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Day 8 Do the Symptoms Distract us from rage, or make us face it?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by ssxl4000, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Two posts in one today...

    First, I've been wondering about this since I first started reading about TMS/MBS from Dr. Schubiner and Dr. Sarno. I understand the logic about the pain being a distraction from "dangerous" thoughts. However, in my experience, the pain is what eventually forced me to deal with them. If anything, my sickness (years of IBS then over a year of chronic fatigue syndrome) have kept bringing my repressed emotions closer to the surface. I kind of feel like the sickness was a warning from my brain, saying "I'm going to paralyze you until you deal with this because if you don't, it will destroy you!" Being sick is what brought me into therapy, and exposed my fear of my wife not believing in me. That was all pre-TMS. It doesn't really matter. Either way, the logic is the same about treatment. Acknowledge the emotions and deal with those you can, and the pain has no purpose anymore. I just find it an interesting question.

    Onto treatment, I think I have been experiencing extinction bursts since day 1. The first 3 days after reading about TMS, I felt a lot of my symptoms cycle in and out very quickly. None were bad. It was almost funny actually. Then, my brain gave up on all of the old symptoms and tried to convince me my back hurt because I moved a mattress (my dad hurt his back badly this way). That lasted a few days. Now, my brain is trying harder. I noticed my breathing problems getting a little worse again...then, the big one...IBS. I had IBS for over a decade. I "dealt" with it. Eventually it got so bad I got mono, then CFS, and ended up here. I find it easy to disregard the CFS symptoms as purely TMS. However, the bad bloating (I look about 7 months pregnant), the sluggish bowels, indigestion, these bring up a little more doubt. I keep hearing a voice in my head say "what did you eat?" After years of experimenting with diets and journaling to see what foods "bother" me, I realized there are no logical patterns. It's all my brain. Perhaps the best evidence is that for the first 10 days after I learned about TMS, my IBS was completely gone. Now, it is back despite me not having changed a thing in my diet, supplements etc. So, extinction burst it is! Still, I find myself looking for extra ways to purge the doubt. I am keeping up with the treatments, and reading Sarno and Schubiner, and repeating the truth to myself. Anything else I should be telling myself???
    westb and AnonymousNick like this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi ss, and welcome.

    I think I have a theory about your first question - which is a really good one - I totally get what you are saying there. Now, I firmly believe in the repression mechanism, but the thing is, this is something that evolved in us WAY back in primitive times, when we lived in a very dangerous world, and we didn't live for very long. All we really had to do was survive long enough to breed and raise the next generation, and this mechanism helped us to do that, by keeping us constantly on our toes, on edge, and worried about danger. It didn't have to operate for very long, and the dangers, although very lethal, were also quite few - and they were also immediate and tangible.

    The problem is that our bodies and our brains haven't evolved very much beyond those primitive times - this is a known fact - which is why I often refer to our primitive fearful brains when I'm discussing the work we do here.

    So how does this repression mechanism - what we conveniently refer to as TMS, but which can go by many other names as we learn more about the mindbody connection - how does "TMS" work in the modern world, where we live 3 or 4 times as long as those primitive humans, and where we are bombarded with a truckload of intangible worries about the future almost from the time we're born? Especially in modern societies with so many expectations placed upon children, worrying about their education and their future - never mind the stresses of human-created modern dangers: when I was growing up it was the nuclear threat - now it's climate change, overpopulation, and untreatable diseases. It's ironic that most of us live in a physically very safe world - but we're more worried than ever. We have MANY more things to worry about, many of them are things we can't control, and we have many decades to worry about them. Add to all that: I think that the rise of technological distractions, information overload, and massive world problems in the last few years have created an epidemic of mindbody disorders, many of them quite severe, and many of them affecting people at startlingly young ages.

    I think that right now, we're dealing with TMS on steroids. And yes, the result is such serious physical manifestations, that to those of us who are able to hear the message, the message is loud and clear. But don't forget - for every person doing this work, there are many many MANY more who have no idea what their bodies are telling them.

    Have you read Dr. Gabor Mate - "When The Body Says No" ? Mind-blowing, as well as beautifully and compassionately written, and well worth your time.

    I'm currently struggling as you are. I KNOW that my multiple symptoms, which keep changing, coming, and going, are TMS. Meditation is really hard because I feel so nervy and "jangly" (that's the best I can describe it). Back in the day I could journal and uncover a particular emotional issue and find relief, but these days all that comes up is age stress and world stress. As I approach age 68 and actual physical issues do occur (none of them producing symptoms that are actually bugging me!) my brain is doing a GREAT job keeping me distracted with anxiety, and it is SO easy to allow those physical doubts to creep into my subconscious even as I'm consciously telling myself "this is TMS, girl!" Ugh.

    My goal is to work on meditation. I feel like I have GOT to calm my whole nervous system down - and that in itself, is TMS, I know!

    suky, westb and AnonymousNick like this.
  3. westb

    westb Well known member

    My chief symptom is IBS, though back pain has been an issue in the past. The IBS comes and goes, flares and then dies down for a bit, though it never completely goes away. Since it started in 2011 it has changed me drastically. I'm in the middle of a severe flare right now. I think for those of us who are "nervy and jangly" by nature, and I definitely am, it is challenging to leave the anxiety behind and I'm guessing that world issues and political events have more of an effect than I'm consciously aware of. This particular IBS flare began mid-February when the tension in the UK started to pick up a head of steam re Brexit, and I know the political situation has raised my anxiety levels as I am (possibly) affected by the eventual outcome.

    Jan, have you tried guided meditations maybe as a first step? There are some good ones on YouTube, and I use them regularly and find them very helpful. I have chanted for decades (I was given a mantra years ago) and this can sometimes interrupt the mad chatter in my brain, though not always completely. I'll be 70 next month and I really want to come to a point of relative peace and acceptance of myself, body and soul, in the years that I have left.
    JanAtheCPA and suky like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like we are sisters in TMS, @westb! For some reason, I have resisted using YouTube as a regular tool, but you're right. I will start doing this. I could easily do it right at my desk (I'm still preparing some tax returns in my semi-retirement). Thank you for that!

    westb likes this.

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