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Boredom / restlessness causing TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by BloodMoon, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi,

    Is there any evidence/indication in Sarno's work (or elsewhere) that TMS can sometimes be caused by boredom/restlessness (rather than repressed emotions)? (I seem to be pretty good at digging up and generally feeling my emotions anyway and yet I continue to be in a lot of pain.)

    Has anyone ever recovered by tackling (in some way) what is, I think, possibly the crux of the problem with me...I'm the kind of person who has never known what they want to do when they 'grow up' (and I'm 60 years old now!). I have (and have had throughout my life) a passing interest in lot of things (a bit of a 'butterfly' moving from one thing to another) but I've never had a passion for anything in particular - neither a job or hobbies. I did stick to the same career for many years through necessity (to keep me fed and roof over my head) but, although initially learning the work and doing the job was complex and interesting, it ended up being torture to me in having to do the same kind of things over and over again. In the end I did leave my job and then the pain and fatigue got so debilitating that I have never been able to return to work.

    I wonder whether for some people like me, TMS it's a case of the brain making 'mischief ' - that is, causing pain and other symptoms because I'm at a loss as to what I can do to keep it 'happy'...I was thinking that it's a case of having a brain a bit like one of those intelligent sheepdogs that rip their owner's homes to shreds because they should be occupied in an environment that keeps them stimulated and interested...I too have an underlying feeling of restlessness.

    It's also like a 'catch 22' situation for me because my pain and other symptoms are so debilitating that I am virtually housebound...I can and do push through the pain to a certain extent, but if I push too hard my muscles spasm and cause me such excruciating pain that I cannot walk or weight-bear and therefore wind up bedridden (for anything from a few weeks to, on one occasion, 7 months). I used to do landscape painting - and even sold some paintings (so I guess I wasn't too bad at it) but now if I try and paint everything ends up just a muddy mess...I think my brain/subconscious got bored with painting and I've tried other types of art (and other creative things, e.g. writing) but to no avail with regard to capturing my interest. (I wonder if my childhood has something to do with this as I was encouraged to do things like art to keep me occupied, but the 'me' was sapped out of me because my parents considered me a nuisance and I had to behave like a little adult all of the time.)

    I am doing TMS techniques plus pleasant things like visualizations and yoga nidra etc., which are giving me some positivity and peace. I also practice mindfulness and regularly throughout the day do deep breathing.

    Does anyone recognise any of this in themselves? - Any experiences and/or thoughts and/or suggestions regarding this will be gratefully received
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  2. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    My first thought was: guess if she ever liked what she did? I mean, felt really proud or content with what you did. A way of identifying with what you do that makes you independent from the judgement of others. If not, then you might have difficulties seeing the values in your work/hobbies etc. But, you might simply be someone who grasps things easily. That can lead to boredom. However, I learned that whenever I pursue too many leads, not doing one thing wholeheartedly it is because of fear to fail. And I grew up in a family where constant chaos was reality and I was occupied with solving other’s problems. That is my comfort zone. Being content and successfully following a plan is not. Your parents seemed to have certain expectations which doesn’t sound childlike to me. Maybe your inner child rebels? Then you should get into touch with it.
     
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  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Time2be :)

    Thanks for replying.

    I liked and felt a sense of achievement with a few of my paintings and the rest of my paintings were mostly kind of 'reasonably pleasing' to me...Otherwise, no - although I did recognise when I had done something well - my underlying attitude was 'so what?'. When I was in my 20s some friends took me to a shooting range and it was evident straight away that I was quite a crack shot. Again, I just though 'so what?' - It never occurred to me that I could have taken that talent further - joined a club and maybe I would have been good enough to compete in the Olympics or something.

    I guess I do grasp some things quite easily; it depends on the subject really (at school I was not so hot in the sciences, but I was good at the arts).

    I think you're right - my inner child did/does rebel. I've read all sorts of, stuff about getting in touch with your inner child, but as yet I've never managed to reach her.
     
  4. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Well, rebellious as she is, I guess you have to invite her :)
     
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  5. Freckle

    Freckle New Member

    I can identify entirely. As such, I’m not sure whether I can help. I have also tried art, mainly graphite, and produced the odd reasonable piece, but was pushed into sciences when I was at school, which I was ok at, but never excelled. I am 59, and have never found true focus on any one particular subject. I worked for 30 years at a job I grew to dislike, and gave up over 10 years ago. I have since wandered from one hobby to another, and been in chronic pain for 10 years.

    I seem to be forever chasing purpose, and never quite getting there. My new and latest venture is becoming a dog trainer. This time I’ve picked something close to my heart. I love all animals, but dogs especially. The way I look at it, all the other things I’ve tried are not wasted, just a few of many experiences that are there to enrich our lives.

    Freckle
     
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  6. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for your reply, Freckle.
    That's exactly how I felt. I say 'felt' as, for the most part, I gave up chasing a purpose at some point during the 20+ years of my being sick.
    That has to be the best thing to do, i.e. pick something close to your heart - as such it's so much more likely that you will make enjoy your work and make a great success of it :). I guess I too need to look for something that's close to my heart...I made a start this afternoon in looking back over my life and listing the little things along the way that have made me happy, albeit fleetingly...I thought that it might supply me with an acorn of an idea of how to stop my brain/mind being bored...which is possibly causing my pain and other symptoms.
     
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  7. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Bloodmoon,

    I read a book years ago about people being hunters or gatherers. From what I remember, people who are hunters are interested in new things and challenges, once something is mastered or fixed they're ready to move on. Careers such as consultant and headhunter are good for them. I have a nephew who is a chef and he was employed by a national chain to go into troubled restaurants and fix the problem, then onto the next one.

    If you are a hunter type you can look at this part of yourself as an asset and reframe how you perceive it. If you feel this is a good explanation of the way you are, then maybe some part of the TMS could be conflict about how you are, and how you have pressured yourself to be something else that you thought was better or more correct. Instead, being a hunter is a positive.

    Food for thought, hoping for the best,
    Lizzy
     
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  8. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lizzy - I could kiss you for this! Wow! - Yes, that's me - definitely a 'hunter'! If I were a chef, I'd thrive on doing the 'sort-out-a-problem-and-move-on' type of work that your nephew did. I've always felt that a couple of years in any job in the same environment (same office or whatever) was more than enough for me; I longed to move on and had to steal myself to go in to work each day.
    Absolutely! I've just done a bit of a surf about it and I'm wondering if this might have been the book that you read (which was first published in 1994 and then in 2002) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-ADHD-Succeed-Hunter-Farmers/dp/1620555751? I'm going to buy it and another of the author's works on this topic. Maybe if I get an in depth understanding of myself as a 'hunter', I'll be able to deal with the conflict that comes of being a 'hunter' in a mainly 'farmer's' world and get myself well - and be able to feel the positives of being this way. In the past I had psychometric testing (to see what kind of career I'd be suited to) and much later on some counselling (to help me cope with my chronic fatigue and muscle pain) and neither pinpointed the 'problem' like you have done for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  9. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Bloodmoon,

    Yes, I think that is the book! And the 1994 publishing date sounds right. I'm guessing because of the paleo eating these days I thought gatherers. I'm so glad you found it and will be able to read it and the other one. This is exciting :)

    Lizzy
     
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  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Lizzy. The 2016 version of the 1994 book has now been downloaded on to my kindle. I'll keep you posted about this :).
     
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  11. westb

    westb Well known member

    There are parallels between your work history and mine @BloodMoon. Many different jobs, in two different countries in my case. I'm apparently a hunter/gatherer too - and that book that @Lizzy recommends is definitely one I'll add to my reading list. Though what moved me to change jobs was the sense that the stress and responsibility in my current one were becoming so overwhelming that I simply had to get out. It wasn't so much the boredom as the feeling that if I stayed I would have a mental breakdown. So I would move, settle in to the new job and then the whole cycle would start again. I can blame the pace of modern business life in a capital city, and there is certainly some truth in that, but I have a feeling I would have felt the same even if I was working at a relatively low stress job. I'm someone who is very good at finding something to worry and be dissatisfied about!

    Something that has stayed relatively constant through all the changes is my enjoyment of languages, and I'm following up on that with the local French circle. I'd also like later to volunteer with an animal rescue group locally. We'll see where these go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  12. Freckle

    Freckle New Member

    There is some really good advice here, and definitely food for thought. Thank you Bloodmoon for starting this thread. I too love the definition of being a hunter, always reaching your goal, and becoming dissatisfied after mastering certain jobs. Apathy is indeed one of my major triggers. It always puts my head in a spin, and I’m casting around looking desperately for a way out. I always thought I was one of life’s failures, and my frustration has been hard to define, or explain to others. Light bulbs have definitely been switched on here.

    Freckle
     
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  13. Freckle

    Freckle New Member

    Oops! Should also thank Lizzy for her great advice and knowledge.

    Freckle
     
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  14. westb

    westb Well known member

    I've been thinking some more about this. The cause of my current IBS symptoms was almost certainly extreme physical pain, fear and stress, engendered by a back injury and the excruciating treatment (prolotherapy) that I was given at the time (2010), supposedly to stabilise the lower back ligaments. (Though, re the initial injury, there are questions to be asked about why I picked up that extremely heavy suitcase using just one arm, when I knew from previous experience what the outcome would probably be). The IBS started once I'd recovered from the injury. However, I do think combatting boredom and fear is one of the absolute necessities in my recovery. I am so aware that when I am absorbed and stimulated by something that any symptoms I may have at the time are far less troublesome. That seems to be the way I'm being asked to go.

    @BloodMoon, just a thought but would getting clear about what activities/interests definitely DON'T float your boat, help narrow the field down so its easier to identify the things that do?
     
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  15. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I almost didn't post up about boredom/restless and TMS, but I'm so glad that I did :). It sounds overly dramatic, but I am certain that this 'light bulb moment' is going to change the rest of my life - the way I see myself and the future decisions that I will make.
    Yes, that's absolutely me to-a-tee too! I know only too well that feeling of looking around desperately for a way out.
    Something I look back on is that I had the opportunity to go to university but, when I inspected the syllabuses for the subjects I was interested in, I couldn't face the amount of stuff around the subject that you'd have to study as part of the course, stuff that I was far less interested in. I could see the need to know some background information, but the tedium of writing essays about these somewhat extraneous topics in depth I just knew would be far too much for me to bear. This not only affected my career prospects - and meant that I had to opt for work where I had my training by doing the job - it also made me feel a failure and lacking in fortitude, especially as my old school friends had the strength of character to study the things that they weren't particularly interested in to get their degrees. I've often wondered why I couldn't knuckle down like they did. I now believe that I know the reason why...It seems that 'hunters' can only focus and hold their attention on things they are interested in and/or see an immediate purpose for - otherwise forget it!...If they're forced to apply themselves, it's against their nature, it makes them miserable...It would be no wonder, I think, that hunters' brains may cause them TMS when they are having to force themselves to conform to a 'farmer's' world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  16. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    As you believe that you would have felt the same even if you were working at a relatively low stress job, could it be that the boredom (and/or perhaps restlessness) was pretty much the underlying key factor as to why you had to keep moving on? Responsibility and stress on top, in a more exacting job, would put the tin hat on it though of course and tip things over the edge more quickly though (to the point where you felt that you would have a mental breakdown if you stayed). I know exactly how the latter feels. In my final job - which I did for over 14 years - I experienced what the media used to like to call 'burn out'. I became overwhelmed by chronic fatigue. Each day I'd get up, commute by train to work (sleeping the whole of the journey with my head bent forward resting/leaning on the back of the seat in front of my seat), do my job, commute home (sleeping all the way), eat dinner and then I'd go straight to bed afterwards; I would sleep away my weekends in preparation for the next week too. I ended up leaving my job to train for something else, but then the muscle pain hit me hard and I've never been able to work since. I truly believe that I had a physical breakdown instead of a mental breakdown...I didn't know at the time that my physical breakdown was actually caused by my brain trying to protect me.

    This has to be the right thing to do in order to get well - that is, to opt for the things you love and make you happy :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
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  17. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    What a good idea! Thanks, I will definitely do that :)...I think though there is quite a lot of activities/interests that don't float my boat, so the list will be long.

    I'm grateful that you mentioned about the prolotherapy being so painful as I have an unstable right Sacro-Iliac joint, supposedly due to lax ligaments, and at one time I was considering opting for it. I heard about prolotherapy years ago, but was too chicken to try it (for fear of the ligaments becoming over tight) even though the muscles around my right SI joint spasm and painfully torque my pelvis. With age the ligaments are supposed to get more rope-like and tougher and therefore become more supportive. However, if the spasming is caused by mildly reduced blood flow due to TMS, then I guess I won't have to rely on my ligaments getting tougher as better/well oxygenated muscles shouldn't spasm (and the theory that I have lax ligaments may be a false one).

    The IBS was possibly what I believe Sarno called 'the symptom imperative', do you think?

    I'm the same - boredom and fear are definitely what I need to combat. I think recognising this has to be half the battle won.
    With regard to being symptoms being less troublesome when absorbed in something stimulating, I was listening to a mind/body recording a number of weeks ago (I think it was by Alan Gordon) where he recommend to one of his patients to make a note of every time she experienced a reduction in her pain and other symptoms, and to also note what she was engaged in at the time she experienced a reduction. She then stuck the list of these instances on her fridge door to remind herself that it must be her brain causing her symptoms - The important thing was that it reinforced to her that when she was fully engaged and enjoying the things she was doing, her symptoms improved...And it also presumably highlighted the things that she enjoyed the most, which would have encouraged her to keep on doing those things. I think I will try this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  18. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I forgot to say that I received my second hand copy of the Claire Weekes book that you kindly gave me the information about - I bought the original hard back version with its yellowed pages and dusty smell due its old age (printed in 1977); it reminded me of the bookshop in the film '84 Charing Cross Road', a film which I enjoyed...But, anyway, what with the 'Hunter v Farmer' book, Claire Weeke's book and Steve Osanich's book too, I shall be burning the midnight oil :). (Talking of the latter, I just read that 'hunters' are apparently usually 'night owls', which also fits me to a tee...I often have tried to go to bed earlier in the evening - thinking/hoping that it would aid my recovery - but my body/mind always had a different idea about this and in no time I'd go back to my old ways as I sleep better if I go to bed late and get up late in the mornings.)
     
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  19. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Lizzy :).
    I just thought I'd let you know that I've finished reading the "Adult ADHD: How to Succeed as a Hunter in a Farmer’s World" book. My conclusion is that I have some of the traits of adult ADHD - and may have had more of them in adulthood, but for them possibly being conditioned out of me by my upbringing...For example, I'm more cautious than a person with ADHD would usually be, probably because I didn't feel safe and loved in my childhood, so I do 'look before I leap' whereas people with ADHD don't tend to. However, the 'Hunter' label is something that nevertheless fits me to a tee in so many other ways and goes a long way to explaining why I am the way I am and, above all, makes me more accepting of my behaviours and certain likes and dislikes. Thank you, once again, for bringing all of this to my attention! The understanding it has given me of myself is life changing as I have no doubt that it will make it easier for me to make more appropriate decisions about my life from now on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  20. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Bloodmoon,

    That's fantastic! I'm so glad you found the book helpful!

    I have ADD, but was also diagnosed with PTSD due to a verbally abusive childhood. My dad never hit, but I was very afraid of him, he yelled, lectured for hours and gave harsh punishments. Looking back I think he also did a lot of posturing and I think that made me afraid he would lose control of his fists as well as his temper. Therefore, like you, I am also cautious and look before I leap.

    Lizzy
     

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