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Alex B. Buying into the fear

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    8 years ago I went through a very stressful period here I had severe back pain that morphed into TMJ then tinnitus then asthma. Within 6 months of the stress resolving all symptoms were gone. Last year, when a similar stressful situation developed my back pain returned. When my Demtist and Dr. Said I was fine my hands began to itch intensely-over the last 2 months and that itching has morphed into tingling/numbness/burning and weird buzzing sensations in my hands feet legs and face. I'm obsessed with the idea I have MS.

    My back pain and dry mouth are gone and I see the clear MBS distraction but my mind just cant seem to accept it- why am I so intent in buying into this fear? I've fond journaling and giving it so much thought but can't seem to get to the bottom of it- I'm literally sick with anxiety which I know is exactly where my TMS wants me to be. Your ideas please.
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Thanks for the question, it's a good one. There's a few things going on here that I'd like to address. First and foremost I'd like to acknowledge the good news as usual. In your case it's the fluidity of your symptoms. They're all over the place! We can see that they respond to your mind state (no stress/no pain) and are susceptible to suggestion (once the docs rule it out, it switches up on you). The reason this is good news is because it can help you to gain certainty that your symptoms are indeed the result of TMS. This is what you have to tell yourself when you find that you are obsessing over the symptoms, convincing yourself that your are experiencing the onset of MS.

    As you say yourself, you are in the exact state that the TMS wants you to be in. The reason your mind is having trouble accepting that and is instead buying into the fear, is that you are bombarding it with these powerful fear thoughts constantly instead of providing care and support for yourself. Clearly a condition like MS is very serious; your TMS has found an effective tool for keeping you in fear. Powerful enough that even though you are at times able to see your symptoms for what they are, they still manage to throw you off your center and send you into an obsessive, anxious and distracted tailspin.

    The key here is implementing the evidence that you are suffering from TMS as a way of supporting and calming yourself in the face of the anxiety and fear that results from the symptoms. When they cause you to feel fear and pressure, that is your cue to remind yourself that a) you are prone to scaring and pressuring yourself, so this is not unexpected b) you know what's going on here and you don't need to be afraid of it c) by working to support yourself, reduce pressure and increase care you can work towards reducing the stress that you know, from experience, can help you to reduce symptoms as well. I hope that's helpful.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

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    Anne Walker likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guest, Alex gave some great advice.

    I'm writing a long article summarizing Dr. Claire Weekes' book Hope and Help for Your Nerves,
    which will be posted soon in this wiki. She offers great advice on dealing with anxiety.
     
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is HARD to stop the negative self-talk! Three years ago, I was just learning about TMS and was doing the SEP (on our wiki), and I was also reading Hope and Help for Your Nerves. One morning, I could tell that I was right on the edge of an anxiety attack combined with depression, and I clearly remember that I figuratively "stepped back" and watched my brain trying to take over my thoughts with depression and negativity. All I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and give in to it. Forcing myself away from that desire was hard! It took more effort than just about anything else I've ever had to do - it's kind of bizzare, in fact, when you consider there is no physical effort, and no mental effort like taking a test. It's pure emotional will power.

    The point at which I was able (or willing) to take control and banish those thoughts, was the real turning point for me.

    Now, if only I could apply the same will power to my desire to snack, or to skip my exercise routine... but I guess the incentives aren't strong enough :p

    ~Jan
     
    Ellen and Seraphina like this.

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