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challenging fatigue; need advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Joey2276, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    So there are 3 main aspects to my TMS symptoms; joint stiffnes, anxiety/OCD, and chronic fatigue. The first two are relatively straightforward when it comes to challenging them; just do it; DO things that hurt especially when you know it is TMS, DO things that cause anxiety. not easy at all, but doesnt take a rocket scientist once you get the basic premise of what the brain is doing.

    My question is with chronic fatigue. I've been challenging it extra lately, as my joint stiffness has eased in the prior months; doing more activity like brisk walks, yoga, etc. It feels though like its a different animal when I push the fatigue. IBS is worse, brain fog is worse, I dont know if I'd trust myself to drive right now after latest workout. I havent really challenged it to the point I'm passing out or anything; but for example if I were to go surfing for 2 hours I'd be concerned about driving home as I'd have this kind of drunk wasted feeling; same thing if I ran a couple miles, or did any heavy cardio for more than 15 minutes.

    I'd love to read about others experience when it comes to "challenging" the chronic fatigue. Does it work best to "just do it" and go for broke? Do you treat it as you would any other symptom like pain or anxiety?
    I feel like my body is telling me to ease up and not sure to listen or to push push....whats been your experience?
    1 person likes this.
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member


    Go about living your life as if it's not there. If you try to challenge it directly you are giving it power and attention. Just what the tms beasts feeds off of. Go enjoy each day. Each day is a gift and use it to the fullest. If you need to take a nap and slow down do so. Pushing yourself so hard to beat tms will only prolong healing. As soon as you stop trying so hard to heal, is when the healing begins. Surrender to what is, your body is ok. As the great doctor said if one is preoccupied with the body/symptoms they will persists. Goodluck, you will heal.

  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Joey, I echo Ryan's excellent advice.
    I recommend distraction, to take your mind off your pain.
    Read a good book, watch a good movie, listen to music you like.
    Tell yourself you believe 100 percent in TMS and will heal.
  4. dusty67

    dusty67 Peer Supporter

    Joey sorry I don't have any advise but only wanted to share that I too am battling a new symptom of fatigue. Its not pleasant thats for sure! For me it just sort of hits out of nowhere first affecting my vision. I get very blurry eyes, Sort of double vision. Then extreme tiredness where I MUST lie down and sleep. I cannot keep my head up. This has happened the last 3 days in a row (pain has reduced significantly....thank you SO much TMS for the switch in symptoms) But I too feel drugged. Spacey. Complete foggy brain. I also suffer from anxiety. I had a great morning now I have this so bad Im going to have to go have a nap or I wont be able to drive this afternoon to my appointments. Hopefully I feel better after I wake up (I did yesterday) Good luck to you in your journey to overcome this. Its Somehow comforting to find others that have the same symptoms...although I do NOT wish this upon anyone. At least we know that we can beat this....in the meantime, think Ill have a nap :)
    TrustIt and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I think you raise an important issue. I've had that post-exertional fatigue and I know how overwhelming it can feel, as it doesn't just effect your body, but your brain is also tired. And this type of TMS symptom is just as real as TMS pain. While we can "push through" pain, that pushing takes a certain amount of energy that is just not there. I think this is true for many TMS equivalents, and so a somewhat different approach is needed than for dealing with TMS pain. Maybe a more cognitive approach such as I've found works well with conditioned responses would work. Tell your brain that you are healthy and strong, and there is no reason for you to feel tired after exercising. Repeat this a few times while exercising, but then forget about it as @Ryan states, and just go about your day. Let go of it at that point. So what if you're tired? Rest and relax.

    I've used this approach with the fatigue following a night of insomnia. I just go ahead and do whatever I was planning to do anyway. And I have found there are many times throughout the day when I forget that I'm sleep deprived. And forgetting about a symptom is the same as not having it.

    Also, be aware of the fear that you hold of the symptom--fear of driving, fear of passing out. Maybe explore the fear with your therapist. Maybe an evidence sheet would be helpful. Have you ever actually passed out, would your driving really be impaired? Has there ever been a time when you exercised and weren't tired afterward? Bring some logic and reasoning into it. But don't spend too much time on this. Just explore it and then let it go.
    Lotus, TrustIt and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Markus

    Markus Guest

    Joey,since I still suffer with fatigue, I can only reiterate what Walt said. I've yet to stop pain meds and klonopin but,I was in Wal-Mart a hr. ago and I started to have pain from my glutes to my feet, and I confronted my brain then and there......I actually notice people and say "I'll bet they have TMS",So I know I believe it. Keep doing what you do, and you're a great motivater yourself. Keep doing it,you're an inspiration. Chronic fatigue falls under fibromyalgia,where you could consider it a more resistant form of T M S. You've got a therapist, you're putting a lot into it. Take Walts suggestion, add MORE pleasure to your life if possible.
    I know how difficult the fatigue is but keep at your TMS reading and work and you'll keep making progress.

  7. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Great advice guys; yes Ryan I do take it too seriously; just got to chill and ignore the symptoms; Walt yes do stuff I enjoy; I believe this is all TMS but fear is stil there at deep levels. I've trid to think my way out of it but truly I think to get past TMS fear one needs to do what one fears. Dusty thanks for sharing it helps knowing others are having similar symptoms even though of course we dont want them to. Ellen yes fear; its there; I'm starting to look at TMS as a school yard bully; the more you give the more it takes. More importantly fear itself is exhasting. Mark yeah I notice TMS symptoms and behavior in all kinds of ways now with other people; I agre more pleasure; I was such a people pleaser, and read in "the disease to please" highyl recomend this book to anyone on TMS wiki) how that can lead to chronic fatigue; thanks for the supporting words.
  8. RichieRich

    RichieRich Well known member


    As a Generalized Anxiety sufferer, you have to move towards the problem not away from it. Distraction works partly, but you have to accept that this is part of you. As you accept the fatigue, it will become less relevant. Allow it as much time and space that it needs. Meanwhile, you need to keep moving forward. It'll feel weird at first. Things will feel strange, but trust me you will slowly, yes slowly, start to feel normal again. Don't put a timeline on anxiety.
    AC45 and Joey2276 like this.
  9. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    awesome Rich great advice thank you.
  10. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Great advice RichieRich, well said. I would also add that it's only a perception of fatigue. I spoke to Dr. Sarno about this, and have spoken to several TMS docs about it, and to several hundred CFS sufferers. Once you get that ah ha moment, that your brain is making you feel as though you have no energy you begin to get on top of it.

    You're actually in an energy overload (too much). Anxiety, and anger are forms of energy. But with TMS there's no expression or discharge of that energy, it's just sitting there creating havoc in you, disrupting autonomic activity. Then, the obsession on the notion that you have no energy becomes your new TMS. The energy itself is there but has no outlet because you have no clear direction in life in which to point it toward. Your brain uses the sensation of having no energy to divert you away from things you don't want to do, places you don't want to be, and people you don't want to be with.

    Your brain has fooled you into the perception of a lack of energy, and at that point you can't move. But the energy is there. The proof is in the fact that the people heal once they begin to realize this, and do the work in the right way, which few people do of course.

    Lotus, Xara, TrustIt and 6 others like this.
  11. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Hey Steve thanks a lot for the reply; I value your expertise a lot! With some reflection I realize I am doing a pretty good job of changing my life so that I am less fatigued by people and thoughts etc; but the fear of it is stronger than it should be; like I will shake a bit after a good workout from exhaustion; and I really thought last time how afraid am I now; and honestly there was a lot of fear; compared for exapmle to if I was shaking a bit from being cold; there would be no fear.

    I appreciate your Sarno referencel always great to read things like that.


  12. RichieRich

    RichieRich Well known member


    As Steve has said, it's an overload thing. Your whole body is overloaded. It feels fatigued, but you're still able to get up and do your normal routine, albeit a bit sluggish. I remember when I had this. I felt like I was drunk or drugged while I was working. You'll be A Okay. Let it happen.
    Joey2276 likes this.
  13. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Awesome thanks Rich; I need anecdotes from people who have been through that drunken like exhaustion and have made it out the other side. After having that from age 21 to 38 it seems almost too good to be true, but the more I read about others who have had the exact same symptom and it was ultimately their brains producing, plus my own experimentation with challenging it, I gain more and more confidence.
  14. Markus

    Markus Guest

    It's awesome you are gaining knowledge/awareness from others. Having that fibromyalgia diagnosis slapped on you,may make healing a little bit slower. Keep up the good work!
  15. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Joey, most of the energy is spent not on reacting to others around you, but on holding your own emotions in. It's like trying to hold a beachball underwater. The beachball represents your emotions. You can spin and wrestle and fight to keep your emotions hidden and under your unconscious waters, but it wears you out. But I know what you mean, regarding the ANS it's all about over-stimulation and the fight/flight. But also remember that TMS stems from the freeze side (the holding the emotions in, never fighting or fleeing to discharge the energy and to feel safe again).
    Lotus, freedomseeker and Joey2276 like this.
  16. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I had forgotten the freeze side of TMS that Steve talks about. The holding of emotions in and not discharging the energy to feel safe again.
    How do you do that if you become aware of this while talking with someone? Or is the awareness enough?
    Markus and Joey2276 like this.
  17. Markus

    Markus Guest

    hey Joey,
    I also have exhaustion which I wrestle with the question of whether or not it is TMS!. many times after eating certain foods not all foods, I become physically exhausted so, food like grinders with bread, mayonnaise, anything especially with Bread or thats high carb I become exhausted, and I'm not sure that this is TMS. I'm glad you were doing ok.
    Joey2276 likes this.
  18. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Hey Steve I like that description; while I am reacting to those around me there is something underneath that (my not expressing my own needs and self truthfully); and yeah it does feel like holding a beach ball underwater; you sir are a gifted teacher and observer. Freeze is happening big time with me; its been my go to emotion whenever I am uncertain, afraid, in a new situation, etc since the start of my TMS in preteens period. That concept in general would have been way over my head even 6 months ago; now that I get it the changes I am making to remedy this interraction with others and myself seems daunting and at times way too difficult but I'm determined; it seems like finding little kinks in the TMS armor little by little and then at times there are breakthroughs.

    Mark I know what you mean; I think making evidence sheets is a good idea; and research the people who have recovered from every TMS equivilent and it is just mindblowing; since you have fibro symptoms like I do check out the Schubiner study. I think with more time the power and influence of the unconsciuos mind on the body will come to light with scientific studies for specific syndromes; but there is already a lot of evidence out there.
  19. Sienna

    Sienna Well known member

    Hello Joey and everyone,

    I thought I would share my story with you hoping it helps you.

    Last year I was doing sports quite often (enjoying physical exercise more than ever after my back pain long period- you can read my story to know about it).
    One day I was feeling very tired and nearly collapsed on the mat. I took blood test, and they told me I had anemya, as I had stopped eating meat one year before.
    I resumed taking meat and went through a tough period trying iron tablets that would kill my stomach.

    The thing is that I felt tired all day, and as you mentioned, had this brain fog, severe fatigue that made me stop doing the thinks I like, sports, and going out because I didnt feel safe for driving and felt really weak, specially at night.

    I wasted the whole summer believing I was sick. By the end of August I took blood test and my iron levels had increased and were fine...
    But I still had the same symtpoms, so they asked me to take test for tyroids.

    The thing is that I had planned a trip to my favourite island in September where I scape every summer and it is like my peace&feel good place... I had planned this in advance after a tough summer.. I missed trips, flights and even a good friend wedding in Italy thinking I could not make it...

    This is the happy ending: I went on vacation without taking the tyroid test, thinking I will do it when I come back, I have had enough of Doctors this summer... I need a break.. I will go even if I have to stay lying on the hammack all day.

    And you know what? Once I stepped on the island, arrived to the comdo with our beautiful swimming pool facing the Mediterranean....
    I went in the water without thinking of my heart beat (which had lasted all summer, and did not "allow" me to swim, something that I love....
    All the symptoms disappeared!!!
    I would jump in the ocean every day, go out, walk... it was like magic...

    My brain learned the symptoms of maybe one tiring day in spring, then whn I learnd I had anemya (very soft, friends with a higher level do a normal life).
    My system learned how to create these fatigue symptoms and kept doing it until I broke the patterns by travelling no matter what....

    This made me feel so misarable for having wasted all summer and so many good experiences, staying at home thinking I was sick....

    After I had lost some years of my life due to "back pain".

    We have to learn that our subconscious mind can send any symptom, and she does it quite well!!

    Two weeks ago the symptoms started again.. I thought maybe my iron levels were low again.. took a blood test, they were fine.. so I went swimming, and all the symptoms disappeared!
    The headache has tried to come back but by ignoring it it just left again.

    I hope my story bring some light and helps you to overcome the symptoms.

    HOPE, FAITH and LOVE for everyone
  20. freedomseeker

    freedomseeker Peer Supporter

    Hi Joey, I am new to this forum and just saw your posts here. I know they are from several years ago, so I was wondering if you are still active on this forum? If so, id love to chat with you and see how you are doing now. I have almost identical symptoms as you - chronic fatigue, extreme post-exertion fatigue following workouts, anxiety, along with a few other things. But I was mainly interested in how you were managing the fatigue and if you had any advice as to how you overcame your struggle. It is currently my biggest obstacle and I haven't found too many others with this particular difficulty when researching TMS. Thank you and I hope to hear from your soon.

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