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Derek S. Fear of reoccurance

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Guest, Dec 16, 2016.

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  1. Guest

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    Question
    Hi there!

    I am 32 years female with a history of back issues. Initially I was diagnosed with several herniated discs when I was 28 years old but I did traction and the pain went went away. I experienced a flare-up when I was 30 years old and did another MRI which reported that the herniated discs have healed but I have minor tavlov cysts. I happened to come across Dr. Sarno's book on healing back pain, after doing many failed treatments. Miraculously most of the pain (like 98%) resolved. From constant pain everyday to once in a while for maybe an hour then it resolves.

    My question is how do you stop the fear of a reoccurrence? My brain keeps saying that tavlov cysts will cause pain or that I will have debilitating pain in the future. Recently I again am falling into the old pattern of restricting myself (like not twist my back or not to carry a heavy load) for fear of triggering anther flare-up. I just wish I can get over the fear as that's the missing piece of the puzzle.
     
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Thanks for your question.

    It is important to recognize this negative thought pattern that comes up around your symptoms as being a form of anxiety. Whenever you start having these fearful thoughts about symptom recurrence, your primitive brain is feeling unsafe. It's not scared of pain or symptoms, it's just anxious and it wants to attach itself to something. The fear of the symptom is just a screen that it projects on to.

    When you catch your brain thinking this way, redirect your attention to your anxiety. Don't try to exert control over the symptom. Notice what the anxiety feels like in your body and tend to it instead of neglecting it. Take three slow breaths, try to engage your senses in the moment (What do I see/smell/hear/touch/taste right now in this moment?), and tell yourself that you're safe. Do this every time that you start thinking about your symptoms.

    The goal is to model safety for your primitive brain. It takes practice so give yourself some time to get good at this. Over time, your primitive brain will catch on and your anxiety (and symptoms) will fade.


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    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

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