After suffering with an ever-increasing host of symptoms over the past 10 years, I heard about Dr. Sarno a few years ago. I devoured two of his books and spent a couple months doing my best to follow his advice. I read, I wrote, thought, read, wrote and thought some more. When I experienced no improvement, I concluded that I was one of the the few that would not improve, or that Dr. Sarno was just wrong in his theory, or maybe I was just too messed up and I needed years of therapy. I moved on to other approaches. Two months ago I saw a new doctor, who right off the bat suggested that most or all of my problems may be caused by anxiety. Previous doctors have not really found anything wrong with me, so this made tons of sense! Especially since about 5 years ago I developed daily butterflies in my stomach for no reason, or sometimes for very trivial reasons. So back to the books I went. I found a new book to read about TMS (which led me to this website) and also a somewhat different approach in a book about Stress illness. To answer the question as to where I am right now in my acceptance of the diagnosis of TMS, I would say that I am there, but with a good measure of confusion mixed in. The fact that I already tried really hard and got nowhere creates a good dose of doubt. The fact that depression and anxiety are significant components of my current and past problems also is a difficulty because I keep finding little disclaimers in this website and TMS literature that express uncertainty about the resolution of those issues. I could easily accept that my current anxiety is just another type of distracting "pain," in addition to various physical pains that I have. But my biggest doubts come from the difference between the two books that I recently read. To be honest, the one about Stress Illness made more sense to me. The thinking there is that the symptoms are due to unresolved stress (of childhood issues, current life stress, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress) that has moved into the body. In this scenario, the anxiety is a cause of the problem, and not a result (a TMS substitute). This directly contradicts Dr. Sarno's scenario, and he explicitly states in his books that this is NOT what is going on, that the various pains are NOT stress that has become trapped in the body. Fortunately, the basic idea of trying to uncover, expose and explore the emotional/psychological causes of the whole thing is similar in both approaches. But my dilemma is this: If "accepting the diagnosis" of TMS, that all these symptoms are my brain's effort to hide my unacceptable emotions by distraction, is absolutely mandatory if I am ever to improve, will my uncertainty about the possibility that some or all of it is actually due to physical or mental expression of the various stresses on me, keep me from getting better???? The two theories have a lot in common but in one key area they are contradictory. Yet they both make tons of sense to me. Am I sunk? Furthermore, I've started on medication to treat the anxiety. This is completely appropriate for the other approach, but not the TMS approach. I feel really torn, and confused.