Hello out there. This is my first time posting on this forum, but I have read many threads here and they are always of great comfort to me. I'm currently 32 years old. I discovered TMS when I was 25. My mother found "Healing Back Pain" in the library and thought it might help me. At the time I was suffering from horrible lower back pain. I started with it as a teenager (around 14) and went to my parent's chiropractor which seemed to help the symptoms for a time, but then they would come back again a few months later. At 19, I was in a car accident and that was all my mind needed to start me off down a road of tremendous pain. I went through the usual... MRI that showed herniated discs and was offered surgery. I, thankfully, did not choose to get surgery and instead just suffered with the pain when it came. And the more years I had it the more frequent it became to the point where I could barely sit (even with the back support pillow I carried around) for more than 5 minutes without feeling a twinge. I was so stiff I walked around like a robot, scared that any wrong move would set off a spasm of pain. It was so bad at times, I would not even be able to crawl across a room. Luckily, Dr. Sarno's book turned my life around. I must have read it a half a dozen times in a row over the first month and in a few weeks my pain started to go away. It took me about 6 months of referring back to the book again and again until the fear subsided and I started to loosen up and walk less stiffly and by the time I was 26 years old I felt better than I had since I was 15. I was finally free of pain. And I was so happy. What brings me to the forums now, 6 years later, is that I'm worried that I am experiencing the symptom imperative. I got married last year which was actually very stressful. I also switched careers and my husband did too and is currently in school, so it was up to me to support us. That dynamic was causing us tension and I ended up coming down with Mono last summer. I finally got over it and this spring I started to feel better. But I'm working freelance now and we were having some financial issues that again were landing on me since he is still in school. I am the typical personality type for TMS. I always put other people ahead of myself... out of fear of being disliked or seeming selfish. It also pains me so much when anyone is unhappy around me. I frantically try to fix whatever is making them unhappy as fast as possible. I help my husband with his classes when I can, even though I know that generates anger in me, because he leaves everything until the last minute. And I try to be this "perfect" wife which has put a lot of tension on me. So I am aware of some of the issues that could be causing this resurgence of symptoms. Last month our car broke down (my trigger, probably) and it looked like we wouldn't be able to fix it and a week later I developed a UTI. I took medication for it and it supposedly had gone away when I was retested at the doctor, even though I still thought I had some mild symptoms, discomfort, mild burning pain, etc. But for some reason I was obsessing over them. Then a week ago the symptoms came back stronger. I went to the doctor and they now tell me there is a different bacteria causing it and gave me a new antibiotic. However they were both supposedly very mild cases when they were sent for culture. So I'm taking the new antibiotic and I thought it was getting better, but the symptoms are sort of still there. It's basically been going on for a little over a month since it all started. If I concentrate on them they get worse. They are usually better when I first wake up though, maybe when I have less time to dwell over them? But what really made me scared was my doctor took blood work and said my white blood cell count was a little low. It's supposed to be 4 to 10 I think, and they said mine was 3.8, so not that low, but they want me to get it retested in a couple of weeks after I finish my antibiotics. My doctor is also sending me for a ultrasound of my bladder just to make sure everything looks okay, which I'm going for this week. But the anxiety I'm feeling about all these health things have set off alarm bells in my head. I know I've been under a tremendous amount of stress lately, financial, marital, etc. So... I started reading Dr. Sarno's other book, "The Divided Mind," hoping that I could attribute TMS to my current symptoms and banish them like I did my back pain, but the symptom imperative concept is terrifying me. If I notice I have a back pain I can easily ignore it as TMS and it goes away. But I'm worried that if I am able to ignore the back pain, my brain will cause me more sinister symptoms, ones that could really affect my health or my immune system. How do you deal with symptoms like those? This book seems to paint a much scarier picture than "Healing Back Pain." Specifically in reference to the symptom imperative. I'm not in a place right now where I can go to psychotherapy on a regular basis, so I'm basically terrified my brain is going to wreak havoc with my body, even if I believe it is all psychosomatic. Any experiences, help, or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I hope my above story isn't too haphazard and that it is somewhat understandable. Thank you for reading and I look forward to any replies sent my way.