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Fearing the pain itself

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by RN64, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. RN64

    RN64 New Member

    Hi all,

    It's been a while since I've posted here! I recovered from chronic pain using Sarno's approach in 2005. For me, that was a process of challenging the notion that pain = physical damage and slowly starting to increase my activity.

    But more recently, I have been having a lot of flare ups of the pain. I am absolutely convinced the pain is not an indication of damage to my body. I am absolutely convinced it's TMS. I am absolutely convinced of this because I used Sarno's approach to recover years ago. But this time what I fear is *the pain itself*. It often gets so excruciating that I have to stop an activity - not because I'm afraid of doing damage, but because the experience of pain itself becomes so unpleasant. I fear that unpleasant experience. I fear the pain stopping me from doing the things I want to do. And both of these fears are true - it is an incredibly unpleasant experience that does stop me from doing the things I want to do.

    So here's a question for you: how do you break the cycle of fear and pain when what you fear isn't structural damage - rather, it's the experience of pain itself?

    Thank you!
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    This is a sticking point for a lot of TMS'ers. But it is all the same thing. Your mind creating preoccupation and distraction with fear of the pain and pain itself, even if it is just the actual experience of it and not doubt about structural damage. Your TMS brain is trying to convince you otherwise.

    Tolerate the pain, use all the tools you know, having healed before, and the pain will go again. Reassure yourself that the pain is temporary, now that you have an accurate diagnoses and the appropriate treatment.

    Show yourself compassion along the way because it is difficult to experience pain but it will pass.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  3. limitless

    limitless Newcomer

    I agree with birdsetfree.

    In my opinion you need to move no matter what. The brain needs to re-learn.

    But I wonder too how you go through it when the muscle is really cramped and stiff. It makes movement quite stiff..
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Are you using all of the tools? That means turning your thoughts to an emotional or financial issue as soon as you notice the distraction(or fear). Screaming, yelling, cursing like a sailor with tourettes?
    Spending your free time with a pen and paper or in front of a screen writing down what's going on in your life? and of course re-reading Sarno or other TMS related propaganda. You have to advertise in your own head. There is soo much BS out there nowadays that if you don't take a proactive stance, just the little bit of structural mythology that floats around is enough to F with your unconscious.

    Sarno warned that Fear was just as effective of a emotional distraction as the pain and coined that term 'Physicophobia'. Sometimes us veterans who have had symptoms before think we can just ignore new ones knowing that they are TMS.... I have found this isn't so. Whether or not I can ignore it has to do with the emotional gravitas the underlying issue has. It's also usually a metaphor. If I am afraid of Pain it usually means I am afraid (unconsciously) of something in my life.

    and as the people above me mentioned about challenging the pain... whenever I feel something (wrist, back, hand, head) I immediately do like 20 pushups just to tell my brain I know what it's doing.... works fairly well.

    hang in there
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Your story relates to me 1000% I also suffer from what you describe for longer ...I feel you have ran your course with Dr stop looking there I know it’s hard to not think physical when you are in so much pain believe me I can relate . Hit the books read read until it sinks learn about TMS and if you can get help from a med to keep you on track and minimize your pain so you can get in touch with YOU then I am all for it . Don’t listen to people that you cant take a med that BS .
    A session with a Tms Therpist will help but don’t get caught up with having multiple session a couple is good after that it just repetion at a big cost. You can’t throw $$ at TMS and make it go away . You need to be aware that your emotions are driving your pain and that’s all you need to know. It seems you been checked and rechecked by Dr so I say your path is threw it. Take baby steps and some times smaller one to. You can do this we all can it’s one min at a time . Regarding physical activity not everybody can push threw the pain for me it go everyday break a sweat and don’t challenge your pain for me that just gives it more attention that I am fighting something. I hope this helps
  6. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    i havent totally conquered this yet, however, one thing that has changed for me, is when i get a flareup, rather than obsess about what caused it, and how long it will last, i just tell myself "yeah this sucks, but it will pass. it has before, and it will again".
    This hasnt stopped my pain and flares, but it has made them shorter and less burdensome. There's this weird mode you have to get into where you notice it....but dont let it upset you. Pain is always upsetting, so it can be weird to pretend it's not a bad thing. Like i said, there's a sort of mental "art" to noticing pain, and then just moving on without analyzing it or focusing on it. I'm not perfect at this yet, but i've had some success.
    MWsunin12 and Baseball65 like this.
  7. susy_ja

    susy_ja Newcomer

    This has been a helpful thread, thanks
  8. Salzburg

    Salzburg Newcomer

    Fear takes away the beauty of life

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