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Gastritis and how not to be afraid

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Avy, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Avy

    Avy New Member

    Last week I started to have horrible stomach problems,nausea and daily headaches/head pressure that have put me on the floor crying. Went to doctor and it looks like gastritis and GERD, I got some medication and am feeling slightly better since then. But, I noticed that I am TMSing a lot again like googling gastritis, could the headaches be from it, how long does it last etc. I became obsessed with it. I'm trying thinking psychologically specially since I know it could all be TMS, but the fear crept in. I am supposed to go on a vacation in a few weeks and my birthday is soon, but I can't stop thinking what if all this won't go away and it will ruin everything? I was so looking forward this whole year to this vacation and summer, but now I'm so sad that I feel this way. Also I'm angry that I can't enjoy in food I like currently.

    I was doing very well lately, but some stress occurred right before this all started to happen and I was putting to much pressure on myself. I tried journaling and figured some stuff out, but I am aware of most of it. I tried mindfulness meditation and some positive affirmations, but I can't seem to focuse much. I had an arm pain for two days before all this and I knew it was TMS, did some mental work and laughed at it and it went away, but this symptoms are scary for me.

    My question is how to deal with this kind of setbacks? How to stop being afraid? I'm very tired. Please any kind of advice is welcomed. And yes, I finished SEP months ago and it helped to calm down my pelvic pain.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I suggest you take the pressure off yourself and stop doing any tms work. Have a break from it. At times like these it does well to give yourself some breathing space. In the chatroom I mentioned something that I'll elaborate on here: the simplest and kindest way to soothe the nervous system is to get offline (especially Dr. Google), and go to nature.

    Any kind of nature will do. Woodland, forests, fields, rivers, mountains, the sea, the garden...it matters not. Simply be outside and let your body fall into the embrace of nature. Walk or sit. Don't try to be mindful or aware or anything. Just be there.

    The other thing I recommend is rest and sleep. Love your bed. Be like a babe.

    Nature and sleep/rest will bring your parasympathetic nervous system online and you'll begin to feel better, calmer, softer.

    Apparently* 20 minutes, twice a day of relaxation is enough to engage the PNS. At the moment your sympathetic system is running the show so do your best to do nothing.

    Plum x

    *I read a study on this but cannot recall the citation.
  3. Avy

    Avy New Member

    Thank you Plum for your reply It really means a lot. I'm trying to rest as much as I can, but I can't seem to relax even though I sleep ok at night.I will listen to your advice and try to go somewhere tomorrow since I live in the city and there is not a lot of nature. I became to obssesed with my current state, with fear that something is wrong which unnecesary drains me, and I need to stop and as you say log off. Hopefully then things will get better.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetheart, I know well enough the state of agitation you speak if. It's part of a horrible, self-feeding cycle which feels so hard to break because it is impossible to escape our own minds. But we can quiet the inner noise. Coming offline is a great way to reduce the load on an over-active system literally because we stop giving the brain stuff to process. If you reflect on it, it's little wonder that undigested information can lead to tummy issues. The brain and the gut are connected to each other (and many other things inbetween) by the vagus nerve. Here is a link to an easy explanation of the vagus nerve with a very helpful illustration. The piece then links to a more comprehensive article detailing ways to engage the vagus for health and healing. I'll also link directly to this.

    http://www.healthyplacecounseling.org/relaxation-the-role-of-the-vagus-nerve/ (Healthy Place Counseling - Relaxation – The Role of the Vagus Nerve)

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201302/the-neurobiology-grace-under-pressure (The Neurobiology of Grace Under Pressure)

    As for rural vs. city, researchers have found that on every measure of calm vs. stress, walking in nature significantly soothes us. Is there a park or some such in your city? I like to walk around the local playing fields (especially when gorgeous men play rugby :)) because it brings me back to myself. And there are lots of doggies to meet and play ball with (oh, how I'd love to play ball with some of those rugby guys...slinks off...vaguely ashamed).
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  5. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Plum has made some good points.

    I have/do suffer from pretty much every manifestation of TMS and physical stress/anxiety symptoms over the last decade but it was only about 8 months or so ago that it finally came a knocking on my digestive system.

    I have issues with both my bowel and stomach...neither are never really painful as such but I do get the bloating, some burning, GERD and reflux type stuff but by far the most annoying and troubling thing is the goddam awful noises my bowel and stomach make. All this stuff varies in intensity and frequency but the rumbling/gurgling is pretty much always there (whilst I'm awake) and it drives me potty...the problem is because it is something you hear and feel it is quite hard to ignore it.

    I have had scans and scopes and nothing of any significance has be found so it is pretty much labelled as a functional digestive disorder. It is weird to me how my stomach issues started after a year solid of daily headaches and daily derealisation and feeling spaced out...this literally disappeared overnight only to be replaced by the stomach problems.

    As Plum indicated the stomach is highly involved with stress and there is actually far more serotonin in the digestive system then in the human brain. What is does feel like to me is that somehow what was once an automatic process for me (digestion) has been thrown off kilter for whatever reason and it just isn't functioning as smoothly as it was...I am hopeful that this will resolve in time. I do still let this effect me and dwell on it so some extent and this of course just feeds the beast do it is highly unlikely things will settle whilst the mindset that created it still exists.

    I totally agree with Plum that googling and researching is the worse thing you can do.
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  6. Avy

    Avy New Member

    Plum I took your advice and we went to the country today and there was no internet signal thankfully. I felt more relaxed, my head and my tummy were killing, but I tried to take the best of it. I had in the past problems with my stomach and it would go away eventually, but never had this kind of headaches all day 10 days in a row. The funny thing is that the pain moves around my skull, so hello TMS. I think that I worry about my headaches so my stomach gets more upset about it. I'm trying to ignore it and not worry because I know it will eventually go away, especially if I don't give too much thought about it and lose my fear. I actually think it could be an extinction burst since I lost fear completely around my pelvic pain/hip pain and it greatly reduced, so now TMS had to find another distraction. We have parks here but I usually walk my dog and few weeks ago we got attacked by an aggressive dog and his horrible owner and now daily walks with him after that are not relaxing. It is one of the many stresses I went through this month. It makes me sad because I really enjoyed walks with him :/ And thank you for the links, I will look into it.

    Huckleberry, I think that my stomach problems were triggered by stress and headaches just joined. Every time I had stomach problems in past was because of some kind of stress. Every time it would go away. I will drop researching and try not to worry, maybe then I'll start to feel better.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
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  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Are there stressful things going on in your life at the moment? Things that are very emotional in nature?

    What kind of dog have you got?

    Plum xxx
  8. Avy

    Avy New Member

    Well, a lot has happened and is happening. After my college exams ended (for now) I was really putting pressure on my self to finaly start my own business as soon as possible. I worry a lot about that and financies. There is a lot of other stuff so I don't know on what emotions I should focuse.

    He's a mixed breed, we adopted him from the shelter. We love him very much and I got really scared when that happened, luckily he wasn't hurt badly.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You don't need to focus on a specific situation or emotion. It really is enough to notice that you are under a lot of pressure and to do something to ease that. It's essentially what Sarno called the rage-to-soothe ratio. Too much stuff that makes us angry and anxious, but not enough joy and happiness to counterbalance it.

    Coming offline and spending time outdoors daily are two very immediate ways of changing the ratio. There are many others such as listening to music, exercising, socialising, reading a novel...simple things that you can weave into your daily life. Most methods that help resolve tms are really very simple so it helps to break down the big stress into day-to-day chunks of activities that feel good.

    Anxiety is a result of too much sensory imput. It causes neurophysiological states like the tummy problems you have, and headaches. So mostly you simply want to be giving your brain, your mind and body less to process, less to think about. Just for a while. There's no rush to do anything. Relax. It's summertime.

    I completely understand your fears around the aggressive dog and owner. I had a similar experience last year. I was walking in the park with my partner who is disabled and therefore not really able to defend himself. We were chased and jumped on by a dog who was off the lease. His owner was laughing at us. I shouted at him to call his dog off and told him my partner was disabled (as if it needed pointing out). He sneered at us. So we left the park by a side gate and were most alarmed to see this man in his jeep driving towards us. He'd followed us! He got out and started to be abusive. I took his car registration number and reported him and his dog to the police.

    The police were excellent. They visited him and he was cautioned. In the UK if a dog is off the lease the owner is responsible for anything that happens. Given that the park is full of families, small children and toddlers it makes the blood run cold to imagine what could happen if an aggressive dog runs wild. That was why I reported them.

    We still go to the park. We even saw the same man and his dog after, and he kind of apologised. People can be very silly and ignorant. We must not let them shrink our world or choices. Go gently.

    I'm sure your dog is adorable. He's lucky you adopted him. Most of the dogs we meet in the park are shelter dogs and they are much-loved. God bless people like you who give them a better and happier life.

    Plum xxx
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  10. Avy

    Avy New Member

    I think that my subconscious tried to tell me exactly what you just said. To just take a walk to the city with my mp3 (this used to relax me a lot when I was younger and didn't have my driving licence), to go to the library and borrow some books and start exercising again. Amazing. Maybe I just have to follow my intuition and everything will be ok soon. And I noticed I have a lot of pressure in my head which maybe could indicate that I have a lot of pressure in my life.

    I'm really sorry you and your partner had to go through this. It can be an ugly experience. This man was shouting at me and my friend who's dog was also with us really some disturbing stuff. The second time he released his dog on purpose because we fought back at his threats. We called the police but he accused us for insulting him. I really have no memory of it, but I was shouting because of the fear and trying to scare the dog away. We got the fine but we complained at it so we'll have to go to the court. I never even got a speeding ticket. I was really angry at our system where you got attacked and threatened and this is what happens.

    Now I'm carrying a pepper spray with me all the time and always looking back on the street because there are a lot of dogs whose owners don't know how to control them, and some of them are off the leash.

    Thank you Plum so much for your kind words and really great advice, also for hearing me. I really think that I have to take the pressure of myself. Talking with my fellow TMS'ers always calms me in the end. People around me usually would say it is something serious, go to the doctor etc and can freak me out and prolong my recovery.
    plum likes this.
  11. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Having to attend court is really stressful and that in itself is enough to trigger a load of tms symptoms, especially given how you were the victim in the first place! The system sucks in many ways. It's been a major source of frustration and anger in my life. I've reached the point now where if I have to engage with it, I embrace an element of theatrical politeness which for some reason amuses me, and more importantly it creates an emotional buffer. It's as if I've consciously created a character to deal with these situations and it is remarkably effective. I don't know if something like that would help you but I think anything that puts some distance between stress and our sensitive natures (all tms'ers are sensitive souls), is worth a shot.

    I really hope this situation resolves quickly and in your favour. A couple of years ago we were involved in an ugly legal battle with someone and it was making my partner and I sick with fury. Everyday brought another round of enraging nonsense and lies (the person had taken a lot of money and not honoured their obligations and promises). In the end we decided to let it go. It meant taking a big financial hit which we couldn't afford, but more than this was the cost to our health. We told our lawyer to drop the case and the relief was immediate. I felt peaceful and easy with myself. Walking away from something like that is often the wise thing to do. The solicitors are the only winners. I'm not suggesting you don't fight the injustice of the case, I'm simply saying it does well to weigh up the emotional costs and should that tip into it making you ill, then don't be afraid to take it on the chin. Life can be unfair but we don't have to let such experiences define us. We can throw them into the tms pot and heal from them too.

    Sending you love xxx
  12. Avy

    Avy New Member


    I think that as much as it was a lot of stress that it wasn't the trigger since it happened a month ago and I kinda made peace with it. Of course it could be one of the reasons for my current TMS symptoms, but I wouldn't forgive myself for paying the fine. I can't do much right now, just have to wait to be called on a court, tell my side of the story and judge will made a decision if we will have to pay the fine or not, that's it. I recognized emotions around it and dealt with them, I journaled, meditated etc. The trigger I would say was putting too much pressure on myself to start a business as soon as possible to start and make for my own living and also in the same time start preparing for the other exams for the fall. There was also a pressure from my family to give as many exams I can. I was pushing myself too much because I felt worthless and I tried to be someone they would be proud of. The funny thing is when I finally passed an exam, I didn't feel good about myself at all. I lost 2 years on my college because of the chronic pain, operations and almost all my friends graduated and it made me feel bad. After so much studying and exams, I couldn't relax even for the day because all of this was on my mind. Now I completely stopped and decided to take some time off, I need time for myself and to clear my mind. I forget one important thing in TMS healing and it's to be kind to yourself.

    I would really like to make that kind of alter ego, maybe I should just don't know how. I'm a very sensitive person (like you say many TMS'ers are) and things get to me easily. I agree with you that sometimes we have to let go some things in life because of the health. I have let go a lot in life believe me, but this was something I needed to do.

    I will take a walk to the city (we really do have a beautiful center), listen to the music, borrow some books that interest me and stop and smell the roses. Maybe call a friend to have some coffee. My mind was in chaos for a while, I just need to start enjoying in little things again.

  13. Avy

    Avy New Member

    Just another question Plum, do you suggest to avoid for a while then TMS techniques like journaling and mindfulness?
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. Sometimes I think tms healing can become another thing to do and can lead to us feeling overwhelmed. I've certainly found this to be true, and comments here and there on the forum suggest other people feel the same. Anyway, it feels nice to let it all go and just be for a while. I'm sure the unconscious mind takes the hint that we are onto it but are really not that bothered.

    This aside Avy, I wanted to thank you for helping me with something going on in my life at the moment. I'm due in court in two weeks time to give evidence against a man who assaulted me earlier this year.

    It's the reason I've had a relapse and why I came back to the forum after a long break. I feel like I'm dealing with it consciously but my pain levels are fluctuating a lot, and today I made arrangements with Witness Care to visit the court this week so that I could prepare myself better for the actual day.

    One of the links I posted in an earlier answer is about grace under pressure. I read it again this evening and have been reflecting on the incident, the aftermath and now the court appearance in the light of being calm and hopefully something approaching graceful.

    Thanks to our exchanges I feel more clarity and that I can prepare for the day mindfully while taking good emotional care of myself.

    You are quite right. There are some battles to relinquish and others we must face. This is a time to look the bastard in the eye and tell the truth.

    Bless you my dear.

    Plum xxx
  15. Avy

    Avy New Member


    I'm so sorry that this happened to you. You seem like a really nice person and it breaks my heart knowing what you are going through. But be courageous and have no fear. I really do believe that things are going to work out your way. And if you have beaten pain before, you will do it again.

    You really helped me to understand some things and I'm truly grateful for your help. You also comforted me in my fear of the pain when no one else could and reminded me not to be afraid. I'm also glad I somehow helped you.

    I'm sending you a big, big hug.

    Avy xxx
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  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you so much Avy. I draw strength from your words and your kindness. Here's to better times for both of us.

    Plum xxx
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