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Breakthrough regarding conditioned responses

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by lazydaisy, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    I have been struggling a bit lately with my TMJ (jaw pain). My jaw gets stuck and is very painful, until I can manipulate it free.

    I was thinking: How come I get so much relief when my jaw cracks if the problem isn't structural?

    I was free journalling my frustrations, and suddenly I had typed the answer: it feels good because I am expecting it to feel good, just like I am conditioned to pain.

    I hadn't realised this before - the relief of pain can be a conditioned response too!

    Now I am telling myself, "There is nothing wrong with your jaw, the relief is just a conditioned response" and it seems to be helping.

    I am so used to cracking my jaw trying to make it feel better that I still catch myself doing it, but hopefully this breakthrough will lead to a lasting change - behaviour and pain-wise. I always resist free journalling and I shouldn't because sometime what comes out is gold.

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