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Eye issues ruining my life. TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by yoyo12, May 19, 2017.

  1. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and glad I found this community. I'm a 23 yr old female and recently got really depressed over eye issues I'm experiencing. After multiple consultations with doctors I started looking some things up online and I believe I might have TMS.

    About a year ago I started experiencing minor eye problems (dryness, light inflammation, but not anything too serious). I was studying abroad in Jordan at that time, so I figured this Arab country's desert climate and dry air were causing it. I went to an ophtalmologist and he told me I had some dry spots on my eyes and prescribed me some steroid drops. The pain and discomfort subsided, so I was happy.
    Fast forward 9 months later: I went on a backpacking trip to Iran, and for some reason I wasn't feeling all too well mentally while doing so. I had looked forward to this trip so hard so I didn't understand why I was not enjoying it at all. Suddenly my eyes started hurting again. This time it wasn't just mild discomfort but a burning sensation. Once again, I found myself in a Middle Eastern country so I figured it would be because of the country's dry and hot climate that I was experiencing this pain in my eyes. I went to get some eyedrops at a local pharmacy, but it didn't really help all that much. The same day I started to experience the burning pain in my eyes, I woke up in the middle of the night because of extreme cramps and pain in my stomache/abdomen. I rushed to the bathroom and 'did my business'. It wasn't
    diarrhea so I ruled out having eaten something off would have caused this (+ I've lived in the Middle East for quite a while so my stomache was used to a lot, I had never gotten sick in my stomache at any point). When I left the bathroom to wash my hands and looked into the mirror though, I noticed a bulging, thick, red vein in the white of my eye. It kind of scared me, but I thought it might have been fatigue from travelling and figured it would go away on its own.

    However, it didn't and it even started to become worse (more bloodvessels appearing and more Dry Eye discomfort) after I returned back home.

    The longer the vein in the white of my eye stayed, the more anxious I started to get. My appearance had always been important to me, and especially my eyes. People would always compliment me on my bright, brown eyes and I was so proud of my beautiful eyes. A few months after returning from vacation I went back to an ophtalmologist and he prescribed me the same steroid drops I had taken earlier that year for my mild discomfort. I was excited, because I thought the drops would make the bloodvessels go away. However, for some inexplicable reason my eyes decided to have a major allergic reaction to these drops this time. It was so weird, as they had given me relief earlier. I didn't understand how this was possible. The allergic reaction caused my eyes to be bloodshot and even more painful. At this point, I fell into Depression. I was so self-conscious over the way my eyes looked, and they didn't seem to improve either. I grew extremely anxious and could barely sleep because my mind kept obsessing over my eyes. I stopped getting out of the house and doing any of the activities I used to do. I went to many other ophtalmologists but they told me nothing was wrong with my eyes, and that I just have a few dry spots every other person would have.

    My eyes are still veiny, bloodshot and dry today though. It really prevents me from having a normal life. My self-esteem is extremely low and I have no social life anymore because of it. (I used to be super outgoing and confident). I get minor (and sometimes major) Panic Attacks everytime I look into the mirror and see my eyes.

    Then I started reading more about mind-body healing and TMS. And things kind of hit me.

    When I was 6 yrs old I was diagnosed with premature puberty syndrome. This meant I hit puberty at age 6. I started to develop pubic hair, hair under my armpits and breast development. My parents were quick to notice something was off and went to an endocrinologist for treatment. For 6 years I was treated with hormones and several types of medication. Luckily, by the time I started middle school I was considered 'cured'. However, soon after I started to develop hair in other places e.g. my chest, belly, lower back, upper lip etc. Basically in all places that were not normal for a female to develop hair in. My endocrinologist said that it was hirsutism (excessive body hair), a normal side effect of years of hormone treatment and that I could get the hairs under control with laser hair removal.

    You'd think this would all be very hard on a young teenage girl. But I didn't really bother all that much at the time. Okay, I struggled with keeping the hairs under control when we'd go swimming with friends or had PE in school, but I figured everything would be ok in the end. I had the laser hair removal done all over my body over the next few years of high school and by the time I went to university my body looked like any other healthy young female's.

    Even though I wasn't consciously suffering from my battle with premature puberty and hirsutism, I think deep down I was. I never engaged in any relationships with boys or dated a lot. I had many friends and guys would ask me out all the time but I was always extremely reluctant to go out with them. Even after having laser hair removal done, dating guys scared me.

    After discovering TMS I realized I had actually always felt ugly and unworthy because of the excessive body hair I have had. I realized I coped with this subconscious feeling of ugliness by focussing on my eyes a lot. I considered them my main physical asset: big, bright and brown and mostly: not hairy as the rest of my body.
    From the moment my mom allowed me to wear make up, I started to enhance their appearance with lots of mascara and eyeliner all the time and people would always compliment me on them.

    I feel like because of this focus on my eyes, my body might have signalled me that it's time to address all of the repressed emotions of having dealt with premature puberty and excessive body hair. Could it be possible my eyes (my 'pride' and the physical feature I was always most focussed on) started to get bloodshot, veiny and dry because my body wants me to deal with my emotional baggage? Could this be TMS? And mostly, could I get my bright, white and healthy eyes back if I deal with my emotional problems?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, really happy to have found this community :)


  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Feelings can make us cry, so I guess they can give us dry eyes, which is the opposite. And allergies can certainly be TMS, which might account for your reaction to the steroid drops the second time.

    I would trust your insight about yourself and your feelings about growing up. You had a lot to deal with, and I'm sure you were suffering inside.

    Self-compassion is key. Maybe you need to cry for the little girl who went through so much.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Yoyo. I like David's reply that your eye problems may very well be because of how much you had to deal with while growing up. You need to do some journaling about that and find way to boost your self-image.
    If looking in the mirror makes you want to cry, stop looking in the mirror. If you do look in the mirror, try smiling at yourself. It will make you look better. Ophthalmologists have told you your eyes are okay, so the problem must be from your emotions. About body hair, there are some good free videos on YHouTube about how to remove it. See women body hair.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  4. Roxygirl577

    Roxygirl577 Peer Supporter

    Hi yoyo, extreme dry, bloodshot eyes, and very red veins were one of my symptoms I had for years that I beat over a decade ago as TMS. Just like your story, I was always complemented on my eyes and felt they were my best feature, i was very self conscious going through this period. Still to this day, if I am having an extremely anxious period, I have a large vein in my eye that turns bright red, in fact I have it right now, due to a hard time I'm experiencing, but I know it will go away, It always subsides after a day or two.. My eyes are now back to being bright white 99% of the time. Have you read any of Sarno's or SteveO's books yet?
    yoyo12 and MWsunin12 like this.
  5. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Roxy!

    Thank you so so much for sharing your story! This has given me so much hope for the future as I was afraid I would have to learn to live with the way my eyes look now. So happy to hear that bloodshot, veiny, dry eyes can also be TMS and can resolve when the underlying emotional causes are addressed (before learning about mind-body healing and TMS, most information I found online stated that dry eyes and consequential redness and veiny-ness cannot be cured, only managed to make the symptoms look/feel less bad, so I was losing hope). I have only read Sarno's books so far, I have yet to order SteveO's. Aside from the techniques Sarno describes like journalling etc., what did you do to get rid of your eye issues specifically? As I mentioned in my post, I get really upset when I look into mirrors. It's hard to ignore the way your eyes look when you are confronted with mirrors and reflecting surfaces everywhere in daily life. When I see myself now, I just try to tell myself it's only a physical manifestation of my psychological problem and that there's no need anymore for my body to make my eyes look and feel this way as I'm dealing with my emotional baggage. What would you suggest?

    Again thank you so much! You've made my day :D

    Roxygirl577 likes this.
  6. Roxygirl577

    Roxygirl577 Peer Supporter

    Hi Yasmine,

    I'm glad my story helped you. I know that dry eyes is a common TMS symptom, but I was not able to find many stories of the very bloodshot and veiny symptoms, so i was doubtful that it was TMS in the beginning. I actually was not trying to heal that issue. My main issue was horrible neck pain/back pain and I had originally started my TMS work to at least help me with those issues. It just so happened that other symptoms I had, including the eye problem, went away as well. Nice bonus. Like I said before this was over a decade ago, so I have relapsed since, and coincidentally, have suffered other eye problems as well (astigmatism, odd stabbing sensations, terrible eye spasms that would last 5-15 minutes at a time that would cause the most immense pain, tearing, redness, swelling) I had gone to the doctors and they never found anything wrong. i decided at those points to start treating them as TMS, even though I could not find many others suffering the same. Within months, all symptoms would vanish as if they never existed. It is crazy the symptoms our minds can conjure up. I believe it chooses our most vulnerable areas in order to keep us focused on the physical. There are also theories that certain body parts are chosen to send us a message. An author named Louise Hay wrote a book called 'You Can Heal Your Life", I found it helpful during many times in my life. She has a list of body parts/Mental disorders and explains what they may be telling us. Either way, I find affirmations very helpful, with my eyes, I would say "My eyes are clear, focused and vibrant" It is hard when it is something that you see everyday when you look in the mirror, trust me. As soon as you do, it brings all of the doubts right back that they will never look or feel differently. But I know they did for me, and they will for you too.

    The best advice I can give is to be patient, I know it's hard, but the more you expect a certain outcome, the longer it takes to heal. Try hard to not let your eyes bother you, but instead love them, remember how beautiful they were and that they will be there again, and they ARE beautiful now. Thank them for being there, and helping you navigate through life, tell them you are thankful for them, even if you don't mean it, try anyways. In the meantime, keep reading Sarno's book, and if you can, try and order SteveO's book. I was able to order it on kindle for 10 bucks and it is worth every penny and more! It is amazing, I promise and it will help you. Continue to journal, and if you also haven't checked out the Structured Education program here on this site, you should! it really helps navigate through our emotional journey, with daily journaling techniques and exercises. Also keep reading the success stories, even if they are not your exact symptoms, they still help bring hope and comfort, which is important in the healing process. If you search google for dry eye and TMS, there are stories of people healing their dry eyes.

    yoyo12 likes this.
  7. Roxygirl577

    Roxygirl577 Peer Supporter

    Oh and one more thing. As David88 was saying above, I believe a lot of times, our eyes experience these symptoms, is because we are holding back tears. I have held back my tears to be the strong one, most of my life. I finally allowed myself to cry as I was in my healing process. Now, I feel like I cry too much! Lol :) ...but if that is what my body needs, that is what I will do. This may not be your case, but just throwing that out there ;)
    yoyo12 likes this.
  8. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Dear Tricia,

    Thank you so much for your reply. Knowing it's phyisically possible for my eyes to clear up is already very motivating. After spending a lot of time (way too much time lol) on the Dry Eye Zone forum I got really scared as everyone claimed there was no cure for dry and veiny eyes and people complaining about them saying their life was completely in ruins because of it and would never be the same (Now I think a lot of them could be TMS sufferers as well).

    So affirmations is what helped you the most with your eyes? I have read Louise Hay's book and the causes she listed for eye problems did apply to me. How do you apply the TMS programs and step-by-step guides you can find online? As most of them are about treating backpain, RSI etc. I find it difficult to apply it to the issues I have with my eyes as it feels very different. Although my eyes feel dry, react badly to anything ranging from wind to pollen and make up, have eye twitches and throbbing pains many times throughout the day, it is mostly the cosmetic nature of the problem (the veiny-ness, redness) that are the most worrisome to me and causing me the most pain (mental pain, as it makes me feel so ugly and basically paralyzes me, looking this way made me feel extremely anxious to leave the house). Do you have any tips for that?

    Again thanks so much!

  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Yasmine,
    I think the above sentence holds the key for you to explore why you have TMS. I suggest journaling about this to find the root of the problem. Usually these kinds of emotions have their root in our childhoods when our sense of self is developing. TMS usually strikes where it will effect us the most. Your appearance seems to be a sore spot for you, as it is for many women. Really explore why feeling unattractive means you can't even leave your house. Is all your self worth around how you look? What are your other qualities and abilities? What else do you have to offer people? I think you will learn a great deal about yourself by journaling about these issues that will help you in recovering from TMS.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  10. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Ellen,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I am exploring this atm through journaling and I've had some interesting insights so far. I've always felt unattractive deep down, only my eyes made me feel beautiful really. Aside from dating I never lacked any confidence in other areas though, I was very much of an 'over-achiever' (typical TMS?) in every other field (sports, education, professionally) I've always been proud of my achievements and I still am. But now that the thing that used to give me most of my confidence appearance-wise has abandoned me I feel so so lost. Especially since our society is obsessed with appearance and the pressure to look good is so high. Especially on young women. My main problem is I feel like can't really 'ignore' my eyes. I can't act as if the redness and veins aren't there and refuse to acknowledge them if I see them in any reflecting surface and with so many mirrors around everywhere. I used to wear make up daily as well (aside from my parents no one had ever seen me without it!), but now my eyes react so heavily when I try to put on some eyeliner or mascara I can't do it anymore. I really don't know how to help myself and how to 'let go' of my eyes to allow them to heal :(
  11. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Yasmine,

    I know this is hard. Your unconscious is working hard to keep you focused on your eyes, and it's a difficult thing to overcome since appearance is so important. That's okay. Appearance really is important, and you're entitled to care about it.

    The TMS symptoms that linger are the ones that are successful at keeping our attention. Have you tried, when you notice yourself thinking about your eyes, making a conscious effort to turn your attention to your feelings? Can you say to yourself, it's not about my eyes, it's about ... (fill in the blank)? You already have some insight into what that may be. Let your eyes be a signal that something inside needs attention.

    It takes practice, but after a while you develop the habit of paying attention to yourself and not the distracting symptoms. The ultimate object is to accept and be okay with whatever you're feeling inside. When that happens, there will be no need for the symptoms, and they will stop.

    Be patient with yourself. It takes time.

    yoyo12 and Ellen like this.
  12. Benjiro

    Benjiro Peer Supporter

    I often laugh when I read 'expert' medical opinions on issues I used to have before I discovered TMS. It's a shame because people who receive pessimistic diagnoses have little hope of ever getting better. Your 'thinking psychological' approach is a pillar of recovery for a lot of people, as well as practicing mindfulness throughout the day. A lot of TMS sufferers are trapped in their head, and by relearning how to live in the moment like a child their health returns in amazing fashion.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  13. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Dear David,

    Thank you very much. I haven't tried that yet. I will start doing that from now on, especially when looking at myself in the mirror. I guess all I can do is keep reading and try to move on with my life regardless of how my eyes are looking right now, knowing it's only a psychological issue that will resolve when I get to the underlying causes. I have to convince myself it's only temporary, like maybe I can try to act as if it's like a broken bone? I'd never be worried over a broken bone as I'm conditioned to know it will heal after a period of time.
  14. Roxygirl577

    Roxygirl577 Peer Supporter

    I was just about to give you this same advice. What seems to help me the most is to pretend it is a cut on your finger, something you think about once, then go about your day because you know it will heal.

    I understand completely. It's a lot different then presuming normal activities, such as with back pain, RSI, etc. But there are still ways to carry on as 'normal' ...you mention the makeup and how it bothers your eyes. Definitely take it slow and don't overdue it, but try wearing little bits of eye makeup, as much as you can handle, then try increasing it here and there. KNOW for a fact that it is not in anyway hurting you to wear it. It may bother your eyes, but it won't permanently damage them. This is one strategy I used. Also you mention that it is hard for you to go out because of feeling self conscious, trust me, I totally get you on this. I had a botched surgery that resulted in Bell's Palsy that i still have, and I have had to learn to not give a F*** and go out and have fun anyways, no matter how self conscious i was on how I looked. I promise you that people do not notice as much as you think they do. Your mind chose a spot that knew how debilitating it would be to you, and not going out living your life is giving in to the physical and letting it win. I promise that if you stop letting it bother you, and continue to work on your emotions, you will beat this.

    And yes affirmations did help, especially when I looked in the mirror. instead of letting my reflection bring me down, that is when I would use my affirmations. But then the rest of the day, don't even think about them. Easier said then done, I know. I am actually having another TMS relapse at the moment in another area that I am working on. But we have to have the confidence that we will beat this. And nothing is even wrong to begin with. Other than needing to address the issues going on in our unconscious.

    Please check out the SEP here on this site if you haven't, it's great!:)

    yoyo12 likes this.
  15. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Tricia!

    Thanks so much. I'm doing my very best with the tips you've given me! Yesterday I decided to gently put on some mascara, telling myself I'd be fine. Usually my eyes would react immediately by massively bloating up all of the already visible veins in my eyes. Yesterday they didn't react right away! It wasn't until I decided to go for a walk outside half an hour later when they got really red. I guess that's some improvement there already! :)

    I wanted to ask you if your eyes improved gradually or if it was more of an overnight thing? (like after a while of 'not caring' about it and treating it as TMS you woke up and found the red veins to be vanished?).

    Thanks! Yasmine
  16. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    It's been 2 weeks since I've discovered TMS. I've been reading Sarno's books and working the SEP everyday. I feel like I've had some major breakthroughs with respect to discovering my unconscious, repressed emotions through journaling etc. However, I haven't seen any improvement in my symptoms yet. It all still looks and feels the same. This has gotten me doubt over whether I really have TMS or not. I check all the boxes personality-wise, repressed emotions from infancy and childhood and stresses of everyday life. The symptoms my eyes show are also so extremely debilitating to me, it's extremely distracting + I have suffered from TMS equivalents in the past. I literally see myself on every page of Sarno's and SteveO's books, but because I'm not seeing any improvement in my physical symptoms I'm starting to think whether I shouldn't just accept the way my eyes are now and get on with my life (as hard as it will be). I wasn't expecting a book cure but at least something in these 2 weeks after learning about TMS. People and the ophtalmologists I've visited in the past have told me dry eyes are not curable and that red veins in the whites of your eyes are permanent. With learning about TMS I got hopeful again for my eyes to recover and be beautiful again like they once were, but now doubt is riveting my mind completely. :( I really don't know what to do now.
  17. Roxygirl577

    Roxygirl577 Peer Supporter

    Yasmine, I am proof that dry eyes and large red veins are not permanent. Please don't give up after two weeks. It took me months to see improvements on my eyes and I wasn't even trying to cure that symptom I had.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  18. Hermydragon

    Hermydragon New Member

    I posted a solution on the Dry Eye Zone forum once and it was removed, so I'm not convinced that the intent of that site is constructive. I had dry eyes which grew steadily worse for over 30 years, eventually having to wear dark goggles most of the day. My eyelids would make audible sounds when I blinked, and some mornings they were hard to open. My eyes were very red, with an especially thick red vein travelling to the upper-inner part of my iris. I researched this problem for many years and concluded that my immune system was compromised in some way. But for me this problem did not and does not seem to be linked to TMS.
    I found 2 solutions. The first was Natural Dessicated Thyroid. Thyroid hormone issues are very common, and conventional doctors are terrible at diagnosing them. And when they do they generally insist on prescribing a synthetic hormone (which rarely works). Although my thyroid blood tests were still in the "normal" range, the more definitive test is treatment, so I finally found a doctor who would prescribe this (the most difficult part). The result was miraculous. Within 30 minutes, my goggles fogged up and I realized my eyes were filling with tears. Incidentally this treatment also solved dozens of other issues I didn't even know were related, and also greatly relieved my back pain. There is a website stopthethyroidmadness that can provide more info.
    The second solution was a raw, whole-foods plant-based diet. I found this by following a guy named John Kohler on YouTube and basically mimicking his lifestyle. This was intended for other medical issues, but I eventually found that it is almost a cure-all (fixed everything but occasional debilitating back pain, which is I cure via TMS). Each day I would drink 64oz of freshly made veggie juice, a fruit smoothie, and a giant salad. I no longer needed thyroid hormone treatment, and haven't been sick or hungry for over 5 years. Not only have I eliminated red veins in my eyes, this is also removing a hazy cloud over the iris so they are noticeably more blue than when I started.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  19. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    My eyes used to be so dry and tight they made sounds when I moved them. I spent a fortune on eye drops. Since I had to put drops in every 10 minutes, the only ones I could tolerate were special saline solution ones from the eye doctor's office. My eyes always hurt. I couldn't read or watch tv or be on a computer. I wore safety glasses on windy or cold days cuz they fit close and created moisture. Two optometrists and my gp said menopause can cause dry eyes and they couldn't do anything but tell me to use hot compresses to open ducts and use eye drops. I also had severe neck, shoulder and tight neck muscle issues. They were all tms. I rarely use eye drops now 3 years later unless I need to flush something out of my eye.
    Thanks for helping me remember how bad I once was and how far I've come.
    readytoheal, yoyo12 and Roxygirl577 like this.
  20. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry for not replying earlier. Thank you for your kind and encouraging replies and support. I've almost finished week 5 of the SEP now. I'm definitely seeing some improvement in my symptoms. I've been sleeping soundly again (I had insomnia because of my anxiety and obsession with my eyes), I'm not having panic attacks anymore when I see myself in the mirror and I finally have the courage and feel confident enough to go outside again (I have been inside, not leaving the house for the past few months, so that's definitely a big improvement there). My eyes don't hurt as much anymore and they are less bloodshot as well. They do still bother me, especially when I try to wear make up and the red veins (which bother me the most!) are STILL there. But I'm hopeful those symptoms will fade away as well as I get back into my normal routine again (meeting up with my friends again and resuming my activities). I have ups and downs and I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm already very happy and grateful I've gotten rid of the extreme anxiety and obsession over my eyes now and that I don't have to use lubricating eyedrops every hour to feel comfortable. I've also weirdly gotten rid of chronic constipation, something I've struggled with all my life. I was surprised to learn that constipation is also TMS by reading SteveO's book.

    Because of the improvement I'm seeing, I've become so much more confident in accepting TMS. What bothers me though is that I still get randomly anxious from time to time, worrying that my eyes will remain veiny for the rest of my life, but maybe because the red veins are symptom I obsess(ed) most about and still distracts me, it will be the last one to leave? If anyone has any more tips for me with regards to that I'd be eternally grateful!

    I'd really like to say thanks again for your replies and support, this forum means a lot to me and has given me hope in the darkest of days. Thank you! <3
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017

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