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Feel like I'm sabotaging myself at night

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by she333, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. she333

    she333 Peer Supporter

    I see there is another night time symptom post, too. This has been my greatest hurdle and recently worse. I so hate bedtime. I fall asleep easily, but wake up repeatedly with lots of pelvic muscle tension that causes pain and makes me feel like I have to go to the bathroom. I almost always feel like I have to go to the bathroom on some level.

    I've seen several therapist, including a TMS one. I've done four sessions of hypnotherapy so far with someone I travel a little bit to get to because of a good reputation he has. I've been practicing outcome Independence pretty hard core for at least a year. I'm so tempted to go back for pelvic floor therapy, which I have not done for over a year. However, I feel like that's not really the answer here.

    I have had good and bad days and I suppose the good days have kept me sane. I admit I am sometimes a little terrified of returning to the place where I was mentally when my symptoms were just unbearable. I know fear drives a lot of this. Today just seems hard as my symptoms are kind of miserable, but here I am on my way to work.

    I'm trying to do what dr. Hanscom wrote about and not obsess so much over symptoms and improving from symptoms and getting on with life. It seems like my brain keeps trying to find ways to screw with me. I'm wondering if anyone else has overcome the night time tension and insomnia issue. I'm thinking of trying another therapist again. Maybe I have an issue I could work on. Hope this isn't in vain and due to the fact I'm just a really anxious person.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, it does! What we call TMS seems to have been designed as a survival technique - but it just doesn't work at all well in the modern world, and for those of us with anxiety and depression it really gets all screwed up.

    What worked (and still works) for me was to take control over the negative messages that my brain was bombarding me with. First I had to really hear those messages - understand that my brain was feeding me a stream of messages that started with "What if?" and "Oh No!" and "This is bad!" etc. etc. etc. Once I really heard them, the next step was to counteract them with truth and comfort. My two favorite reminders are that I am: 1) perfectly safe, and 2) perfectly healthy.

    As for nighttime, visualization is a powerful technique that really works if you believe in it and take the time to practice it. It's a form of self-hypnosis, in fact. You have to be mindful of your thoughts, quiet your brain, and visualize the outcome that you want (sleeping through the night with your muscles nicely relaxed). Add whatever positive and constructive thoughts you need that will bring you comfort. Remember: self-comfort comes from self-love (and I don't remember to say that often enough!)
    mike2014 and she333 like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, She333. I like very much the reply from Jan. She knows her TMS stuff!

    I've had some issues with sleep, and find that deep breathing helps a lot. But I think I've been doing it wrong, as most others have. Most therapists say inhale through the nose, hold the breath a few seconds, then exhale through the mouth.

    Last night I looked at some Youtube videos on breathing and saw some that say that
    breathing in or out through the mouth depletes oxygen that we need to go to the brain and other
    parts of the body. They say that mouth breathing actually increases stress, anxiety, and
    Inhale and exhale through the NOSE only. I've begun doing that and have felt more calm than exhaling through the mouth. You might give it a try.

    I can't seem to drag the videos into my email, so I suggest you go to Youtube and look for the video by
    Robert Lipman called "The Relationship Between Breathing and Anxiety."
    mike2014 likes this.
  4. Pia

    Pia Peer Supporter

    I'm very new to TMS and I've had problems with pain and sleep for a lot of years. My way of adressing the sleeping issue may not be very TMS-ish, but it works for me...
    First of all, I turn all clocks away so that I can't see what time it is. That makes it much easier not to stress over the hours passing. The next day I don't know how much I've slept - or how little.... - and that approach has proven quite efficient! Mayby I slept most of the night - it's not really important.
    And secondly - I listen to audio books. This distracts my brain and I'm actually able to lie quite still for a very long time in the dark just listening and my body almost sleeps. Eventually I fall asleep and over the years, it works almost like a sleeping pill on most nights. And on nights when I can't sleep, I just listen to wonderful stories.
    I never get up at night. I don't put the lights on. I just listen at very low volume lying there in the exact same way as if I'm sleeping.
    I know that listening may disturb the sleep, but it's better for me to lie like this than to jump in and out of bed ;). Most nights I can feel when I'm about to fall asleep and then I shut down the audio book.
    This approach has totally taken away the anxiety and stress over not sleeping. These last years, I listen mostly for the fun of it :)
    mike2014 and she333 like this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pia, I say "whatever works!"

    And I love this advice:
    This is exactly what Friend of the Forum Alan Gordon is trying to tell us when he talks about Outcome Independence. It's one of the most quoted, and recommended posts on the forum:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/a-word-about-outcome-independence.562/ (A word about outcome independence)
    Pia likes this.
  6. she333

    she333 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the ideas. I do find the breathing exercises help and I'm grateful for them. At times, though, it seems to act as only a bandaid. But better than nothing. And yes Jan, i need to think about the fact I'm ok. I've not had a relapse on this level and I ruminate as to whether I can return to my baseline.

    Pia, I have listened to hypnotherapy at night, but not books. That could be a good distraction.

    Thank you all for your replies. I truly appreciate it!
    mike2014, JanAtheCPA and Pia like this.

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