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Epididymitis - TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by GTfan, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Hi all,

    I will try to make this short but here's my story:

    I'm a 23 year old guy that has been dealing with the hell that is epididymitis for the past 3 months. If you don't know what that is, its the swelling of the tube that runs from the testicle. I was told that it was an infection and that antibiotics would clear it up. Well, it actually did at first but pretty soon the pain and swelling was back. Fast forward 3 months later, I've been on 4 different batches of antibiotics and had no relief.

    My urologist has said that if we can't find an antibiotic that works, he recommends that he remove the epididymis surgically. Being 23 and wanting to have kids down the road, this is an absolute last resort for me.

    I have obsessed over hours and hours of research trying to find a cure. I've tried colloidial silver, prostate massages, cranberry extract, apple cidar vinegar, chiropractor, anti-inflammatories. Nothing has brought me complete relief of pain and swelling.

    Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a blog of an epididymitis sufferer who after years of pain had found relief. He realized that it was TMS and started to heal himself emotionally instead of physically. Lo and behold he claims to be completely cured now.

    I can't believe I hadn't made the connection before. I'm a chronic worrier and have had numerous conditions in the past few years that are most likely caused by my anxiety: panic attacks, generalized anxiety, acid reflux, esophagus spasms, TMJ from teeth grinding, high blood pressure.

    I began to try to accept the fact this epididymitis may be caused by my repressed emotions and anxiety. I begun to feel the best I had felt in months! Pain had lessened to a mild discomfort.

    But yesterday, I got the courage to try an "Insanity" workout. I used to be avid about my excercise, but I have sustained from physical activity, beacause I was afraid that I would worsen my condition. I made it through an intense cardio workout with no pain, but then about 30 minutes after I started to feel the pain and within a few hours there was a lot of swelling and pain. The pain has lessened but is still there today.

    This is only the 3rd day that I have started to embrace the TMS approach, but this has been a setback to my psych. I'm having trouble accepting this as a mental-induced condition when physical activity appears to make it worse.

    I guess my biggest question is what do you all think about my situation? Tests show no infection or problem besides the visual swelling with no known cause. Does this sound like TMS? Yesterday was a real setback to me, maybe my entire body was sore from the workout and my brain upped the soreness to my swollen area too? I have ordered Dr. Sarno's books and should have them in then next few days. In the mean time, I am just trying to get some feedback and support. I am having trouble convincing myself that this condition is mental if physical activity made it worse yesterday.

    Sorry for being long-winded, but this approach seems to be my last option besides surgery. Feedbacka and suggestions would be well appreciated.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heya and Welcome to the Peer Network,

    It is always hard to say what symptoms are TMS or not. I am not really familiar with epididymitis, but if you found another TMS success story about it, then it could be. Also, the other symptoms you mentioned are pretty common in people with TMS, so it could just be another manifestation of it. Usually with symptoms that are not among the real common ones (back, sciatica pain and RSI), I look to see if there is a clear structural cause for the condition. From what you wrote, it sounds like your doctors haven't really been able to find a real cause behind the symptoms, and that is common with TMS.

    It is also very common for people with TMS to feel no pain while doing an activity, but having a lot of pain a little bit after, either later in the day or the next day. This is largely the result of your unconscious trying to bring your attention back to your symptoms. Think about it this way, if you had a broken leg, doing any sort of activity would be excruciatingly painful. With TMS, the pain usually comes after the activity, primarily because our minds are not longer focusing on the present.
  3. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Thanks for the feedback, Forest. I know that my condition is not a very common form of TMS, but if you search health forums for "chronic epdidymits" or "prostatitis" you will find numerous stories of years of groin pain associated with these conditions with no known cause or cure in sight. I feel like the main reason you don't hear much about TMS associated with this condition is just because it sounds so farfetched that most people find it ridiculous or they are too embarassed to bring it up.

    The notion that emotions and anxiety cause back pain is farfetched enough, but causing groin pain and swelling sounds even more off the deep end. I know I have only been in pain for 3 months, but it has been a terrible 3 months. I have started reading Sarno's books and hopefully I can begin to fully accept this as mental pain. I'm still struggling with the thought that this is a physical condition, but I fit the TMS personality so well that it has to be the culprit.

    After my inital pain from the workout, I began to realized I needed to gradually get back into excercise because my body isn't ready for "Insanity" yet. In addition to excercise, I have found that alcohol also causes the pain to get worse. I am told that alcohol has this effect on our nerves so it is normal to feel pain days after alcohol consumption.

    I will continue to check in as I progress through Sarno's books. Thanks again.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is okay to struggle with fully accepting the TMS diagnosis at the beginning. It is actually only natural. We are so used to thinking about our symptoms as a structural problem. It takes time to fully absorb the TMS message. The more you do the work, the more confidence you will have.

    The amount of symptoms that can be caused by TMS is pretty much limitless. Our unconscious will always seek to find new symptoms and ways to distract us. Sure most people have back pain, but it is important to understand that TMS goes way beyond pain. If the TMS approach is resonating with you, then I would go with it. Obviously being cleared by a doctor is important, but it sounds like you have already done that.

    Keep up the great work. If you continue to educate yourself about TMS, you will get better.
    Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi GTfan (and what does GT stand for?)

    I have no doubt that real physical changes in the body can be caused by TMS. For years I saw a chiropractor who was frustrated that she could never get my atlas-occipital joint (A-O) to "stay in". It would just pop out to the right side of my neck where it would cause a swollen lump that even my husband could feel - and of course it caused neck pain and headaches. Before I discovered Dr. Sarno and TMS (and this site) I saw a cranio-sacral doctor for a while, who suggested that I could keep my A-O in by myself, and he asked me to stop seeing my chiropractor. So I did, and that was the end of my A-O problems. At the time I took it on faith, but now I know that I was visualizing that joint staying where it belonged, because the fact that it kept going out was a distraction caused by my brain.

    For a real education on the physical changes that can be caused by chronic emotional stress, you might be interested in "When The Body Says No" by Dr. Gabor Mate. He's a wonderful writer and I found him to be inspiring and hopeful even as he describes some very serious conditions, all caused by emotional repression.

    I started discovering all this at age 60. Congratulate yourself for finding this knowledge and accepting it at such a young age - you will be able to pass it on to your children so they can lead happier lives than many of us experienced for years - although I also say it's never too late!

    All the best,

  6. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Thanks for the feedback. GT stands for my alma-mater, Georgia Tech. And speaking of school, all this groin pain started around 3 months ago. Looking back on it, it started right around the same time that I was hired for my first job out of college. Conicidence? I think not.

    I have finished my first Sarno book, "The Mindbody Prescription", in 4 days. I'm going to start on my next one, "The Divided Mind" tonight. Its a constant struggle everyday to keep convincing myself that my condition is pshycological.

    Earlier this week, I had a sharp pain in my groin and lower abdomen. Suddenly yesterday after a light workout, the sharp pain stopped completely and turned into a "burning" pain. My pain tends to oscillate between these two different types. Sometimes, I even start feeling a tingling in my hip and at one point I felt it down my entire leg.

    I'm sure this is just the unconscious brain continuing to try new distractions to keep me from realizing what it is doing. I'm still in pain, but I feel like I'm getting better. I will continue to stop by and update on my condition.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Well its been 2 weeks since I startd reading Dr. Sarno's books. I have improved significantly. I have had long periods of zero groin pain. The pain still comes and goes but no where near as frequent or severe.

    As I contiue to work to eliminate my pain completely, I am also going to try to get rid of TMJ pain which may tae some time.
    JanAtheCPA and gailnyc like this.
  8. mleach

    mleach New Member

    GTfan, I see you haven't been on here in awhile and I hope you're doing well. My story closely mimics yours and thought I'd chime in since I'm on this site today with increased epididymis pain. I first got "epididimytis" in my first job months out of college and it went away in a day with antibiotics. It came back 6 weeks later and after countless tests and scans it was determined nothing was wrong and I basically just ignored it for a year until it fizzled out.

    It has come back 3 times since at stressful times in my life. I've had Chronic Pelvic Pain since 2008 with bladder pain and urgency as well though I was nearly symptom for 18 months till this June.

    I know this condition is in some way TMS yet I too have increased pain and swelling with things like running, lifting heavy objects, or ejaculation sometimes. I was feeling better after a week of pain yesterday and unfortunately decided to use these parts and got a sharp pain during ejaculation. Today I have the burning, full ache again that I know will diminish but it's just a complete emotional setback in the meantime.

    The nerves in my scrotum are so sensitive that even bumping my right testicle in the shower can cause swelling and pain, yet I know this is at the core muscular tension via TMS. I have trouble accepting there's nothing physically wrong with my testicle and I think this holds me back. Did you ever make any sense of this contradiction that you seemed to have as well?
  9. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Hi mleach,

    I have been around, lurking mostly. I mainly post on the other TMS forum: tmshelp.com.

    For the past few months, I have been mostly groin pain free. I have been back to lifting and exercising at my normal pace again. I still struggle with other TMS symptoms like: anxiety, tight chest, TMJ, etc., but the groin pain is gone besides a twinge that might last a few hours at most.

    I would say that from my research and experience, chronic epididimytis is merely a manifestation of TMS. From talking with my urologist and reading forums and info online, I have yet to be given a sound explanation for what causes the pain. I can recall one time that my urologist asked me if the other side had started hurting yet (I'm guessing it was expected from his previous cases). I said no, but sure enough in a couple days the other side was hurting! If this doesn't affirm the pain being a mental manifestation, then I don't know what does. The doc gave me some explanation about nerves being connected or something, but it just didn't add up. That doctor was ready to put my manhood under the knife at the age of 23 for a simple, TMS symptom.

    If you say that your biggest problem is accepting it as TMS instead of a structural problem, here some advice I would have for you:
    1) Quit all forms of physical treatment. Don't baby the painful area at all. This is only going to hold you back.
    2) Stop checking the painful area for swelling. I used to do this obsessively almost every time I had a chance, because it was all I could think about all day. Don't use the swelling as a barometer for how much better or worse you are. Your mind can play tricks on you very easily.
    3) When you feel a relapse of pain coming on, don't worry about it. Instead of thinking: "Oh no, here we go again", think: "Something must be bothering me, no need to focus on the physical manifestation, it won't last" or something along those lines. Just because you feel the symptoms coming back, doesn't mean they are going to be around for awhile. Remember, you are in control and you can make them leave by not becoming distracted by them.

    Hope this was helpful.

    P. S. : Just reading your post and typing mine has brought back some groin pain twinges. Just more evidence that it is TMS and almost comical if you think about it.
    braden101 and Stella like this.
  10. mleach

    mleach New Member

    Thanks for the reply and hopefully I didn't stir anything up in your subconcious to. I was laughing at my scrotal pain last week when it went from the right side to the left and then in the center, all in 36 hours. That was clearly a nerve pain that was easier to shrug off. The pain and swelling that comes from bumping my scrotum or running without really tight briefs on is my stumbling block. Even when I had no pelvic pain for 18 months if I was running around in my yard without putting tight briefs on to support my scrotum I'd get a few hours of pain and swelling. I think there's some sort of increased sensitivity due to the cumulative year plus I've had pain and swelling on my right side.

    The bottom line is I have no other option but to treat this as TMS and it's the only one I've ever see people have success with including myself. On days like today when the pain is acute and I know I need to shrug it off and think psychologically I find myself wandering down the rabbit hole in the never ending quest for explanations and quick fixes.

    P.S. I've had issues with TMJ since I was very young as well.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, GTfan.

    You say "I'm a chronic worrier and have had numerous conditions in the past few years that are most likely caused by my anxiety: panic attacks, generalized anxiety, acid reflux, esophagus spasms, TMJ from teeth grinding, high blood pressure"

    These may be the main TMS reasons for your pain.

    The others have given you good advice. All I can add is that if you want to learn more about whether heavy exercise or activity is harmful, read Steve Ozanich's book, The Great Pain Deception, in which he tells about his own struggle with that, and eventually became pain-free. It's a truly inspirational book.
  12. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    I know its easier said then done, but you may just have to quit wearing support. The fact that you think that the support is limiting the pain is reinforcing it and making it stronger. Other then that it sounds like you already know what needs to be done. Just remember, the reason that it is so hard to overcome psychologically is because that is the brain's design.

    And @walt, yes I've read over half of Steve-O's book. Definitely one of the most well-written TMS books I've read. I've gotten a little lazy in the past few weeks and haven't picked it back up in awhile, but I definitely plan on finishing it.
  13. hollebums619

    hollebums619 New Member

    hi, ben lukin for info on epdidymitis and happened upon this group. was diagnosed 4 months ago........and at one point the pain was so bad i thought i mite lose my balls. for weeks on end i would be in unimaginable pain. but after using 2 different antibiotics and most importantly RESTING i seeem to be on the mend...still have some discomfort sum days and still wake up early morning to relieve myself but seem to be genuinely healing...yes the mind is a powerful thing.but if u send out positive vibes and stay positive things will get better.....i am an avid runner + soccer player.......so i am just biding my time and letting the body heal till i know im ready....then im gunna run like Forrest Gump and never stop running!!! cant wait!!! woohooo!!!!
  14. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    Hey Gtfan,

    Any updates on the epididymitis? I have recently found this forum and seems like TMS is the diagnosis i have been looking for, for years. I am also 23 years old and can really relate to your statement -

    "I'm a chronic worrier and have had numerous conditions in the past few years that are most likely caused by my anxiety: panic attacks, generalized anxiety, acid reflux, esophagus spasms, TMJ from teeth grinding, high blood pressure."

    Just add headaches and back pain haha.

    Interested to see how your doing and if you managed to get your symptoms under control?

    Forest likes this.
  15. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Hi Braden,

    I'm happy to say that I have my groin pain completely under control. Its not even a blip on my radar at this point. Amazing to go back and read this thread and see how far I've come. I think its safe to say that I would have thought all this TMS stuff was just crazy talk if it hadn't actually worked for me.

    I still struggle with my other symptoms like: TMJ, chest/esophagus pain. But I believe these will take more work, as just knowing that they're psychosomatic may not be enough to heal. I'm working to change the way I think and quit repressing so much rage, and hopefully one day I will be able to say that I am completely TMS symptom free.
    WorriedUser and Forest like this.
  16. mindfulliving

    mindfulliving Peer Supporter

    Hi friends....i had this exact symptom hit me thrice in life....pure testicle and testicle tube pain....trust me it is tms...in my case it went away once i resumed normal ohysical activity...for the first 3 times at least...first time was antibiotic placebo...second and third time it just fixed itself

    Then 2 years later it hit me as prostatitis...ouch it was painful....and exactly like you...excercise was a trigger...after feeling better everytime id excercise....the pain would come back....it wasnt until i read sarno that the pain left for good....but then another intense intervals workout and boom....the pain hit slightly but my problem exposed itself in its true form...anxiety, depression i somnia and so on....what helped me was faith, this forum and claire weekes....who explains the concept to acceptance better than anyone else...once i started accepting myself...i learnt to tell my mind..."its ok to be like this" and poof symptoms started to dissappear overnight

    Just like u guys i ran to the uros got every test andnothing came up....thought it was a muscular problem so was considering oing for doctor david wise clinic for pelvic pain sufferers (google it)...but i experienced a cure after reading sarnos book....and claire weekes put my anxiety at ease which seems to be the root of my problem

    Take care and happy living
    braden101 likes this.
  17. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Hey guys - I have had the epdidymitis before as diagnosed by my GP. I had it on and off pretty bad from age 31-33 and had to wear a jock strap the whole time when it was flared up. I can't say that I ever related it to TMS, but the pain from it I think was what caused me to obsess years ago that I had colon cancer. Strangely enough, once my colon canceer scare was over...I never had the epdidymitis again. I still do get the pain to some degree when I gain weight and get lazy but I just ignore it and continue to run and it goes away. My mind has attributed pain in that area to be benign so I don't worry about it and it fades away.

    There is probably some TMS association...but I know that excercising for me seems to knock the pain away.
    braden101 likes this.
  18. Zerkon

    Zerkon New Member

    Hey all, I have this problem too and I was wondering if anyone had any updates on their epididymitis? Hopefully it has gone away entirely?

    I have had it for around 3 months now and I just now stumbled upon this forum. I think it is stress-related for me too, since I got it when I was extremely stressed, I was also having panic attacks, I felt like I was having a stroke/heart attack, couldn't sleep, would wake up gasping for air, etc, then this started too... I was also lifting and biking a lot, but many people do that and it doesn't cause this to happen. I also am 24 and just left school and started my first job, very stressed, stressed about girls and everything too... so I guess the tension went to my testicles?

    Urologist said I have no STDs, infection, no tumors, no varicocele or anything, everything is normal except for the inflammation. I don't want to take Advil anymore, since when I stop, the pain comes back, so I think it just masks the problems. I am now working with a TCM doctor, she is giving me herbal medicine and acupuncture and says it is all from stress and "liver heat".

    I have pretty bad anxiety/OCD, so it makes it hard not to obsess about it, but I am seeing a therapist and trying to get better.

    Would appreciate any updates, though I know it's been 2+ years since the last post.

    Thank you.
    jaumeb likes this.
  19. Geko21

    Geko21 Newcomer

    GTfan, sorry to write here so many years later, and you may not even be still active here, but since your symptoms searingly mimic mine, can you please share if you managed to overcome this by treating it as TMS?

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