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At what point does it become a disease/illness such as fibromyalgia?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by dh627, Nov 3, 2022.

  1. dh627

    dh627 New Member

    Hi all,

    I have been suffering with chronic symptoms/TMS for about 4 years. My symptoms seem to be very anxiety/stress/nervous system related and are all located in my torso - I get nasty sensations in my chest, sides/flank area, and the sides of my belly. The symptoms vary in what they feel like and are difficult to describe - but I'd say most are a sort of tight, crushed, constricted feeling and can sometimes feel warm or hot or a bit electrical or as if currents are moving through my body (particularly in my chest - though this is only sometimes). My symptoms are pretty much 24/7 - I do have the odd occasion where symptoms get quiet and I almost feel normal, but this only usually lasts a couple of hours.

    At what point can it be considered something like fibromyalgia, or even MS?

    I am currently seeing a therapist, and he thinks that getting to the root cause of my symptoms is the correct approach - while I know this would be very beneficial in general, I don't know if it would relieve my symptoms or if it is the reason for their persistence, and if it is, then I don't know if I can simply just un-do them via that method of getting to the root of them.

    I feel this is slightly in contrast with TMS, that would state that my body has learnt to respond to stress/anxiety in this way, and from that perspective I don't really see what getting to the root of it would do to help relieve my symptoms. It seems that my symptoms have become a learnt behaviour and are being automatically generated by my brain because responding in this way has become so ingrained. For me personally, I feel that my reactions to my symptoms are more likely to make them persistent (e.g. hyper vigilance & always focusing on them) rather than getting to the root of what happened to me in the past.

    So this makes me wonder if my symptoms are far too established to be fixed by simply revisiting some traumatic events or anything anxiety inducing - and if so, at this point, if there is something very wrong with my brain and is not just a minor case of TMS, but is something more serious or advanced, such as fibromyalgia? I must say, that I do not really get any pains or aches throughout the rest of my body (or at least nothing bad), it is just limited to my torso and my back.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have had tms symptoms that I can remember since I was 5, but this is working. There are a million variations to the ways you can apply tms work.. you can simply follow a set plan like the free ones here or use a coach, join a group, practice meditation, yoga (Dani Fagan has tms oriented yoga & meditation classes online), enjoy massages not to cute your symptoms but to nurture yourself..
    something like fibro needs a medical diagnoses.You can speak to your Dr. but then what? Many people treat fibro symptoms with a tms approach. @Ellen has a wonderful recovery story here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/recovery-from-20-years-of-fibromyalgia-and-a-lifetime-of-migraines.7924/ (Recovery from 20 years of fibromyalgia and a lifetime of migraines)

    good luck!
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    In the mindbody community, fibromyalgia is TMS - eg: it is a mindbody condition, (which we here still call TMS in honor of Dr. Sarno, but much of the practitioner world has moved on to updated terminology like MBS and PPD).

    No one on this forum can give an opinion about whether or when something could be MS. People with MS have reported an improvement (not recovery) in symptoms by employing mindbody techniques, but that's true for any illness or injury.

    I feel like you (correction, not you, but your fearful survivalistic brain) are (is) desperate to intellectualize your struggles, over-analyze the process, and attempt to put different aspects of your symptoms and mental health into separate well-defined boxes that you can label and control. This is a pretty classic example of a TMS personality! It's also a great example of "this is your brain on TMS".

    Unless your therapist's idea of "root causes" is physical, then he is not wrong.

    You are also rather desperate to find reasons why you don't have to visit past trauma. This is definitely your brain on TMS. Recalcitrant TMS symptoms combined with anxiety, and sometimes depression, are the result of a very resistant brain, which is almost always the result of unresolved trauma. And sure, it's possible that you could retrain your brain to resolve your current symptoms - but if you don't resolve the underlying reason for your brain to come up with symptoms, and learn to face and accept the source of your brain's repression and fear, your brain will always come up with new symptoms.

    Dr. Sarno himself (I assume you've read Sarno since you know about TMS) said that people with trauma usually need psychotherapy.

    Look up the "ACEs test" online. ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. It's a simple test, easily available from any number of online sources, which means you can easily find one that you trust to click on. Here's a great one, with related articles (Harvard U refers to this one on their Child Development website) - here's another from Kaiser Permanente. Even if you think your trauma occurred in adulthood, start here, and bring it to your therapist.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
    Ellen likes this.
  4. dh627

    dh627 New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to reply with such detail.

    I agree with your first paragraph.

    However, I would say that I'm not desperate to avoid visiting my past trauma - it's just that I don't feel as though I really avoided it in the first place and am so open to exploring it, but I'm just saying that I'm not sure if that is going to magically relieve my symptoms. I spent years thinking about my trauma - but it was mostly rumination, so maybe I didn't think about it in the right way, I don't know. Unless there is other trauma that I'm not remembering or not realising was traumatic.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Not everyone finds that smoking gun. I never found that trauma that caused my TMS to explode, although I had some form of lingering chronic pain most of my adult life. Yet, I healed and have been symptom-free for almost 5 years. De-sensitizing your nervous system through various TMS methods may lead to a full recovery anyway. Mine was through meditation. And yes, I agree with posters above that fibromyalgia is TMS, and so is chronic fatigue.
    Brad renfro likes this.
  6. dh627

    dh627 New Member

    That is awesome, congratulations!

    How long after meditation did you realise that your symptoms had gone away? I have been meditating for over a month but it hasn't made any difference - I think it can also actually make it worse. I used to meditate a few years ago too, but had to stop because it seemed to just make my symptoms worse - though this was before I discovered TMS and did not know what my symptoms were, so I think now I at least have a better approach and I don't fight my symptoms so much any more.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You need to understand that meditation does not work like a painkiller. When you take a pill, it stops the pain, but meditation works very slowly. If it took your brain years to get you into condition you are in, it may take a very, very, very long time to undo the damage. The day of meditation I never felt any improvements. Occasionally, I felt release of symptoms the following day, but not every time. It took me almost two years to fully recover. The improvements were building slowly and never linearly. Also, it is important how you meditate. I did not feel any improvements until I was able to meditate at least an hour per day.
  8. dh627

    dh627 New Member

    Thank you. Do you do an hour in an entire sitting? Or spread out throughout the day?
  9. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Spread out throughout the day does not work. And it is not just me. I know someone who recovered from a severe case of TMS only after she stopped meditating 2-3 times a day for 15 minutes and started sitting for as long as she could handle, minimum 1 hour straight.
    platypodes likes this.

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