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Daniel L. Emotions and conditioned responses

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by mgood100, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

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    Question
    Im newly diagnosed with TMS. I've been suffering with back pain for 8 years and thankful that I've stumbled upon this forum. Ive read sarnos book but having trouble with 2 things that hopefully someone has some suggestions on overcoming.
    1. Identifying the underlying emotional source of my pain
    2. overcoming pain while lifting objects off the ground/bending in certain positions

    1. Ive tried journaling but I cant seem to focus of find one event/emotion responsible. Any suggestions on guided journaling to help narrow it down?

    2. I can tell that certain lifting positions are conditioned responses. Often my back hurts before I even lift the object in anticipation of pain. Any thoughts of how to overcome?

    Thanks
     
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Sounds like you’re in the early stages of recovery, and so it’s only natural to have a lot of questions.

    1) For many people, it’s not one instance or one major issue that is causing their pain, but instead a pattern of self-neglect that has discouraged treating yourself in a healthy manner. If you’re searching for the one thing that will fix everything, you’re already putting too much pressure on yourself. Just journal for the sake of expressing feelings. Don’t write a log of what you did day-to-day, just write about whatever feelings you are experiencing.

    2) Ah yes, the conditioned response. Here’s one response (from Alan Gordon) that might help: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/how-can-i-prevent-a-conditioned-response.345/ (Alan Gordon - How can I prevent a conditioned response?)

    That is excellent that the conditioned response happens before you lift anything! That’s your brain showing it’s hand. It can’t fool you anymore into thinking that lifting is actually causing the pain, it’s just the fear and anxiety around lifting. I hope you're as excited as I am that your pain is showing you how ridiculous it really is - it's not structural in the slightest - merely your anxiety acting up!

    Breaking a conditioned response is tricky, but it just takes patience and the ability to not care. When you notice that your back hurts even before you lift something, it’s your job to slow yourself down, take some deep breaths, and remind yourself that you're safe. Your brain is a panicking child at that moment (whether you’re aware of it or not), so try and calm yourself like you would calm a kid. Now, repeat that process 50 times, and you’ll be much, much closer to breaking that conditioned response.


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