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Barriers to recovery

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by RogueWave, May 14, 2023.

  1. RogueWave

    RogueWave Well known member

    Hi everyone, it's been quite a while since I've posted, and I won't have a ton of time in the near future (life is good, just excessively busy in the last couple of years!). But I checked all the threads, and didn't see one specific to things to keep an eye on in order to avoid sabotaging your own recovery. I've been thinking about starting this thread for the past year or so, so I'm finally getting around to it.

    I'd like to ask anyone who has recovered from TMS to please add to this post, and if we get enough info, perhaps we could pin it...?

    So, based on my ow experience, these are some of the really important things that will hamper recovery. I did all of them for months so I’m not blaming anybody!

    You just have to catch yourself when you are doing them, and stop. Immediately. And don't beat yourself up about it.

    All of these things will make the brain continue to perceive a threat, which is all it needs to keep pumping out stress hormones. And that’s what keeps the sympathetic/parasympathetic imbalance going for longer than it should.

    And even if you do everything ‘right’, it will still take time. It's like if you had a pot of water boiling for hours, and you finally turned the stove off. The water isn't going to cool off immediately, it will take some time even though the source of the heat has stopped.

    Some of these terms are derived from Dr. Low's "Mental Health Through Will Training" book, so I want to credit the source.

    1. Looking for other explanations, diagnoses, the perfect doctor, or some miraculous magic bullet cure. This will keep you in a state of high alert and continue the stress response. Sure, you feel better having a solid diagnosis, but then what?

    2. Self-diagnosis. Don’t. Unless you have a lot to experience with medical training, you aren’t qualified. You’ll just make yourself more upset, and WebMD will convince you that either you’re dying or you’ll never get better.

    3. ‘Defeatism’, i.e., ‘This will never end!’ ‘Why me?’ ‘I’m never going to get better.’ And so forth. Sound familiar? I did it for almost 2 years. Felt good to unload, but like eating junk food, the taste is good but the after effect is really, really bad. Thinking/saying these types of things will just keep your body in the state that it’s in. If you hear a noise at night and assume someone is breaking into your house, you will go on high alert, just from a single thought. This is no different, except that the ‘threat’ is constant.

    4. Failure to treat the symptoms as anything other than harmless stress/anxiety. If you just focus on the symptom, it’ll tend to persist because the cause (a constantly irritated nervous system) isn’t being addressed.

    5. Failure to acknowledge even small improvements. This is a war, not a battle. Little battles win big wars, eventually. Focus on the wins, not the losses.

    6. Romanticism or Romantic thinking, also known as Sentimentalism (‘I NEVER used to be like this!’...etc), and emotionalism (‘When will this EVER go away?’) . Again, I said/thought these things thousands of times. It’s understandable. But by doing this you are telling your nervous system tha there is a bigger and bigger threat, and it will continue to respond accordingly. This just keeps your brain in ‘threat perception’ mode, and that’s what prevents it from healing.

    7. Intellectualism. "Well this started 3 years ago at 5 pm, and I think it gets worse every time the barometric pressure drops a tiny bit" Constant focus on every detail only serves to re-invigorate the entire TMS process, for the same reasons as listed about in #6. As they say in golf 'analysis leads to paralysis.' Or in our cases, TMS symptoms.

    Always try and remain confident, and if you’re having a bad day, listen or read something motivational. Focus on all the improvements, even if small. The side you feed is the one that grows, no matter how small! So feed the positive one, repeatedly.
    TG957, Dorado, JanAtheCPA and 5 others like this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    These are great! #4 is a huge trap and #5 needs to get far more attention! People grossly underestimate how important it is to celebrate even seemingly miniscule wins. Just because they are subtle or small, does not make them less notable or profound. Another one I see a lot is the false belief that "I'm different, my symptoms are different, there's something different about be etc etc) that precludes me from getting better (a surgery, an injury, anxiety, less common symptoms etc etc etc). I'll add more when I think of them!
  3. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    Thanks you RogueWave that's very helpful but I still have problems with some of those points. For example Self-diagnosis. Isn't most of us here self-diagnosed? My pain started in 2011 and after loads and loads of tests, medicines, doctor visits I just assumed in 2017/2018 I have problems with mindbody(TMS and Sarno weren't first things from mindbody area I discovered). But I self-diagnosed myself. I live in central Europe and no doctor ever heard about Sarno, and most of them are very conservative when it comes to how mind influences body.
    Point nr 5. What if instead of improvements I get worse with almost every year?
    Point nr 6. Yeah, but how to do it? Every day I think about my lost youth(in 2011 I was 22), how good life was before pain and how good it could have been without it. Maybe I would have better job, maybe I would have a girlfriend. But most importantly I would feel better without pain. And I still remember some glimpses from my former life. How to stop being so sentimental? Any practical guidances?
    Point nr 7 is hard for me too. I feel some of my symptoms get worse when weather is changing. And I'm in mental agony when I think I'm in this pain for 12 years. I'm in my mid 3o's and I don't know if some of my symptoms(like bad knees) are because of TMS or maybe I'm just getting older and weaker?
  4. m8888888

    m8888888 New Member

    This is a must read for literally everyone on this site.

    imo, if your approach to TMS/Anxiety is any more complex than “my nervous system is in a state of high alert”, that is only ever going to lead to more obsession, more confusion and prolonged symptoms. There really isn’t enough emphasis on the fact that what we know as anxiety and TMS are the exact same thing.

    Anyone continually posting about their individual, ever-changing symptoms on here MUST be made aware that they’re only reinforcing to their brain that this is in fact a physical issue. It’s not until you stop feeding this narrative and decide once and for all that the ONLY reason you continue to have symptoms is a nervous system in a state of high arousal, being fuelled by anxious thinking about your anxious feelings, that you’ll actually make progress.

    They may not feel like your ‘classic’ anxiety symptoms but please believe me when I say they are.
    Last edited: May 15, 2023
    Dorado, JanAtheCPA, RogueWave and 3 others like this.
  5. m8888888

    m8888888 New Member

    Also, most importantly, please don’t obsessively look for techniques/tools/programs to get rid of the symptoms or try to follow exactly what someone else did to get better. I spent years doing that.

    Truly believe that your only issue is a mind and body in a temporary state of high alert and your symptoms (which can be literally anything) are just misinformed danger signals, fuelled by your obsession, catastrophic thinking and avoidance of certain activities.
    Dorado, JanAtheCPA, RogueWave and 3 others like this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great list! I would add:

    -Catastrophizing: "My life is completely ruined and always will be because of X symptom."
    -Self-absorption: "How am I doing today? Is it better than yesterday or worse? Am I moving in the right direction?, etc."
    Dorado, backhand, JanAtheCPA and 3 others like this.
  7. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    “Anyone continually posting about their individual, ever-changing symptoms on here MUST be made aware“

    I think it’s must become aware. You can’t “make” anyone do anything, and the idea that someone else must “make” us is what fuels searching for methods and practiononers. It’s being open to these things. As a person who was stuck in the “make” - I feel this can be an important distinction for some.

    “For example Self-diagnosis. Isn't most of us here self-diagnosed?”

    I think this is a misunderstanding- it’s self-diagnosing medicalization terms. Instead of “I have back pain” people tend to say things like “I have a rare form of indescribable necrosis of the left x muscle close to the 7th vertabrae that is the most rare of all rare back disorders”. That sort of thing. I think you are right that most of us come here without a Dr.’s formal tms diagnoses.
    Dorado and JanAtheCPA like this.
  8. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have never had much to contribute in the 'what to avoid' category because I had a fast, effective and permanent 'healing'...Oh , I had relapses and it's tried to change, but I have never gotten back to where I was on Day one..

    On the 'to do' list, all I can say is that I knew everybody I had spoken with up to the time I read Sarno was operating on the 'wrong' or 'old' template and I was free to delete all of that old bad info. If I caught myself thinking about something THEY had told me, I just reminded myself "Oh.,.,.but they were wrong about everything"

    I just replaced all of my OLD thinking which was similar to the list there, with NEW thinking. It's like turning a light on... I don't need to tell the dark "Hey , don't come in here!"

    because it can't
    Dorado, Ellen, Sita and 1 other person like this.
  9. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Doubts. Especially the ones disguised as critical thinking or thoughtful analysis, or much needed research on new symptoms, or whatever. Your biggest enemy is doubts.
    Dorado, Ellen and miffybunny like this.
  10. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes - doubts are notorious for not only keeping the belief of illness, injury, damage, etc. alive, but ramping up the sympathetic nervous system response! Totally agreed.
    miffybunny and TG957 like this.

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