1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Having to know "why", and cause and effect

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by dabatross, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    This has been a big thing in my TMS treatment for a while now. I think its part of the TMS personality to want to know things like "Why was my pain better yesterday but not today? Why did this start in the first place? Why haven't I had a good day in like 2 weeks?" I find myself asking these questions a lot and all it does is make me worry more. It keeps me focused on pain when I shouldn't be. I talked to my psychotherapist about this a couple days ago and he said the important thing is not to ask yourself "Why?" because that doesn't help you. it just makes you fear it more because some things are unexplainable like the complex mind. the better question is "What are your thoughts and what are you telling yourself every day?"

    i would ask myself these "why" questions every day because i thought it would make my pain better. if i could figure out what i did differently on the day i had less pain then i could replicate again right? i thought TMS treatment was more cause and effect than it is. i found out that its not cause and effect based and things always dont make sense but the key is not to ask why but to just keep doing what you're doing to stay healthy and relax the mind and body.

    the more I ask myself why my pain is different from yesterday or why it hasn't been better lately just makes me more scared and afraid of it. the thing is i did progressive muscle relaxation the night before i had the two betters days so logically i thought "hey, the PMR is making my pain better the next day" but then when i did PMR and the next day wasn't better another time, i got fearful that maybe the technique wasn't working.

    the psychotherapist told me its better to just keep doing the exercises, whether you're in pain or not, because its not cause and effect based its not simple like that. since the brain is complex you're not going to understand why things happen a certain way one day and not another. its better to keep your thoughts positive, look at what you're telling yourself every day, and keep your mind off the pain as much as you can (i know this is really hard to do). i know seeking information constantly about TMS and pain is TMSing within itself. seeking out the information is just another way to keep your mind on the pain you're in and it may help your anxiety in the short term (like a few hours) but in the long term it doesn't help at all.

    im wondering how the rest of you feel about this do you have the same problems of asking "why" a lot and did you believe this was cause and effect based. i think physical treatments are thought of like that.. you broke your foot so put it in a cast, ice it, and it will go away. Cause: you broke your foot, Treatment: ice and cast it, Effect: it will go away. But from what i've found the mind doesn't work like this and is more complex than that.
  2. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Healing TMS is a completely different process. "Why" is a dead end. It will get you now where except more pain. This is hard. This is your pattern. Negative patterns are hard to break. We feel a certain comfort in our patterns, even when they aren't what is truly best for us. This is the reason why people who were abused often end up in abusive relationships or people who grow up in alcoholic or addictive households often end up marrying (or falling in love) with an addict. We are conditioned. We learn how to function in various ways, good and bad, from childhood and then we replay these patterns over and over and over again in our lives because it is what we know...and what we don't know (choosing to live without these negative patterns) can sometimes be even scarier that that which we know, but is harmful to us. Add in the fact that this negative pattern of "why" and "expectation" (also called "outcome dependence") only feeds your unconscious' desire to keep you focused on the physical and boom a cyclical pattern of negativity, pain, fear and frustration. Why keeps you focused on the past, and worried about the future.

    Come up with something simple to help shift your negative thought pattern. Every time you think "why," stop yourself and have a positive mantra or visual that helps you focus on the now and/or how you are feeling in that moment. Something like, "I trust in my TMS diagnosis," or "My body is pain free and I'm in touch with emotions, right now." Act as if it is (a famous al-anon saying)...act as if you are in a state of no pain, act as if you don't care about why (even if you do), act as if you are in touch with your feelings (even if you are not sure). Because if you stop yourself, force yourself from not answering, "Why?" and instead act as if...you will eventually break this negative cycle. It may not feel that way at first. It may feel forced and strange (I know, I experience this too), but I promise it will get easier, until one day you are not asking, "Why?" anymore...until one day you really do feel less (or no) pain and you actually feel connected to your emotions.

    Have you heard of the Buddhist metaphor of the train? I am going to look it up and message you some links...related to what I have just said. All things I found on this site...but I don't remember where at the moment. In the meantime keep this in mind (also found this on this site)

    "Make your healing path a practice of creating the outcome versus looking for and waiting for and being frustrated about when is the successful outcome going to come."
  3. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    hi, i just realized that i send you the links on another post reply i sent you. I know it is hard, you are stuck right now. You need to find a way to shift things so you can find your path to healing. You are heard and loved. Keep posting.

Share This Page