1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Divided Mind's description of the symptom imperative has triggered new fears

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by bleuchaton, Jul 23, 2023.

  1. bleuchaton

    bleuchaton Newcomer

    Does anyone else feel like it was a bad idea to plant the seed in Divided Mind that the symptom imperative can cause your benign pain to transform into deadly illness, cancer, and autoimmunity? The people the book was written for are already highly suggestible and dealing with extreme fear of their physical symptoms and what they might imply.

    What if even after journalling and therapy, I'm unable to get to the root? What if it's too late and I already have the non-benign thing? What if I don't have the right therapist? What if...

    I was feeling really optimistic and positive after reading Healing Back Pain, The Way Out, and others, but Divided Mind has left me more scared than before. Now I feel like if I do get my pain to stop, I'll just be left wondering if something even worse is going to happen next.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    You just have to get past this one.
    Many people get symptom imperatives; often after really doing this work, they are mild. Sometimes we get relapses. I have to say WITHOUT doing the work I have had many repeat performances of my pain, but this work is to end the suffering with the pain, or symptoms. Change your mindset from being so overall fearful.
    I know I worry about relapses (I’m in one, and I was never pain free, just better than I am now.
    My work is simply not yet done. I’m human. Stuff is going to come up. My real work is to learn how to to freak out when it does, and keep up the work.
    I think the real fear here is the feeling you are not and will not be in control, because right now your brain has you convinced that having your mind so hyper focused on your situation is control.
    Part of the work is acknowledging and accepting that you CAN have power over your symptoms and how you feel about them.
    You can learn to foster a sense of safety within yourself that helps you be less fearful, anxious about your emotions, your relationship to yourself and ultimately, your symptoms.
    Success stories are very helpful! Here’s an excellent short thread about success and symptom imperative (detecting that’s what it is) and @JanAtheCPA advice on how to manage it.
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/symptom-imperative-almost-got-me.23917/ (Symptom Imperative ALMOST Got ME..)
    Right now, your mind is simply stuck on this point as another diversion from doing the work. You’ll find anxiety can increase as we expose our minds to the fact we’re on to the tms mechanism. Do the work, don’t let this cause you distractions or doubt.
    BruceMC and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    This fellow has also had success with symptom imperatives. His countenance is so inspiring:
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm 100% with Cactusflower, although I'm afraid my answer will be less compassionate than hers, thus: the following content might not be suitable for all audiences.

    Your TMS fear mechanism has you exactly where it wants you: paralyzed by fear, and petrified by your interpretation of one chapter by one author (out of seven, I believe) in one book.

    This is no way to live. Putting your head in the sand and avoiding unpleasant information has a name: it's called Repression, and it's Repression that will ultimately do you in.

    My back story, FWIW: The Divided Mind was the only Sarno book I read, back in 2011, at age 60, and I immediately got to work and did the SEP and achieved significant success. A little later I read When The Body Says No, by Dr Gabor Mate MD, who expands upon the theory submitted by that one author in TDM. And I was inspired by it, because to me it meant that I absolutely did have power over my mental and physical health - and I believe that to this day, even though aging, the pandemic, and world dysfunction have taken their toll for several years. I'm still in WAY better shape at 72 than I was at 60.

    This is what makes this journey unique to each individual. It's ultimately your choice, but obviously my answer to your original question is Nope!
    miffybunny likes this.

Share This Page