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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Viridian, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Hello all,

    I was wondering if anyone can offer me some advice on my ongoing battle with anxiety and depression.

    So, as my fear of my RSI symptoms has diminished, they have been replaced by an absolutely rabid anxiety and an inability to enjoy any moments of life.

    I’m absolutely stumped as to what to do. I sit around all day feeling like I’m about to die and maybe it would be for the best. I’ve been stuck in this cycle for a month now and fear for my marriage and child as I’m clearly driving her into poor mental health too.

    What the hell have people done in the face of these crises? I feel like I’ve tried everything - journaling, meditation, exercise, recovery programmes, the lot. They’ve become more of a sap of life than chronic pain in many ways.

    Sorry if this all sounds dramatic.
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  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Viridian, I went through this myself, and then I realized that it had to be the Symptom Imperative, because what else could it be? I fought back. In other words, I realized that this was my brain trying to trick me, with new and really scary symptoms, probably (undoubtedly!) because I had been able to get rid of most of my pain and GI symptoms.

    Maybe this post that I've bookmarked might help. Also take note of my reference to Claire Weekes, whose book was vital to this process:
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/bookmarks/608/view-item (Bookmark | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome))
  3. kimaya

    kimaya Peer Supporter

    Read book at last a life it’s amazing, iam going through severe anxiety aswell after my pain vanished also clair weeks videos and books are great for anxiety
  4. LaughingKat

    LaughingKat Peer Supporter

    I don't know if this will help, @Viridian, but I thought I'd share just in case.

    I have all my life been anxious, which sometimes amps up into panic and then burns out into depression.

    I realized recently that in a very strange unhelpful way, anxiety is my go-to form of solace and comfort. In my particular case, it is my "inner child" reaching out to my mother for whatever she could get. What I got, always, was anxiety, but I guess my unconscious feels like that's better than getting nothing at all. Also, I feel like being anxious is my lifelong way of feeling in control, like if I anticipate catastrophe at least I won't be surprised by it. But I have realized it's all just stories I'm telling myself.

    And I wholeheartedly endorse @JanAtheCPA 's suggestion of Claire Weekes. I have never read a TMS book as powerful and clear as her books on anxiety and depression.

    I wish you some relief, soon.
  5. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    As above I second the suggestion to read Claire Weekes. The one I read and found immensely helpful for anxiety was Peace from Nervous Suffering.

    I found also as I was having success with diminishing physical symptoms, anxiety would increase. Try to see it as all the same thing, coming from your fear brain, and ride it out calmly. You are winning even though that part of your brain is trying to convince you otherwise.
  6. Notters_1983

    Notters_1983 New Member

    I find myself switching between TMS pain and anxiety - I suspect this is a fairly normal pattern.

    Does anyone know where I can get the text for Unlearn your Anxiety online? I don't have a Kindle.
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  7. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Yes that helps put it in perspective, I feel exactly the same...it’s like Anxiety is a default setting, always has been.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    There's an app for that! Just Google "Kindle app" for whichever device you want to use for reading, they are all covered. If you have more than one device,such as a PC and an iPhone, your book will sync up between them. I have a Kindle, but I also use the app on my Android phone, so I'm never without my current book.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  9. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    All great advice on this thread, but I'll second this one... Paul David is the author. He has two books, and I'd read both. (Quick reads, but some of the best on the subject you'll ever find.)

    And as mentioned, Claire Weekes is mandatory reading for anyone suffering disorder-level anxiety.

    One thing I will mention, people use "anxeity" as kind of a catch-all term... but there are different kinds.
    Some people are "worriers" about their job... or family... or just life.
    Some people have situational anxiety, places... social gatherings, etc.

    Mine has been more of a chaotic storm of physical symptoms and panic with no real explanation of why. No clear triggers. Almost like my system is just attacking me.
    (It's not of course, it's try to protect me.)

    So, there can be slightly different approaches to things based on what kind of issues you're encountering. Some people have very few physical symptoms.
    Some ONLY have physical symptoms, really.

    But Claire Weeks, Paul David and also I'll throw in AnxietyCentre.com are all great resources.

    My therapist says TMS and stress disorder (anxiety disorder) are the same thing. I believe him in the big picture, though I admit at times
    I see some distinctions... but it's stll all mind/body syndrome.
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  10. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Yes, mine too is very much on the anxiety disorder scale. It can sometimes be about a particular thing I have to do, such as a performance or engagement but it's mostly just physical symptoms - a raw energy in the body which throughout the day becomes overpowering to the point where I start panicking about my situation, about not getting better or it getting worse.

    I'm not sure if I should lean into anxiety and really feel it or just let it be?
  11. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    It's the same as addressing any TMS symptom, accept the sensations, pain, anxiety and or depression. Know that they will peak and then fade as you accept and offer no resistance and wait for time to pass. Reassure yourself that you are safe, slow down your breathing and use any other tools that you have learnt along the way. The more you practice this the more it will become integrated into your mindset and the results will really kick in.
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  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Remember that any ‘leaning into symptoms/sensations/pain’ is a form of Somatic Tracking and is intended to be accompanied by Cognitive Soothing. Basically this means you soothe yourself, by changing the way you speak to yourself at these times. @birdsetfree describes this beautifully above.

    Plum x
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  13. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    This is where I've been going wrong - I've been doing the somatic tracking but still feeling fear, like it's just another duty I need to fulfil, a job - to sit here really feeling this anxiety and getting used to it!

    I will take heed and soooooooothe. Thank you team x
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Claire Weekes. "Hope and Help for Your Nerves".
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  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    It’s an easy mistake to make. I made a similar error with emotions, dwelling too long on them/analysing them to the nth degree and all that did was make everything worse.

    I was mootling through my audiobook library earlier and found a couple of Claire Weekes books. God I love that woman. There really is no substitute for listening to her, for that wonderful weave of wisdom and comforting that only she can give. Before I fell asleep (so relaxing is she), she was talking about glimpses, those exquisite moments where we see through our pain or anxiety into the life beyond, into freedom from suffering.

    Healing, and indeed simply living well, is like that. A sweet moment here and there gifts enough promise to rest your faith on. That’s what I cherish about this place, the gentle souls who can help hold you safe while you figure all this out.

    I feel the same way. On the Venn Diagram of mind~body issues I think there is a big overlap between TWS, stress, anxiety and depression but there are nuances that get lost in a huge sweep and that can be counterproductive for both understanding and recovery/healing.

    And thanks for mentioning Paul David. I’m going to take a look at his stuff now.
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  16. Notters_1983

    Notters_1983 New Member

    Thanks to @JanAtheCPA and others for recommending Claire Weekes, who I'd not yet come across. Sounds like this could really be the key for me. I will get some of her books in due course, however, having just listened to her on youtube () it really sounds like she's basically saying don't worry about anxiety - which is clearly easier said than done. Can anyone help with how to begin with this?

    Is is like challenging your TMS by saying "go away pain, I know there's nothing wrong with my back"?
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr Weekes carefully explains the physiology of our nervous systems and responses before going into how to manage them. I'm so sorry, but if you don't download an audio or e book, you'll need to be patient! It's not hard to learn, but it requires knowledge to be effective.
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  18. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    The sublime healing beauty, clarity, candour and compassion of this book is beyond words, especially the audiobook.

    You have to read, or better still, listen to the books for yourself. The excerpts are great but they are only a bite of the cherry. The mastery of Claire’s approach is partly due to the sequential nature of her writing, (she describes the process first in terms of how we become anxious and such, and then she explains how to recover from it), and partly due to her incredibly pragmatic soothing. It truly is like resting your head on a safe and beloved grandmothers lap while she strokes your weary head and puts your world to right.

    There are correlates with TMS healing but her life work is a devotion to anxiety and it’s demons.


    Plum x
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  19. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Dr Claire Weekes main points are to face your fears and do not run, accept your fears and don’t fight, float past your fears and don’t be drawn in and wait for time to pass patiently.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
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  20. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter


    I’ll just add that Weekes distinguishes between first and second fear... which is a concept I hadn’t thought about early in my experience with stress disorder. (Anxiety/panic)

    I agree with everyone else though... you have to read and listen for yourself. I have every book and audio she has been a part of.
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