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Cycling storms of symptoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BinLA, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hey all, hope this finds you well...

    I was just reading around on some threads here and there is such a myriad of symptoms in these threads, and I realize that the symptoms themselves ultimately aren't important to recovery. I've been overcoming anxiety/stress disorder/TMS(?) type symptoms for about 8 years now. I've had some success, I've gotten my life back and had times of freedom. But ultimately, it finds a way to cylce back.

    I'm wondering if other people have dealt with these oft-changing storms of strong symptoms, as opposed to the traditional symptom imperative where one goes away when the other does as you do the TMS work, etc.

    I can be relatively OK for a few weeks, then have...

    -A few days or weeks of strong IBS issues
    -A few days of strong panic/constant anxiety without any reason or topic (just physically manifested)
    -A day or so of obsessive thoughts
    -Blips of strong depletion
    -A few days of strong negative thinking and frustration that feesls at odds with who I am... feels chemical in nature

    And the big one as of late...

    -7 months of continual off-balance/dizzy problems that never seem to turn off. (This one used to come and go, but then one day just stayed. I talk about it in the psychogenic dizziness thread.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/psycho-physiological-dizziness-syndrome-ppds.4599/ (Psycho-Physiological Dizziness Syndrome (PPDS)) )

    I generally try to approach these storms with acceptance and to give my body some space and rest. But, admittedly... the mind can often ramp up into a place of fear over the symptoms *often seemingly on auto-pilot. It almost feels like a chemical, internal reaction when it ramps up to that level.

    Yet, underneath it I believe I am a healthy person. I know these are stress-related in some way.
    I've tried to look at this all emotionally. I do have a busy life, but a good life.

    I guess this many years in.. I'm surprised at the cylical nature - and that it can still come back so strong.

    Are there others out there who may experience this, as opposed to the traditional TMS - back problem for a while.... then RSI for a while... etc.

    Just looking for insights to make some progress. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
    Free of Fear and Coffeeplease like this.
  2. keenie82

    keenie82 Peer Supporter


    I can definitely relate to the cycling storm of symptoms. I think the issue is we often have too much observation going on in our bodies so we track things that other people might not necessarily notice you know?

    I definitely experience it you do, as I have never had the pain.

    My symptoms rotate. For example in Nov '17 I was diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse and so I was focused on my pelvis from Nov - Mar '18. Then I started getting urinary symptoms and so the pelvic organ stuff falled the wayside and the focus went to the bladder from Mar to now.

    I can definitely relate.

    I just keep telling myself it is TMS as well as practicing not getting ramped up into patterns of this cyclic nature of anxiety. This is what I often call it because it is like you get on the train, but you have trouble getting off the train and you just go round and round reinforcing the grooves in your nervous system.

    Sending you a big hug. Looks like you are doing the work, so just keep at it!
    BinLA and Coffeeplease like this.
  3. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hi Keenie,

    I hear you, and same for me... my condition has always felt like it exists somewhere between anxiety disorder and TMS. (I realize these are basically one in the same in the eyes of most here and I don't disagree.)

    I suppose that's why I've used stress disorder as the term for what I go through, not that it matters what we call it I suppose.

    I think I'm at a bit of an impasse right now. After almost a year of improvement (and many years of improving), I've had strong storms routinely roll through and steady balance problems since last spring. No major changes in my life, in fact probably in the best place life-wise in many years. Stressful at times, for sure but my biggest stressor remains the condition and nothing else is even a close second.

    I've read the books, had some therapy, worked on my own, quit it all... come back around, read Alan Gordon's program, etc.
    But, still trying to find the right path... without becoming too focused on "fixing" all the time.

    Tricky to find the right balance when the storms are here. Much easier to just get on with life when things are settling out.

    Anyway, thanks for your insight! Onward we go...
    Coffeeplease likes this.
  4. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Your determination/patience inspires me. Thank you for sharing. I'm not sure what else I could say that you're not familiar with already. I'll just say, I'm constantly amazed at the power of the mind, and at how elaborate TMS symptoms can be.

    Thank you
    BinLA likes this.
  5. CreativeOne

    CreativeOne New Member

    Hello. Yes, I've had everything you describe over the years. To answer your question, for me, my mind graduated to the more unconventional manifestations after I busted myself for using the traditional "back problems." My condition has revved up so much that I can cycle through new things every day, beginning by having my OCD relentlessly scan my body for ANY sensation that I can use against myself. However, the more severe and longer-lasting issues (what you guys are calling "storms") literally come out of nowhere, and I'm amazed at how my subconscious was able to create them, as I would have had no idea that such a symptom could have existed (dizziness, palpitations, fainting spells, excruciating prostatitis, instant outbreak of eczema on fingers for the first time in my life the instant I celebrated busting another symptom, numbness and pain in various limbs and nerves that rotate). They all end up being nothing, but they are very real while I'm using them, and in retrospect, I am always in awe that I got suckered into some of these symptoms so completely.
  6. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hey CreativeOne,

    Yeah... what you describe is very familiar.

    For me, there does seem to be a correlation (usually) to periods of high stress/business so perhaps when the body is taxed a bit... or defenses are down, it's more prone to these storms coming. So, in some ways.. it could be a normal stress/exhaustion/anxiety/symptoms thing.

    In other ways, it seems a bit more suspicious. Like I said... over the holidays here I've seen 2-3 day storms one one complete thing... then into a fine day or two.. then into something totally different.

    You mention the subconsious which is where this all has to be coming from.

    I think for me, the question is... how do we communicate to the subconsious when it doesn't seem to be getting the "all clear" messages we're trying to send it?
    I've kept on with life the best I can, and practiced acceptance. Honestly had a pretty good year despite the symptoms and storms. But, it continues to cylce.

    I think there are aspects to this I haven't identified yet.
  7. CreativeOne

    CreativeOne New Member

    BinLA, I don't know the answer to your question, but I resonate with what Sarno said about how the sub/un-conscious does not want to give up the strategy. When I had a consultation with Sarno in 1993, he told me I didn't have TMS (as he understood it at that time), but that my burning knee pains were a conversion disorder, alla Freud and his contemporaries. One other weird thing that I have noticed is that when I am in that more calm space between physical issues/outbursts, my OCD mind races a LOT more in general. It's either as if the focus on the physical symptoms "anchors" my OCD mind, or the OCD ramps up as a symptom in its own right when there isn't a physical one present. I wish I knew which way that was working.
    Free of Fear likes this.
  8. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I can somewhat relate to what you experience OP. Always seems to be something, even if it’s not at a level that is alarming.

    I remind myself it’s not permanent. Then I just blow it off anymore. I’ve got the mindset of not expecting a perfect and comfortable life. So I’ve got the option to focus on what ails me or live. Just live life. I choose that, and I realize there is more progress to be made for me regarding mental health.

    It’s all about how you react to the pain or situation that decides your mood and symptoms.
  9. fern

    fern Well known member

    This is almost always how my symptoms happen. I go through periods of multiple symptoms stacked on top of each other, including psychological ones, and then periods of relative mental and physical calm. I don't really have the one-at-a-time symptom imperative that people write about here. There are some hormonal correlations with my menstrual cycle (especially the week before and after ovulation), but there are other waves whose cause is mysterious. I should really journal more during those times. I have no advice, but just chiming in to let you know that you're not alone! IBS and anxiety are where my TMS likes to assert itself, too, among other things.

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