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Entering a state of more anxiety vs pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pingman, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Ok - I think I am actually excited as scary as that sounds. For the last week my head pressure and pain has decreased along with my perceived vision sensitivity to light. I am also sleeping 7 hours a night now with the help of just 1 OTC unisom tablet.

    My new therapist has really given me some positive direction to focus on. I have also been boosted by Balto's post as well as some of the guidance of others like Eric, Walt, Msnun as well as so many others. The Claire Weekes audios Eric pointed out were valuable.

    What I am starting to see as my sensations come less often is my anxiety seems to come up more often. I take this as a good sign since that my mind is realizing that the pain is not working as well and the anxiety is a last ditch effort. Even the anxiety is much more mild....where I was having panic attacks 2-3 weeks ago now my body tends to tingle more and a slight wobble of my legs.

    What an experience...to go through all of this in a 3 months timespan. I think I am starting to get a little excited thinking how much stronger of a person I am now and will be.
    Msunn likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm so happy for you, and appreciate that you are keeping us posted on your incredible progress. Everything I've read about TMS states that as the pain or other physical symptoms decrease, anxiety increases. So what you are experiencing is very typical of the healing process.

    I've been meaning to tell you that one of my many TMS symptoms I had in the past was light sensitivity. I was actually having to wear sunglasses at work when using my computer. It was embarrassing to explain to others. This symptom went away and I don't even need to wear sunglasses when outside in the sun anymore. It was clearly TMS.

    Best wishes as you continue in your progress.....
    Msunn likes this.
  3. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    Awesome Pingman! Sounds like you're on the right path friend. I also had the increase in anxiety, like I had never experienced before. I think these are good signs. You are climbing that mountain and are almost there, just think about the beautiful sky as you take each step towards the top. Let Go, Let God.
  4. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Ellen....thanks, that is awesome info to hear that someone else experienced what I am. For me, a real awakening happened yesterday after my therapy session. I again cried....I always do when I talk about how I hate that the TMS and anxiety have impacted my time with my son and wife. After the session and the rest of the night I had absolutely zero head pain and visual issues all night.

    The release of the stress via crying was eye opening to help me see that any true issue would not go away like that. What I think is happening is my neck and head muscles are so tense..I can feel it now that I am not mentally focused on a health issue. When my temples are tense and my scalp the jarring of the car gives me that jolt feling but ist only tense muscles reacting. My eye muscles are sore too and I think thats a product of the tension. Eye strain = light sensitivity and I think that is all it is.
  5. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Joseph - Thanks man. Did you experience any jumpiness when your anxiety increased? Even the sound of a text message on my Iphone makes me jump a little.
  6. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    Pingman, Yes my anxiety was pretty bad. I had a hard time going out of the house and public places for awhile. It is slowly getting better each day. I also stopped my pain medication almost two weeks ago. So with the combination, I am taking a small amount of anti-anxiety medication to get over the hump. I have been sleeping like a champ with it thought. Not something I want to take for the long term though.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's real common, pingman, for anxiety to emerge as your TMS pain subsides. It's like anxiety is a replacement for the pain and performs the same role of distracting you from the deeper emotions that your TMS pain also used to distract you from. Actually, in many ways, this is a positive sign because you've reduced the TMS pain, right? That was your goal all along. But it's as if your mind has adopted a new strategy -- in this case, anxiety -- to distract you from underlying emotional issues you might not want to let out of their unconscious cage into the public arena -- things like destructive rage or incapacitating sorrow that would erode your ego's self-image. You can't really know what those deeply buried psychological issues are because they're by definition unconscious. However, you might be able to hypothesize their exact characteristics, but you don't really have to to get rid of TMS pain, only be aware of the dynamics of the whole process of repression.

    I noticed a strange feeling starting to emerge about day three of the Structured Education Program (SEP) available on the TMS Wiki. Couldn't exactly get a handle on it because I didn't think I'd felt that way before. What was it? I know now that it was a kind of free-floating state of anxiety that was emerging as I was uncovering some underlying emotions that I'd been repressing for a long, long time. In other words, I wouldn't worry too much about the anxiety you're experiencing because it's part of the natural cycle of the TMS recovery process. Of course, if it becomes too intense and worrying, my advice is to back off a bit or confide in someone that you trust, much as Steve Ozanich recommends in Chapter 27 "Physician Heal Thyself" of his book The Great Pain Deception: "Finding the right person or confidant can have tremendous healing effects" (p. 279). Journaling also works.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  8. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Thanks Joseph and Bruce. I do tink its a good sign....I am making progress all around.

    A few weeks ago I was nervous to work in front of my computer, afraid it would hurt my eyes. This week I have been doing it all week without really thinking about it. My focus has flipped to bright outside light. Its crazy how TMS can switch on you. This weekend it was more about the head pressure vs eyes and now I have no head pressure issues.

    Like you Joseph.....things are moving around everyday so that is a good sign. I don't care for the anxiety but I am trying not to feed the fear when it hits. It does seem to be going away more quickly.
  9. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Pingman. thanks for your post. I've been having a similar experience. Less RSI pain, I've been able to play my gig with very little pain which is huge, and then I've been having a lot of anxiety come up.
    So much about TMS is counter intuitive! I do get that its another way for my subconscious to distract me. So I guess its progress, which is ultimately good. Glad things are getting better for you as well.
  10. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Yeah, things are switching around on me like crazy now. Just a week ago, the family and I went out on Friday to Home Depot to buy a new kitchen sink. For some reason my head was pounding and when we went into the store I swore the lights in the store were messing with my eyes. Last night I had to run back to get some supplies and guess what, no visual or head issues at all in the store. I was more focused on the trip vs my head.

    A couple of weeks ago I swore my computer and TV were causing me vision issues. Now, I have no issues from those either. I am down to really one TMS visual issue and that is daylight...but I can feel the anxiety start when I wake up so I think it is still one mental hurdle I have to get over.

    The one thing that I can see is that I am sleeping again on my own. Going to bed at 10:45 without the TV on and sleeping until the alarm at 5:30am.

    When the anxiety hits m enow I am doing better at just noticing it but not becoming overwhelmed. I am at the point where I am saying automatically in my head that it is just anxiety. I am back now to the point where this head and vision issues started in November. I am back doing the things I normally do, sleeping again but I am still symptom checking a little and getting slightly anxious. Its like I started up this hill to a point of utter fear and panic attacks within a two month period and have had to face each level on the downside as I am backing my brain out of the negative groove back to the positive groove.

    I am excited but no way 100%, that will come with you not seeing me on this site anymore. This site has been a blessing to me. People like Eric, Walt, Ellen, BruceMC truly have a calling past their TMS healing to help others in the arena. They have a gift for finding the right message to send.

    I think when I have healed I will move away from the internet and carrying the TMS principles with me, coming back if I falter. I think I am going to dive into service within my church and start helping others. I think God didn't cause my TMS, I do think he is using it to strengthen my relationship with him and energize my heart back to a servants mentality. For too long I have been consumed with working and the stress of societies expectations to the point where is has gotten in the way of what is important in life. Spending time with my son, wife, giving my time to serve my church and the lord.

    I have had zero perspective on what life really is about.....all i was focused on was working to have a 401k and money, home, 2 cars etc.... I spent my whole college life and 20s/30s planning my life out and when my health scares hit I had no tools in my bag to help me handle that new found stress. I never have lost a loved one, never been really sick so I was able to bypass a reality in the lord and handle my life on my own. So when I was faced with a possible life changing health issue I crumbled.... I couldn't fix it and without God I was paniced.

    I know that this is a blessing....a hard one to learn but I can't imagine how much better equipped to handle lifes experiences I will be.
    joseph32 likes this.
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    Just an idea to run by your therapist--perhaps you could appease Mr. Checker by allocating him a block of time every day to check all he wants--but then that's it. Say a 20 minute block where you sit down and say "check away" and let him scan your body and find every sensation he's concerned about. Then focus on it, but in a non-judgmental way--just as a curiosity--"hmmmm...what does this feel like?". The do some deep breathing and let it go. He is likely trying to protect you, though in a mis-guided way. But maybe if you give him your undivided attention for a block of time, he'll be satisfied and leave you alone the rest of day.

    Just an idea......
  12. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Ellen - I have kind of done that without really trying to on purpose. Daytime...mornings especially are a period of high checking. In the evenings I don't tend to check as often and I am more relaxed and symptom free. Maybe I will try and assign a 20 minute slot.

    I do wish I could make some correlation between what my mind is protecting me from and an event like you were able to do. It could be that quite simply sunlight and daytime revolve around all of the fun activities I like to do like watch my son play soccer this upcoming spring, golf, fish, vacations, bbq with friends.

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