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Hair loss and TMS- Need help believing my symptoms are TMS!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by beachgirl, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. beachgirl

    beachgirl Peer Supporter

    I have been in a real battle with a current condition - hair loss - which even though appears to be TMS has still got me by the throat and giving me doubts and really taking over my life, keeping me in a small box, afraid to go out and participate in life, making my world very small. Many of you have given me amazing support, your words one of the biggest things that is saving me but the doubts are back, denial is here, stronger than ever and I need more help first, believing my symptoms are TMS and more important will reverse the self which in my case means my hair will grow back.

    The facts; my doctor said my hair loss is stress related and will grow back. Two doctors said my nair will grow back but still I can't believe it. I was dalso iagnosed with an iron deficiency which the docs said was enough to make my hair fall out. I doubt taking iron will help, I don't think anything will help, my hopeless mind....I have been taking irn just a couple of months. But I doubt....

    The TMS facts, my hair loss started the same week I went on an antidepressant. Taking one was supposed to be a monumental event because I was finally going to solve my anxiety disease which had been plaguing me my whole life. I never had any hair loss before the antidepressant and stopped taking it within a week yet the hair loss continued. The timing, hair loss starting right after I solved my anxiety problem is the most telling fact for me that it is TMS- the symptom imperative switching from thing disorder to another - yet I still have doubts my hair will grow back.

    Many years ago I recovered from debilitating back pain by reading Dr Sarnos books and seeing him. With pain though I could notice tiny bits of progress which kept me believing in the TMS theory and convicted me it was working. With hair loss I have no such evidence. You can't SEE it growing so I have no idea if applying TMS theory is working. More doubts.....

    Last year I finally stopped abusing food a life long debilitating illness- an eating disorder. The eating disorder ruled my every thought, my every moment from obsession about my body to being in the grips of the eating - or not eating or being sick from eating. I am amazed at how exactly similar my hair loss is to my eating disorder. It keeps me obsessed with my appearance, like the eating disorder did- I am constantly upset and disgusted and obsessed with my appearance with the hair loss as I was when I was noticing the ups and downs of weight gain. Both illnesses of body hatred and self esteem sickness. Yet I can not make the leap in my mind that hair loss is TMS- obsession with the body. With the eating disorder my life became very small, I did very little, interacted as little as possible with others , I felt terrible about myself and sick from the overating so it was hard to plan anything or particiapte,I was a prisoner in a cage of me and couldn't get free. It is the Same with the hair loss. My world has become very small. With my eating disorder I spent countless hours trying to be "cured" always always looking for the magic solution, spending days upon days alone trying to think myself better, reading countless books Trying to get better filled a million hours of my life. It is the same with the hair loss. I have spent most of the last few months searching for a cure, trying to get better, reading TMS books, google after google though I've stopped googling. Getting better has been my full time job like it was with an eating disorder, anxiety and back pain. The hair loss effects are the same Yet I still have doubts that THIS time it is TMS. THIS TIME it feels it is different. THIS TIME it feels like a REAL physical problem and I won't get better.

    Oh could I use some wise words. I just can't believe it as much when I think it myself than when someone else says it. I have doubts my hair will ever come back. I have doubts it's TMS, I have doubts and denial period.....
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Beachgirl, Hello. In reading your posts in seems to me you are very much aware of what is going on. You clearly have TMS, you have already been down several roads with other TMS symptoms, now your subconscious has thrown you another one and this time it is extremely difficult to ignore.
    You have seen several doctors that have given you encouraging news. When doctors give you encouraging news you should really take it to heart because they don't often give an optimistic view point. Also, loosing your hair is not life threatening and so you can afford to take some time and not fix it today. We know obsessing and wishing it wasn't so doesn't help us. So, how can you start to take baby steps in relaxing and thinking about what is underlying all this? I am seeing a therapist in Somatic Experiencing and it is really helping me. Instead of of constantly focusing on all the things I can do TO MAKE IT BETTER, I am learning how to direct my mind to where it is just a little less and how to make it manageable. There is not one solution, different things work for different people, but we are all trying to get to the same place. Explore, have confidence you will find what works for you. You have before, and you will again, it just might be a little different way this time. Focusing on the doubts only brought frustration and emphasized them for me. You can do it.
  3. Pandagirl

    Pandagirl Peer Supporter

    Beachgirl, honestly, I don't think you've solved your anxiety problem. Your post is riddled with fear. Have you gone through Alan Gordon's recovery program? I'm not sure there is anything else that the rest of us can tell you if you can't believe your numerous doctors. A medical doctor telling you this is stress is pretty clear. I'm sorry you are in this state and I hope you can calm and soothe yourself and find some peace. Being caught in the cycle is not an enjoyable place to be. All the best to you!
    beachgirl likes this.
  4. beachgirl

    beachgirl Peer Supporter

    Hi Panda, Oh you are so so right I have not solved my anxiety problem! I meant that I thought I had solved it by taking an antidepressant but the fear and anxiety still bedevils me. Everyone's support and posts help a lot. The denial runs deep so I am trying to counter that with repetition and the on-going message from people that thing is TMS and it will pass. If I hear the message enough times I think it will finally sink in. Thanks for all your messages.
  5. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Oh Beach-Girl, I am constantly reminded how similar we are (and I owe you a phone call). I don't mean to hijack your thread. But I too have been suffering from horrendous hair loss. In fact, I have a dermy appointment tomorrow and I popped back here on the Wiki (which I haven't done in months, shame on me) to gain some confidence that my hair loss is TMS. I agree with Panda that your anxiety does not seem vetted. I'd make parallels to my own situation but again, don't want to hijack this thread (e-mail me or something). Let's just say the past several months have been the worst in my life. But hang in there! I'm reminded of Alan Gordon's go-to philosophy, something I think that you might benefit from a reminder of (and that I definitely do). Outcome independence. This while I look at the horrible mess on my head and try telling myself it doesn't matter? Looks like we have some work to do!

    Keep up the faith! You have come this far, you will go further.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    PS Bear says hi! :)
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know I'm going out on a limb here but I don't think hair loss is tms. It is certainly stress-related, a common side effect of certain meds and frequently caused by low iron. Just because something can be tms does not mean everything is. It's not a catch-all. The golden rule made by John Sarno himself is to rule out physical cause and where there is one, set to remedying it. It is both disrespectful of the good doctors theory, and generally ranging from foolish to dangerous to roll out a self-diagnosis in the first instance.

    beachgirl, take the iron my love and see how you fare with time. Continue also with the healing practices you like and that generally work for you. There is nothing wrong with following medical advice because sometimes we must. Believing in tms does not exempt you from doing so, there is no hidden rule that says tms and regular healing can't happily work together. Yes, I am of course aware of the sanctions against physical therapy but does this truly apply to everything? It's a horrible catch-22 that so many people snare themselves in. There is no need for you to do so. Ultimately the choice must be yours. I only ask you to make it from an informed position. God bless.
    Lily Rose and Ellen like this.
  8. Pandagirl

    Pandagirl Peer Supporter

    You will see hair loss mentioned in Steve O's The Great Pain Deception. Stress = TMS!
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've read Steve's book and it's great however it does not give us carte blanche to ignore valid medical opinion, especially via forum exchanges where we don't know the people involved and are not qualified to judge. My appeal is simply that this sweet soul does not dismiss or ignore a diagnosis. Besides which TMS and stress are not synonomous.
  10. Pandagirl

    Pandagirl Peer Supporter

    Plum, Beachgirl's doctors have repeatedly told her that her hair loss is stress related and/or related to iron. How many tests and opinions does one need? I disagree that stress and TMS are not synonymous. I very clearly bury (repress) my stress in my body, which creates physical symptoms.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I used to suffer hair loss and know it was from TMS
    because when I got really angry or frustrated, I would pull out my hair.
    I never got much more than a few hairs, but hurt felt good.
    It just didn't last long enough.

    Now I cherish every hair I have on my head.

    Just thought this might lighten up anyone suffering hair loss because of TMS.
    I really do sympathize with you.
    Friends' wives who lost all their hair from kemo said it was no fun,'
    but it eventually grew back.
  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Iron deficiency is a common cause. No more tests are needed.

    Page 347 of GPD

    "Hair falling out (alopecia) - There are many reasons the hair can fall out, and tension is one of those reasons. Get an exam before trying tensionalgia healing."
  13. Pandagirl

    Pandagirl Peer Supporter

    I think we are saying the same thing Plum, except for TMS not being synonymous with stress. In another thread, I urged Beachgirl to take the iron and continue with TMS healing. I just popped onto this thread because I had remembered her saying that she didn't believe hair loss could be caused by TMS and I read it again last night in GPD. I was merely offering another fact for her evidence sheet! :) And she's also asked for repetition.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless you Pandagirl, seems like we got our wires crossed. Beachgirl's healing is the important thing here and I trust that in reading this thread, she feels that there is love and support for her here, whatever path she chooses.
  15. Blue Moon

    Blue Moon New Member

    Hi there to all those who are suffering hair loss. I have had TMS and cured my long term back pain, so I know what it's about. (I have long-term shoulder pain, albeit less painful, so that's why I'm here).

    However, I thought I'd reply to this post.

    I have been suffering hair loss since my teens. It got quite thin. You know the usual; iron deficiency, PCOS, etc.., so it seemed like everything was stacked against me.

    After I learnt to meditate, I started to do visualization. I used it on my hair in the first instance to really see if it worked. I used the LOA for the technique (happy for what I had and then feeling it fuller). It did it; I had friends telling me after a few months that my hair was looking healthier. I kept it up for about a year (perhaps 5 mins a day) and then I left it, thinking it was sorted out for good. However, it started to fall out again in heaps last year. I was really upset, so of course, it came out even more. About 2 months later, I decided to surrender the issue to God (you can use Universe or whatever you like). I said that I would accept anything with regards to my hair, just to help me through it. It worked, as it stopped falling in 2 weeks.

    After that, I let it be and it was fine. Not great, like it was the first time of visualizing, but fine all the same.

    A few weeks ago, I remembered that I used to do visualization and decided to start it again. I'm sure it's helping again. There are things you need to think about; if it falls, say things like, "Oh, healing has begun" or something that will make you feel good and not worry. Think abundance, not lack. Concentrate more on what you like about it, not the thinness and the pain it's causing you.

    This is the best I can come up with. I'm still trying it again, but I'm quite convinced that my thoughts are really creating my hair situation. When I start to worry and focus on it falling, I swear within the same day it reacts to reflect that. I just have to keep positive (sorry to have to word it like that).

    I think if we change our subconscious belief system, it may make it permanent. I don't know of a reliable one, or one I would trust yet. However, if visualization works and I have to keep it up for the rest of my life, I'm happy with that.

    Sure, visualization doesn't fit in with TMS, but it might be worth a try.

    Let me know if you want me to be more specific on anything.

    Blue Moon
    Lily Rose likes this.
  16. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Blue Moon, hey it's great the way your healing and getting more hair.

    I think visualization does fit in with TMS and some others agree, like Forest, Herbie, Steve Ozanich.
    Visualize yourself with all the hair you ever had or wanted. You'll soon get tired of combing and brushing such
    long tresses that could help you escape from a medieval tower into the arms of Prince Charming.
    Pandagirl likes this.
  17. Pandagirl

    Pandagirl Peer Supporter

    Visualization absolutely has a part in TMS healing!!! If we visualize ourselves being broken, we will remain that way. Visualize ourselves healing and getting better, and we'll have success. I love that you have that experience Blue Moon

    I bet Walt can research this, or perhaps knows the full story behind this, but there was a study of some sort about astronauts and exercise. I only know the broad facts, but when astronauts were not able to exercise in space, they visualized lifting weights. In turn, their muscles did not atrophy from lack of use, but got stronger.

    Athletes do this all the time. They imagine themselves making a great play, winning a race, etc. There is definite power in visualization!!!
  18. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hi friends,

    I see both sides of this one. I don't know Beach-Girl's particular circumstances, but I do know that I have seen improvement in my hair with conventional methods. Late 2008, I was first diagnosed with "alopecia areata (spot baldness)"; treatment involving scalp injections of steroid (ouch!) put it into remission for several years, until several months ago. From my studies, I also know that a broad variety of conventional things can cause hair loss: anything from hypothyroidism, low iron, seborrheic dermatitis, vitamin deficiency, etc. There's also good, old-fashioned, male pattern balding. And being one of those people that have had bad skin, in general, forever, I can attest to the fact that conventional dermy treatments DO work. (My appointment was rescheduled to tomorrow, so I am curious to see what my old dermy thinks).


    One thing those conventional MDs don't fully understand, of course, is how deterministic our thoughts and feelings are about things. Sure, modern medicine accepts "psychological stress" as a contributing factor to many things, but they don't really see them as causative. That's the problem, of course. They are much more likely to assign "physical stress" as a cause of these things (I'm referring to pregnancy-induced hair loss, called "telogen effluvium", and crash diets leading to catastrophic hair loss.)

    In my own case, I *first* was diagnosed with AA in 08 not out of the blue, but as a direct result of one of the worst most psychologically stressing periods of my life. I had had very full, thick hair all my young life before that. *BAM* Hair started falling out immediately. But it was fine up until several months ago, when: ditto. *BAM* Big bald patches all over the place. Plus there's a general level of thinning superimposed upon that that makes me look about 30 years older than I am.

    What's the difference? Back in 08, I didn't know TMS existed. So I went with the scalp injections and eventually, things grew back. Nowadays, of course I'm aware of the presence of TMS, and that I'm a TMSer. I *feel* strongly that the current bout is TMS/equivalent. What's the difference? I've recovered from such equivalents before; why isn't this better? Probably because I'm acutely aware of it, acutely angry about it, and acutely concerned about it. I care. I don't WANT to look the way I look now. Which probably explains why this is sticking around. "Distraction" anyone?

    So, what lessons do I draw from this? Probably, like Plum said, that physical/TMS isn't mutually exclusive. Just because I appreciate the mind-body connection, and my version of it, doesn't mean I might not need some conventional "help" in turning the tide. Does that mean I'm abandoning the TMS approach? No...because I'm reminded of Alan Gordon's wise words to me on more than one occasion; and I frame it as another example of the "inner bully" attempting to draw us into a fight-or-flight state: conventional or not? In reality, it'll be fine either way. Despite my grave concern about it, at the end of the day, it's just hair.

    So I see no reason why one can't draw from both skill sets. Not everything has to be mutually exclusive.
    Ellen, plum and yb44 like this.
  19. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Glad you liked that, yb44; I was pulling my hair out over this post at a few points! :)

    "Humor as a defense mechanism."
  20. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pandagirl. Hi. Steve Ozanich has some good advice on visualization.
    I just posted about his chapter 14, "What you need to understand to heal,"
    which is the topic for next Tuesday's call-in. Take a look at my summary about it.

    I used to think visualization was just for relaxing, picturing myself on a sunny beach.
    But Steve says its also to visualize our pain as being healed. I like that.
    Pandagirl likes this.

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