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Could this be TMS? Pls Help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by wt808, Jun 7, 2021.

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  1. wt808

    wt808 Newcomer

    Hi, When I was in my early 20s I had a prolonged (very) stressful period in my life and subsequently developed what I would call a severe case of fibromyalgia. I suffered through it for many years and nothing I did relieved it in any way - and I tried everything. I discovered The Mind Body Prescription purely by chance in a bookstore and it immediately clicked with me. Although I had severe pain it took me a year to start therapy (strangely) but after starting I healed completely over the next 18 months. I was 100% cured by the understanding of the disorder.

    Unfortunately I was put on a benzodiazepine medication concurrently and I was on it for years. I withdrew from it over a couple of years but unfortunately I was left with what seems like something that is called 'protracted withdrawal syndrome'. It is a condition where people dont seem to be able to heal completely and have ongoing symptoms. I have had it for years now and it is like torture. I suffer a sense of 'vibrations' throughout my body and on my skin, I am dizzy and nauseous, my concentration is very poor and I have trouble thinking clearly, I feel 'out of it', I have tight muscles, and I have a generalized sense of continuous worry or what feels like anguish. I also a have continuous feeling of what I can only call 'discomfort' in my head.

    My question is - could these symptoms be acting like a form of TMS?

    To me there is a certain sense of my attention being completely absorbed by the symptoms - exactly like it was with the fibromyalgia. It feels 'locked in', like nothing I do shifts it in the slightest. My attention is completely locked onto this continuous sense of discomfort. I am thinking about it any worrying about it all day and I just cant improve.

    I know this doesn't fall into the classical TMS illnesses but I am wondering and hoping that maybe it is working like a new TMS. I have seen so many varied symptoms appear in these forums.

    The main problem I have is the DOUBT about whether it could be TMS. I got better from fibromyalgia because I didn't doubt the cause. And this is the most important factor in healing. You have to believe the cause is the unconscious mind creating the symptoms and keeping them in place. For me, unfortunately, I wonder if this is a 'physiological' disorder and from there I cant 'use' the mindbody approach successfully.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Could my mind be producing and keeping these symptoms going to keep my attention on them?

    I am really at the end of the line and the idea of it being TMS gives a a sliver of hope that I can heal. I am ready to start intensive therapy again if I could just shake this doubt.

    Thanks in advance. Your help is greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congratulations on your recovery from fibromyalgia!

    It is very common for TMS to morph into an anxiety disorder after the physical symptoms are gone. It's new, unchartered territory for our brain. We give up one method of distraction from physical symptoms, and develop more non-physical symptoms to take its place. It's part of the same phenomenon and should be treated as TMS.

    I had a very similar situation to yours. I got rid of my physical fibromyalgia symptoms, but then went through withdrawal from Tramadol. I craved it everyday for years after I stopped taking it for pain. There may be a physical component to the craving and anxiety, as it is a big change in brain chemistry after stopping a medication you've been taking for years. Dr. Schubiner explains why it is hard to stop anti-depressants in his book Unlearning Anxiety and Depression.

    I think the main problem is the constant inner focus and monitoring of "how am I feeling/doing today?", "what still feels wrong?" where attention is paid to every sensation. I think Somatic Tracking can be helpful to change this pattern, where sensations are observed with non-judgmental curiosity, rather than reacted to with concern and fear. But it is also helpful to try to change your focus from yourself and your perceived symptoms to other people, pets, outdoor activities, art, music, and other activities that lead to a state of flow, etc. In other words, focus your mind outside yourself.

    This is a stage of TMS in my opinion. You've been successful in overcoming fibromyalgia, and you can overcome these latest symptoms as well.
     
  3. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    wt808 - the short answer is: it absolutely sounds like it could be TMS to me.
     
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  4. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Peer Supporter

    @wt808: What you say resonates with me a lot. ("I suffer a sense of 'vibrations' throughout my body and on my skin, I am dizzy and nauseous, my concentration is very poor and I have trouble thinking clearly, I feel 'out of it', I have tight muscles, and I have a generalized sense of continuous worry or what feels like anguish. I also a have continuous feeling of what I can only call 'discomfort' in my head.

    To me there is a certain sense of my attention being completely absorbed by the symptoms - exactly like it was with the fibromyalgia. It feels 'locked in', like nothing I do shifts it in the slightest. My attention is completely locked onto this continuous sense of discomfort. I am thinking about it any worrying about it all day and I just cant improve.")


    I agree with Ellen that this is anxiety disorder and thus with combination of therapies and mental adjustments, or finding ways to "look outside of yourself", it can be cured. Everything you need to cure yourself is already in you. Remember you are not alone.
     
  5. wt808

    wt808 Newcomer

    Thank you for your responses so far. The symptoms I have match exactly to benzodiazepine withdrawal and the condition called protracted withdrawal syndrome. The majority of people who come off benzos seem to be able to heal completely but some develop this protracted syndrome. The 'standard' western medical model says there is some kind of brain damage and once there is damage done you cant really heal from it. You get the condition from coming off too quickly or being on too much for too long (my case). Both seem to not allow the brain to reset back to normal for up to 6-24 months. I am at 5 years now.

    I am hoping that although its been over 5 years now that the symptoms I experience have been 'locked in' by my focus on them, rather than just straight brain damage. Maybe the withdrawal is like the original injury causing symptoms and my system has not been able to shift back to normal as in TMS. It feels like a long-shot sometimes and fills me with doubt however as I have tried everything else without success I now need to treat it this way.

    Any further input from wiki members would still be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  6. Soph1802

    Soph1802 New Member

    I have been healing POTS/Dysautonomia that came on because of a protracted withdrawal from a beta blocker. I will admit that I am not yet fully healed, but I am improving and fully believe that this is TMS. I also know someone who has healed from exactly what you have and POTS using brain retraining, which is essentially what TMS work is. She goes by brain gardening on Instagram and her website is here: https://braingardening.com/ (Brain Gardening™ - Rooted in Science. Cultivated through the Arts.). In short, 100% this is TMS and you can heal. Your condition sounds a lot like Dysautonomia, which is a mindbody illness (not that the traditional medics will admit that). Many have healed from this using mindbody approaches. The medical industry admit that this is caused by an overactive nervous system, stuck in the stress response, and that the brain is communicating the wrong signals to the body, they just don’t admit that we can get the brain to send the right signals again. TMS proves that this is untrue.

    100%, you can heal. Hope this helps.
     
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  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was lucky to avoid addiction to meds myself, but I would suggest treating it like alcohol addiction. You already got excellent advice here, but my two cents is to check out the AA recovery program for guidance.

    I feel so sorry for those who were put on the meds by the doctors, and now are paying heavy price for that. Wish you all strength and patience!
     
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