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Daily TMS Routine (Time Allocation, Scheduling, Level of Involvement)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Balsa11, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Hi everyone,
    I'm a relatively busy college student dealing with a bunch of random symptoms including fatigue, soreness, burning pain, joint pain, TMJ(?), sinus stuff, mild recurring fungal infections, and feelings of heaviness and swelling in my fingers. My skin has also started getting softer and thinner and I think I'm losing some weight which means less cushioning for bones, nerves etc. The inciting event was cold turkeyling 25 mg Zoloft after 2 days (haven't taken it since). I have all the traits of TMS and have suffered narcissistic trauma from my biological mother and watched my dad get lupus from it (thankfully he's doing better). I think I might have persistent high functioning ADD too. I've had anxiety for several years now and I wish I could confidently eliminate the root cause of my problems. If it's not regular anxiety and it's not a structural problem, I'm not sure what I can do every day to reduce my symptoms and return to life before TMS.

    I do affirmations, journaling, meditation on and off, and just living my life but end up on this forum a lot due to flare up. It's hard to find what feels good and just stick to it. I've dug and dug into my past and my habits but I've learned that doesn't work. Everything feels mechanical and boring at this point. Since getting acupuncture and dr appointments have had mixed results in relieving symptoms/reassuring me that I was fine, I'm doing absolutely nothing about my symptoms but it's turned into self neglect on more than one occasion.

    I'm in CBT with one of my country's top Health Anxiety therapists and I'm going through the motions but it's very cyclical and I don't feel it's doing much except reminding myself it's just anxiety etc.

    I'm having difficulty sticking to my class schedule and resyncing my sleeping, eating etc. How do I stop going into hikkikomori mode(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori#:~:text=Hikikomori%20(Japanese%3A%20%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D%E3%81%93%E3%82%82%E3%82%8A%20or%20%E5%BC%95%E3%81%8D,general%20and%20the%20recluses%20themselves) (Hikikomori - Wikipedia) ?

    To anyone who has succeeded with TMS, I know there's a lot of good advice on this forum that I'm trying to follow, what are some realistic daily routines/habits/goals for TMS to stay on the right track and outsmart the symptom imperative. If it's not to be avoided, can it at least be controlled or managed? My symptoms are unpredictable and often trigger panic attacks which flare up symptoms more. Still trying to process the fact that relapsing is a characteristic symptom of TMS.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Balsa11 ,

    It sounds like you are "doing" way too much and spending waaayyy too much of your days focused on TMS. What you kind of need to do is the opposite. Shift focus to your life and not give these symptoms so much meaning and importance. As far as therapy, traditional CBT is not going to cut it because it's based on a "coping model" not a "curing model". Who wants to just "cope" right?? You want to live your life with freedom and fully. The type of therapy you need is a more emotions based one or a TMS therapist or coach. Your whole post reflects the personality traits of perfectionism and over conscientiousness. The goal is to relax and let go and say "F it". A realistic daily routine would be: live your life as you were already "well" because you ARE. Period. Throughout the day, becomes aware of negative thought habits that generate inner tension, shift focus from the physical to the psychological and maintain an attitude of INDIFFERENCE to symptoms. TMS is simply anxiety so the goal is to find things that relax you or you find enjoyable. If your life has become all about the tms (which s just a symptom) and a "schedule" of tasks, and there's no fun of joy, you will stay stuck in the TMS strategy. What you are actually doing right now is reinforcing it. By viewing it as a problem to "fix", you are keeping those pathways going through fear and focus. The symptoms are nothing to worry about because they are harmless false alarms. When you stop caring and lose the fear, you intercept that fear-pain-fear loop. In a nutshell, do the opposite of what you are doing now lol.
    JanAtheCPA and backhand like this.
  3. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Thank you so much for your advice. I'm becoming really aware of my thoughts and physical tension, but I keep getting flare ups in the morning when it gets cold. I've been having a lot of exams and deadlines and the flare ups make everything feel nightmarish. It all culminated with a major flare up today when I took a hard midterm and of course I had to have a panic attack that had me grab a Gabapentin or two. Still debating whether or not it would help (it dies down in an hour or so). It's so hard not to keep scrolling through this forum to remind myself of dos and don'ts. It's so hard to stop googling, avoiding, feeling bad about my pain. Everything that you think would make it easier just makes it worse again. I want to exercise but I feel too cold. I just want to put on some weight so I don't feel my bones rub my skin so much and to have a little more insulation. I can't change the fact that I'm sensitive but I just don't know how to deal with this in 60 degree weather. It's really hard to feel indifferent except when I'm in bed or sitting down but the longer that I sit in one place the stiffer everything feels. I don't want to be a complainer. Journaling has served its purpose. Self soothing and sleep are helping. Warm showers keep overall circulation good. Hopefully I find more things to look forward to besides class.
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I found that far and away the best strategy for NOT getting drawn into a symptom was Dr. Sarno's advice to focus on a source of recurrent irritation every time you catch yourself focusing on the symptom.

    That did NOT mean random negative thinking. I did a lot of writing at home and came up with the one thing in my life I was the most angry about.... in that case I had recently been ripped off in a music deal. The guys name was Dave. Any time I caught my attention drifting towards my back, legs, feet, hip I instantly and consciously turned my attention to Dave and fantasized about beating the living snot out of him. Allowing myself those wild violent thoughts that civilized people don't have...pounding his face to a bloody pulp.

    Ya see, we are wired to be such 'nice people' and the pain of TMS is there to make sure that repressed stuff that might keep us from being as such, never see's the light of day...keep it in the swamp. By forcefully turning my thoughts to Dave, I was telling my unconscious "I do NOT need your help. Thanks. C-ya"

    There were many other little things... sitting still and reading the daily reminders, reading and re-reading and re-reading the text of "Healing back pain" until I could almost quote it at will.... Not necessarily for more than a half hour or so a day, but I didn't just read it and set it down. I still have that copy to this day with all sorts of 'aha's!' scribbled in the margins and they have been helpful arresting any new attempts of my unconscious of breaking out in TMS. I have also been pain free since '99

    Whenever I have had a mini-relapse (a tickle I call them) inevitably it is because something has happened that has left me totally unaware of how RAGE inducing it is, so in retrospect , the first thing I mention here was probably one of the most important therapies. I didn't need to 'love myself' or 'find myself' or 'forgive myself'..... just some good old fashioned punk rock controlled demolition.

    I'd bet half a weeks pay that if I followed you around like a lion on 'National Geographic' those flare-ups are closely married to your minds aversion to rage inducing things. You do Not have to become an angry person, but you might have to fight fire with fire. I did. It worked well and continues to to this day.... and I haven't pounded on anybody,.... but i have let my imagination run wild.
  5. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Hmm. Anyone have random skull pain where like you can feel that part of the bone pressing out a little bit and then it goes down? My face feels like my skin has been pulled tighter around it. The sternum can get painful too. I get a lot of genital itching and it smells sweet. I feel the bones pressure inside and around my ears and in other parts of my face too. I'm going to keep up with the sleep schedule and other TMS work too. Also my sinuses keep flaring up with a little brownish dry discharge for months.
  6. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Symptoms come out of the blue and have many different triggers. I sometimes feel them in the middle of doing something else like studying, lectures, or eating, so when I go back to what I was doing it automatically gets repressed. I'm just stuck in fight or flight in general.
  7. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    I'm really concerned- today my legs have been feeling weak and I feel a generalized numbness all over my body and the bottom of my feet were purple and yellow for a bit. I really don't want to have to go to a doctor and I'm terrified.

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