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Alex B. Feeling discouraged

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by winterhaven123, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hi I am on day 15 of the Structured Education Program and I am becoming frustrated & discouraged. I've read many posts & have never read or heard of anyone that has such severe pain with the slightest touch. The pain is so severe it goes through my entire nervous system, mostly my thoracic & ribcage area. Is this unheard of? I've found no information on it. It's been 4 years, everyday constant. It does stop when I lie down, but as soon as I am up it starts. What can cause this? It's constant.
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi and thanks for your question. First and foremost I would remind you that it is very important for you to get physical causes ruled out by a doctor that is familiar with the concepts that underlie TMS. From your question it seems as though you are facing serious doubts about whether or not your pain is the result of TMS. While I have seen clients with very similar problems, I remind them as I am reminding you now that the first step towards working with TMS is accumulating as much evidence as you can that the symptoms do not have a structural genesis.

    Assuming you have done that, I think it's important for you to address the issue of preoccupation and reinforcement. From your post it seems as though your life has become centered around your pain: you are reading about it, doing work-books, thinking about it non-stop. Will it be bad today? When will it come on? These kinds of questions are running through your mind constantly. In other words you are totally preoccupied with your symptoms. The issues here is that such preoccupation is the exact purpose of the pain. TMS symptoms exist to keep your anxious, preoccupied and in fear. By obsessing over them day in and day out you are actually reinforcing them. What you can begin to do is disrupt this cycle by not allowing the pain to generate the kind of fear and preoccupation that it is currently.

    I understand that this is of course easier said than done. It is important to realize it is a process. You not going to suddenly turn on a switch and stop being preoccupied with pain; you've been training yourself to do it for years, so you have to have patience and take it one step at a time. Begin by observing the process: really begin to observe the symptom's capacity to generate fear and anxiety, to take you out of the here and now and into anxious prjections about the future. You can begin to counter this by trying to remain present, to calm yourself in the moment and remind yourself that, in fact, the pain can't do damage or hurt you, and that it is the fear that is creating the problem.

    This of course ties back to why it is so important for you to start on a solid foundation of evidence. It allows you to really begin to trust yourself as you practice calming your fears and anxiety in the face of the symptoms.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    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.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
    Cap'n Spanky and Ellen like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Winterhaven.
    I couldn't give you any better advice than Alex gave you.
    If your pain is from TMS and is not structural, you need to believe in TMS 100 percent.
    It can take effort and time, but belief is essential.

    Degrees of pain are deceptive... one person may feel their pain is worse than another's.
    Any pain can cause a person to be discouraged. Just tell yourself you are not going to give in to it.
    And try doing things and thinking things that take your mind off of it.
     

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