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Derek S. Hidden anxiety

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Question
    After spending a lot of time in therapy I know all of my pain is due to anxiety although my life is pretty awesome right now which means that a lot of my stress is due to repressed emotions. What can I say to my brain if my current life is really good now?
     
    Forest likes this.
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Thanks for your question. First of all, congratulations on getting this far in your treatment. The fact that so many things are going well in your life at this time is something that should be celebrated.

    I want to address the statements that you made about your pain being directly related to anxiety and that your "stress is due to repressed emotions." You just described a very important dynamic in TMS and TMS treatment. Often, our brains get caught up in a cycle of anxiety and pain (serving as a defense from repressed emotions). Anxiety and pain can act as extremely effective vessels for preoccupation which preclude us from getting into contact with unconscious emotions.

    I frequently see individuals putting a great deal of pressure on themselves to find that one emotion or that one repressed memory that they perceive as being the magic bullet which will help them to break free from this cycle of pain and anxiety. It is almost as if the approach that was once used to try to find the root cause of their structural pain has been transposed onto the search for the root cause of their emotional pain.

    The most important thing is that you are being patient with yourself and consistently creating an environment in which emotions are allowed to exist rather than trying to force them to exist. While the practice of "emotional archaeology" can sometimes be helpful, it is not always a necessary step to getting rid of anxiety and physical symptoms. More important is that you are constantly reassuring your brain that you are safe and that you are open to experiencing emotions as they come up (whether that be through your own process or through your work with your therapist). Give yourself the space to be curious about what emotions are there and resist the urge to put pressure on yourself to feel these emotions.

    Tell your brain that you are working on the emotional aspect of your recovery and that this is something that cannot always be rushed. This process unfurls differently for each individual, so send yourself the message that you are safe and you are doing enough. It may also be helpful to re-affirm that your repressed emotions are likely not as dangerous as your brain may want you to believe. Be optimistic about getting into contact with these emotions and view this as something to look forward to.

    If the process of identifying repressed emotions is going slowly, have a frank discussion with your therapist about it. Ask if there is anything that can be done in treatment to work on this in a more direct way.

    Best of luck in your recovery!
    -Derek


    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.

     
    intense50, Becca, Forest and 2 others like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like this advice from Derek Sapico very much. I sometimes think I spend too much time in emotional archaeology and it depresses me.
    I know that once we recognize a repressed emotion our unconscious gets it and lets go of the pain, but it's sometimes hard for me, or us,
    to let go. I can forgive, but it can be harder to forget.
     
    Derek Sapico MFT and Forest like this.
  4. tammyg

    tammyg New Member

    I can completely relate to this post. My life is pretty amazing and TMS has blindsided me. I too am in a cycle of anxiety and pain almost like clockwork.In October I ran a marathon and 5 days after I could barely turn my head. Many trips to doctor, mris and x-rays revealed herniated discs extruded disc but no explaination for temporal headache (cranial nerve7) I am grateful to have found Dr. Sarno and his books. I did not know I was a goodist, but now I do. I thought I had put all my childhood memories behind me, turns out I just stuffed them down. I am so grateful for this forum. Thank you.
     
    intense50 likes this.

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