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Does TMS Run In Families?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Dear Lianne, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi There -

    Wanted to put this out there. I've only self-diagnosed TMS back pain in the past year and am benefitting greatly by having the awareness of TMS distraction strategy.

    I have three brothers and all three have suffered from back pain at one time or another, one more so than the others. Unfortunately, it would be a hard sell to have any of them believe the TMS source for their pain.

    I was wondering if anyone else here has family members who also exhibit TMS back pain, and if so, how did you encourage them to acknowledge the possibility that TMS is the issue? I live away from my family so they cannot see the improvement in me this past year.

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's the $1mil question, Lianne. In my family, it's not back pain, it's long-term anxiety and all the attendant small disorders that come and go. My sister accepted a copy of MBP but I don't think she's read it. My brothers are each a different and longer story, but I have to get back to my tax returns...


    (And as far as anyone knows, John Stossel never convinced his brother to be open to TMS theory - and he made the definitive convincing interview that everyone who comes to the wiki watches before they see anything else!)
  3. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Not sure about TMS running in families, but I think many many people have some form of mind/body issue.

    BUT as far as conditions running in families, some professionals are now thinking it is the BELIEF that things run in families that can actually cause the condition.

    I hope many also come to realize that they can heal themselves. :)
    veronica73 likes this.
  4. Ftaghn!

    Ftaghn! Peer Supporter

    I'd put money on it. 90% of what people get apparently runs in families, and I wouldn't be surprised if people from families approached their emotions in a similar way.
  5. charcol

    charcol Peer Supporter

    From my backyard...

    I've been diagnosed with a herniated disc, degenerative disc in my neck and/or osteoarthritis, and plantar fasciitis.
    My brother has been diagnosed with acid reflux, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and a torn miniscus (though that was recently changed to degenerative knee- not sure if that is TMS.)
    And my sister has been diagnosed with impingement, bursitis, and inflammation.

    I've discussed my health issues with both of them, giving one of Dr. Sarno's books to my brother and telling both that I think they too could be dealing with the same thing. My brother received the book back in December, but hasn't read much and probably won't. "It's just too weird." My sister didn't even tell her husband how I recovered. Oh, and my Mom dealt with major anxiety, depression, and migraines.

    I'm in the process of composing emails to both of them, comprised of short statements from MBP and The Divided Mind, specifically geared towards their ailments. That's all I feel I can do. I also plan on doing this with some friends, too.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Would be an interesting study to run on siblings that were separated for some reason, sort of like the things they've studied with identical twins that didn't know they had a twin. Good nature vs. nurture question. I don't know how much is actually genetic and how much is conditioning. If you've got the same parents and were raised in the same house you learned the same lessons from how the adults in the family handled their own emotions.

    Depression, anxiety, and perpetual people-pleaser behavior has run rampant for generations in my own family from what I can tell. Little surprise my generation has not escaped. I think our perspective of "what works" also has an impact on the actual symptoms we develop individually. If the majority opinion is that one family member's migraine headaches is nothing but "attention seeking" I would be surprised if any other family member's TMS manifested as headaches. Seems likely each might develop somewhat common symptoms and one or more of their very own, very individual symptoms - subconscious is very powerful. If a parent or older sibling might be able to accurately & convincingly point out the psychological root of the pain, it probably won't be an effective distraction for long.
  7. Back2-It

    Back2-It Peer Supporter

    I'd say the psychological traits that run in families, plus the exposure to the psychogenic illnesses that parents, especially, have exhibited, will produce like results in children and/or siblings. My mother had a bad back and back surgery in the 1960's, where they entered to do the surgery through the anterior to reach what I now believe to be a thoracic disc. (I was very young when this happened, and when we kids were sent away to a trusted friends house to stay for awhile, because my father had to work, and in those days nursing help was hard to find, I was sexually abused by the trusted friends son, which I never told either of my parents, or anybody, for decades).

    I never thought to ask my mother when she was alive what kind of back surgery she had, but this is still how they do thoracic back surgery today in many cases. She was in a body cast for six months, and was never the same again. This leads up to the problem I had, which seemed to be in the thoracic region. An MRI showed a herniated disc there; and then I got progressively worse, as doctors just looked at me in pity (those that would eve see me) and told me that I was in extreme danger of being paralyzed and losing bowl and bladder control if I fell or leaned the wrong way, cut my grass or even sneezed. What was really wrong, of course, was that my muscles were totally contracted on my right side from anxiety and it was bending my spine and pushing the disc back. Not one stinking doctor told me that disc herniations, even thoracic ones, are normal results of aging. So.... when my uncle, my mother's brother got older and more anxious, due to many reasons known to him and unknown, he developed a thoracic back problem. This was before I "caught" mine. Then, I had a friend who injured his back at work and had surgery that messed him up even further. But he had had horrible childhood, and I'm now sure, like I'm sure my mother's back problem was not structural, nor my uncle's, that all suffered from TMS/anxiety for various reasons. I unconsciously learned all this, and combined with my "goodest" nature, adapted to what I had experienced and seen.

    We are the products of our upbringing and I do believe we inherit the anxiety that our parent feel, even as early as the womb. This is why a basic understanding of what anxiety is should be taught in every health class, instead of sex education. Any six year old can go on the internet and find out where babies come from, but a forty year old person with strange symptoms cannot find many sources telling them where the pain might really be coming from.
    Leslie likes this.
  8. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    I think TMS can run in families especially if you're really close to one or more of them. My dad has had chronic pain for 19 years and I believe that's one of the reasons I began getting chronic pain in the first place. I saw what he went through for many years, he became poor due to medical bills, the way he reacts to things, I've inherited a lot of his behavior because I was close to him growing up.

    I believe this has had a huge impact on how I react to things today concerning money, social relationships, etc. Because he became poor due to medical bills, I'm scared shitless of spending money and people call me cheap all the time. He also didn't have any friends the entire time I was growing up and was kind of a hermit.. guess what I'm a hermit too. His anxious behaviors I inherited as well and I think it all has to do with seeing how he reacted and that's how I learned to react to things. It's very difficult to break out of that cycle when your dad has these behaviors as you're learning how to face the world.

    My dad had back surgery almost 20 years ago as a spine fusion and his back is collapsing now so there is no doubt that he has real pain but he has told me how much stress and anxiety has played a role in the pain he has. I've tried talking to him about TMS playing a role in his pain but he's not too good at listening to others about stuff especially about his health.
  9. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    From what I can see, most of the the whole human race suffers?? I think everyone I come in contact with and talk to, is stressed to the nines.........
  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the most important point to take away from this is that back pain is not genetically determined. Personally, I think there are larger psycho-historical forces at work behind the emergence of TMS pain, forces that operate over time on all modern families. You'll notice for instance that back pain didn't come into vogue as a preferred symptoms until approximately 30 years ago. I think that's because parents had such unreasonably high expectations for their war baby offspring that when their "kids" began to reach 40 and had to face mortality no matter how much they overachieved that this situation began to create an unbearable tension between what Freud called the id and the superego that they began to go TMS symptomatic. Of course, this is an oversimplified generalization but seems to hold true in a large sense. Back pain does seem to be a preferred symptom resulting from that fundamental historical tension between parental expectations and real felt human needs.

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