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Empathetic Pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by AngK, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    When I see people fall or get hurt I get a surge, like an adrenaline rush and sometimes almost like a nerve pain in my chest and sometimes down my arm. I can also happen when I get startled. (I know some people actually experience pain and this is common in Fibro patients although I don't have Fibro.) Anyone else experience this? Anyone have any tips?
  2. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Hi AngK.

    Not exactly same but my feeling upon seeing someone
    hurt, both physically & emotionally, is to have a drop
    feeling in my stomach. I often have difficult with people
    contact because of this. And will avoid confrontation at
    all costs. I feel like I am on constant stress alert, both mine
    & other people. Little wonder that I am in chronic pain.

    (ie. constant alertness =constant pain).

    I am reading Peter Levine's book 'Waking The Tiger'
    which looks at such states of being. Along with my
    TMS Wiki, reading, psychology sessions, meditation &
    Alexander Technique work I feel I am beginning to understand
    this impact on my physical health. Although mostly intellectual
    at this stage it is gradually seeping into my consciousness &
    my behaviours.

    I am beginning to have some exceptions to my pain experience.

    It is a long process to unwind.

  3. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I seem to have a much easier time "feeling" other people's emotions rather than my own. I can cry my eyes out over a book or a movie, even a song, but if that same situation were happening to me in real life, emotional response is seemingly missing. Yesterday there was a mindless sitcom on tv, one I'm not even particularly fond of. One of the characters was really nervous about going to a new church and proceeded to experience all these embarrassing faux pas while there - dropped the Bible, cell phone rang, stomach growling, etc. As I was watching I realized that I was experiencing all the physiological changes I've come to identify in myself when I'm experiencing humiliation and shame. I think, for me it goes back to my childhood. Parent prone to using guilt to elicit desired behavior changes in the children, and also prone to child-like temper tantrums. I think survival for me came to be about being able to anticipate what would cause these and ways to avoid it. I think it's very possible that I may have learned to repress my own emotions simply because I could not handle being hyper-vigilant to another's emotional state and actually experiencing one of my own.
  4. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    PeterO - Yes, I too often get the falling/pit of my stomach feeling as well as the "zing" feeling

    Leslie - It's amazing how our mind becomes re-wired and interesting to see how we can re-wire it again.
    As I've mentioned on other threads, my biggest obstacle is recognizing when I'm repressing and catching it before the pain starts. I still rely on the physical cues and as long as I do, the TMS won't go away. Catching yourself doing something is much easier than catching yourself NOT doing something :)
    My boys love watching that America's Funniest Home Video show which always has people crashing & falling. I used to avoid watching it because of my reaction to watching the falls... now it's part of my program, LOL. I make myself sit through it and I do think it's getting a little better. But watching my boys fall (as boys they do a lot) is still tough!
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Leslie, you bring up an interesting point. TMSers tend to be harder on ourselves then we are on other people. We tend to play down the importance of stressful situations from both our past and present, and how they effect us presently. Dr. Dave Clarke has a very useful exercise that I always thought was helpful. His idea is to picture a child going through the same events that you did, and to ask yourself how you feel about what the child is going through. How would you feel if you saw a child going through what you had to go through?

    As Leslie mentioned it is easier to feel other people's emotions than our own. I tend to think this exercise can be helpful in using this fact to our advantage.

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