I was impacted the most negatively when a doctor told me "Are you sure it is not all in your head". Her words have made me frequently say to myself, "maybe it is in my head" making me feel powerless and "less-than" others. Besides IBS, neck pain due to extreme tension in my neck, the beginning stage of "Lock Jaw", and anxiety/depression, I have been diagnosed with over-use syndrome of my right fore arm. When I feel really horrible the pain can feel like electrical volts going from my elbow area all the way down to my hands and my fingers often turn numb. It is also labeled tendinitis, however it is not the same as the common diagnosis of "tennis elbow tendinitis". This seems to really confuse doctors and health practitioners every time. The pain started four years ago when I started working as a behaviorist with "high-end" autism including other populations with severe disabilities. I was constantly in a state of fight or flight in general and I gripped my steering wheel tightly with clients I transported in my back seat or even when driving alone to or from work simply thinking of their extreme and sensitive cases. I would continue to use my computer mouse and keyboard daily for years even when my entire body was screaming in pain to take a break. I was double loaded with client reports and wanted to give 110% of myself for the "sake of the children". I did not known the word "NO". My boundaries were weak and my self-care went down the tubes. I now accept full responsibility for 99% of it since I allowed it to happen. Doctors did a neck MRI, X-rays, completed nerve conduction tests, checked me for carpel 5 times, and sent me to PT who told me to ice it, wear a brace, stretch more, and try not to use it when possible. It was the fifth doctor that examined my arm in her exam room who told me she thought it might be all in my head. When I told my husband this he commented the same a few times, infuriating me. My pain was real and I was angry and felt hopeless. Now on day 4 I agree that it is a little of both. The pain was not ALL in my head and I did no good by fixating on it and letting it lead my life. I do believe that the level of pain seems much too great given the diagnosis. I also notice that the minute I am stressed, upset, tired, or anxious the pain goes from a level 2 up to a level 7 sometimes within only minutes. Two years ago I quit working in that stressful and demanding field. I had burned out. I thought burnout was emotional but I now see it can also be physical. I have learned to meditate, exercise daily (doing zumba, boot camp, and yoga) and I eat as much whole live food as possible. However, the physical part of the burnout is killing me (although I strangely feel NO PAIN when working-out, especially when dancing). The high level of pain has impacted my work and my relationships family and friends including my husband of fifteen years and my two boys. I often cannot use my arm past four and feel constantly exhausted by then. I usually go to sleep early or opt out of participating in watching their tennis tournaments, going to the beach with them, or doing other fun events. At times I am in so much pain that I can not get myself to even leaving the house because I feel so terrible and guilty so I get anxious. I have lost part of my children's lives by not "feeling well". I am tired of that so I am ready to face myself head on now to change those things. I am beginning to see now as I work this program that the pain does not have to run my life or severely limit me. I can learn to take charge by acknowledging what is emotional going on for me in the moment or acknowledging what happened in my past that is now triggering my pain response in the present moment. Does it sound like I am on the right track? Any comments are welcome. I am new to this program and it has given me hope. I see a light at the end of a tunnel now, thank God!