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Could my bathroom be a trigger?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by LauriK, May 9, 2013.

  1. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    When this all started about a month ago walking to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet was murder. I avoided it as long as I could and would lie in bed nearly in tears thinking of having to go in there. Now I'm slightly better but whenever I go in the bathroom the pain seems to increase. Could it have become a trigger? And how do I stop it?
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Definitely. It's a conditioned response, you've experience pain there before, therefore you anticipate it each time. The thoughts about pain are probably so automatic you don't even realize they're happening now. The trouble is, your subconscious is taking all of those automatic thoughts as true. You're anticipating pain so it's delivering for you. It's going to take some work and it's going to be very frustrating at first - I don't mean to discourage you, I just don't want to give you the idea that you can "un-condition" your thoughts instantly. The only way I know if to override the automatic thoughts is to consciously force new ones. As often as you can remember to do so, tell yourself that you will not experience any pain while you are in the bathroom - I recommend saying it out loud if reasonable and possible. You'll probably feel ridiculous while you do it at first, but as you start to see results it will seem less silly and in time it will become your new "automatic" thought and your subconscious will believe it to be true and deliver on it instead.
    ValVal, Friendlygal12 and LauriK like this.
  3. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    Thanks Leslie that's helpful. I'll try it.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Makes you realize, LauriK, just how much all of our behavior along with pain symptoms is conditioned by subtle things in our environments, some of them very physical and tactical. For example, I noticed just the other day that when I changed the position of the saddle on the seat post of my road bike, how the sciatic pain and weakness in my left leg went down so much it felt normal again. The change transferred into my gait too so my walking became much more flexible. That's all from changing the configuration of the saddle on my bike's seat post! My unconscious must have been associating TMS pain with that particular posture for so long that it just kept perpetuating the pain in the conditioned nerve pathways. But there must be a thousand things like that in everyone with TMS's personal environment that must keep the conditioning going and going and going, especially if you have perfectionist and obsessive compulsive personality traits. The general lesson I've learned from this is if you want to breakup the TMS pain cycle, one thing to do is to breakup your habitual behavior patterns so that the conditioning loses its hold on your psyche. You can do this of course through meditation to change the obsessive patterns hardwired into your brain, but at the same time you can also physically change the way and order you've become accustomed to doing things. So this really is a body-mind deconditioning process that is just as much psychological as it is physical. I can see where it's fear of experiencing pain again that's keeping you out of the bathroom and challenging and getting over that fear is a necessary first step in your recovery from TMS. But you should also keep in mind just how much all human behavior, both psychological and physical, is deeply conditioned both in the mind and in the body. In other words, breaking up your habitual behavior patterns in the material world goes along with breaking up the conditioned responses in your mind.
    Leslie likes this.

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