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Can TMS be contagious?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by MSZ812, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    I've been suffering with chronic pain for about 4 years now. My pain has been in my shoulder/upper back (until it moved yesterday to my neck). I'm a couple weeks into the SEP, and the journal writing I've done has brought up an interesting thought: did I get my TMS from other family members? I'm the youngest of 3. My oldest sister has back problems (surgery failed) and fibromyalgia. She has been on disability for many years (and she's only 33 years old). My middle sister also has back problems, hip problems, and severe eczema on her hands/fingers. She hasn't worked since giving birth to her first child 6 years ago (she's pregnant with her 3rd right now). She is convinced that her pain is too severe to work. My mom has had neck and shoulder pains for over a decade, and it's caused her to miss work sporadically. She has a ritual of using heat packs on her painful areas multiple times a day. My dad is probably the healthiest of us, but I remember many times during my childhood that he complained of chronic back pain. He even had to quit a job because of it. Even today, he ponders whether he should find an office job because he doesn't believe his back can handle many more years in his current line of work. I don't see him very much, so it's possible that his pain is as constant as the rest of us. I was the last of our family to develop chronic pain. I don't know any other families that all deal with chronic pain. Are we learning it from each other? Was there an event that happened to all of us that is causing us to repress our emotions? The newly developed neck pain I'm having sounds very similar to the pain my mom has been describing to me for many years. We all can develop TMS and it's clearly not a genetic issue. But can it be learned?
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, it is absolutely contagious. I can "catch" a symptom just by reading about it on the Forum. Imagine the impact of hearing someone complain about a particular pain for years. It would seep into your unconscious.
    MSZ812 likes this.
  3. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I grew up with, and shared a bedroom with, a sister who was what I would call a "hysteric." She would become very high-strung over any little sensation and not let it drop for days on end, until there was something else wrong. (She passed away 10 years ago…I think from being prescribed so many different medications).

    When I was a child, I was okay, but as I got older I could always feel the "flight or fight" adrenaline coursing through me.

    I know blame is pointless because it doesn't solve anything, but I do think you can absorb a way of perceiving your own health, by being conditioned to expect it because of growing up around it.

    I think it's a fantastic breakthrough you've had!! Now, you can save yourself.
    Getting rid of a lifelong pattern may take a bit of time. Or, maybe it won't. But, be happy that you figured this out.
    I didn't get it until my 50's.

    MSZ812 likes this.
  4. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    Maybe we did learn our pain from each other. My sisters have always gotten more attention than me from my parents. None of us were the rebellious type, but my parents split up when I was a sophomore in high school. My sisters were already grown by then (18 and 21). Looking back, I can see some resentment towards them since they were adults by the time our parents split up. They got "the good years". I know they had a tough experience with the divorce, but it was different for me because I was still very much a kid. And today, they are both married with 5 kids between them. I'm single with no kids. Is there a chance my pain is an unconscious effort to get more attention or empathy?

    - Matt

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