As long as you keep this insight alive you will make the right decisions without haste.
  15. Artmuzz

    Artmuzz Well known member

    I believe that anxiety, repressed negative emotions are the reason for my pains due to repressed anger and emotional stress and another theory I have is that in the constant anxiety state it doesn't help that the muscles are so tense that it also contributes to muscle pain, back pain and headaches etc.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  16. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I've gotten some real clarity on this the last 2 days. What I've uncovered is that the "pressure" I was putting on myself was my inner bully. I basically have pushed myself to accomplish things in such a careless way. I put how I feel last in everything I do. My initial reaction to this? I was insanely upset that I had done this to myself! I literally blamed myself and applied more pressure for my subconscious bullying me all these years. It took a day and some more reflection before I realized I simply need to be kind to myself and put my "happiness" first. I had somehow decided I needed to provide for the family and make them happy, and that I mattered none.

    Realizing this has lifted the anxiety best I can tell. I have some clarity. I just have the challenge of keep the idea of putting my contentment at the forefront of my thoughts in my day to day. I'll be starting a new job soon enough, and that will be where I've really accomplished something if I can learn new ways of managing stressful situations while not bullying myself. I currently am unemployed and doing the job search/interview routine which is allowing me to really take it easy most of the time.

    I now can pinpoint WHEN this started. About 14 years ago, when I was a young adult living on my own. Somehow I shifted from working hard and trying to be successful because I simply wanted the materialistic things that many people do to, "I have to accomplish these things no matter what." Following that change I developed gastritis, bladder irritation, tension headaches, and even short stints of some rsi pain. Over the years I simply correlated them with stress since they seemed to go away if stress decreased. Eventually it came to crushing anxiety 3 years ago. Now it all makes sense. My wife is 100% in agreement with all of this. She witnessed all of it.

    1 thing that doesn't quite line up with the mindbody approach is that you could have more than 1 issue going on. I found about 5 months into that crushing anxiety that I had a hormone inbalance or rather my body wasn't making any. Fixing that had a profound effect on my anxiety. I was heading toward suicidal thinking prior to that. I don't know what was the chicken or the egg, but it was very unhealthy physically, and I am much healthier physically after fixing it. That's been confirmed by tons of blood work.
    Ines likes this.
  17. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I'd like to post an update to this as I feel the role anxiety has had in my symptoms is huge. I theorize, and I know I'm not original here, that anxiety and fear have driven all of these physical symptoms. I don't know about the distraction part of it, but it makes sense. What I do know is that my anxiety levels are the lowest they have been since I don't know when. I accomplished this by consuming the TMS Wiki and numerous hours of youtube videos in relation to TMS. I don't think I could stop fearing the pain when it came on if I still had this state of general anxiety. I'm not calling myself a success story yet, but I've got momentum. When I feel pain in my arms when typing I'm about 75% indifferent to it. Some fear tries to set in, but I know it's not a necessary reaction to anything, and I believe it's going to away eventually. Here's my journal entry from this morning.

    "I currently feel like anxiety is gone or almost all gone. I’m willing to accept whatever comes next with so much less anticipation or worry. I feel like I’ve completely come to understand what all has gone on with me. I 100% believe the rsi pain has been caused my my emotions of anxiety and fear. I think they will go away. I just don’t know how long. It’s making less and less sense to me to worry about it. I KNOW it’s a mental game! I may not know exactly how to shut it off yet, but I am sure I will. I think that’s what Forest was talking about when he said the pain really faded when he stopped caring about it. The pain just has no purpose, and you aren’t afraid so why even think about it?"
    Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  18. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    So great! Congrats with your progress, tms_joe!

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