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How do I respond to my TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Davideus85, May 26, 2021.

  1. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    I feel like there’s a real conundrum in trying to overcome my TMS. When I’m hit with symptoms, I often try to ignore them, go about my day as I usually would, pretend to be happy and smile and act like nothing is wrong, hoping that by doing so I will be sending a message to my brain that its tricks won’t work on me, that I’m safe and not going to react to the pain it throws at me. But doing this just seems to make things worse, I realize because for one thing I’m not truly ignoring the symptoms, I’m just pushing through them - resisting them. It’s just being in denial. And it just seems to serve to magnify the pain. So often I’ll swing from that extreme to the other extreme - I’ll just give in and wallow in self-pity and how horrible it feels and how I’m doomed to suffer this way the rest of my life, how I’m NEVER going to overcome this, and that all is hopeless. I spend a lot of time doing the latter, and dropping activities and not going out and doing the things that use to bring me joy, because I figure “Why bother? I’m just going to be in pain while doing them”. I feel like my TMS has for all intents and purposes destroyed my life so I don't bother trying to live one. Almost all my focus and energy is centered around trying to deal with my TMS. It seems like a really unhealthy obsession. and neither of these extremes seems like effective means of overcoming TMS. I have no idea what the solution is. Help???
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  2. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    I'd take a break from everything TMS-related, including this site, the books - all of it. Are there any subjects that fascinate you that you could explore? Beautiful places where you live that you could check out? Friends you could connect with?
    oneperson and Sita like this.
  3. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    My interpretation of that is “There really is no hope for you in breaking free from TMS. So just do your best to distract yourself from it and think about other things as much as possible”. That’s a very scary prospect for me.
  4. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Davideus85,

    Your interpretation is coloured by the way you are feeling and approaching all this. I highly doubt Idearealist was inferring the prospect of no hope. There is always hope as long as you allow it to exist. I picked up on the word ‘scary’. That, I believe (but what do I know?), is at the heart of all this. What do you fear? Where did that fear come from before you started to have symptoms? My main fears have always been about abandonment, rejection, isolation and loneliness. Over the last few years I have been bombarded with all those things and have had to face them. Pain and other symptoms had nowhere to hide anymore. I read that you are troubled by non-responses to some of your posts and personal messages which tells me you have some of these same fears. Members of this forum deal with their fears in different ways, e.g. journaling, seeking solace in religion or nature. You have to find your own way, another potentially scary prospect, but we are here with you, albeit virtually.
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  5. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    I am absolutely TERRIFIED that I'm going to be in pain for the rest of my life and that there's not a damn thing I can do about it. And that seems to be more and more likely as time goes by and nothing changes and my symptoms only are getting WORSE AND WORSE. The fears you mentioned are spot on. I too fear rejection, isolation and loneliness. That seems to be compounding the severity of my TMS symptoms. I can't get any support from friends or family members, namely cause they all refuse to go on board with the TMS model, and I go on forums such as this one (Which to my knowledge is the only real TMS support forum online) and I do not get the support I need. So it's definitely be freaking me out a lot. And when that happens, my fight or flight response goes apeshit out of control and causes my symptoms to go through the roof and I then have to spend a good deal of time trying to calm myself down (often with the aids of benzodiazipines) and bring my symptoms back to their baseline level, which is more manageable but still unlivable longterm. Several months ago, my TMS was MUCH better, I had it significantly under control, and then a series of traumatic events (Death in the family and the leaving of a long term partner) caused me to develop more and more depression and anxiety. After a while, those progressed into full blown Panic disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive thinking (the kind that just makes you want to shoot yourself it's so tormenting) and suicidal ideation. Not to mention dissociation and derealization where I feel disconnected from the world around me - scary as shit stuff I wouldn't wish my worst enemys to have to experience. Getting help from my medical healthcare provider is practically useless, because all they want to do is give me drugs that give me more side effects than what they're worth. I've been seeing a therapist but he's not trained in TMS and we don't seem to be making much progress with my issues. I can't feel any joy or happiness at all and I feel unable to connect with my positive emotions. I just feel kind of dead inside most of the time and can't really enjoy the things I use to. I had to quit my job last week because of all the emotional stress this has been causing me. So that's where I'm at. I'm running very low on hope right now. Any help, and I mean ANY help or ideas would be great from anyone. Thanks.

    (I should clarify, my TMS use to manifest as back pain and migraines, but now they almost always manifest as psychological symptoms, which is what I mean when I say "Pain". Psychological symptoms have proven to be far more horrible than my back pain and migraines ever could be.)
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  6. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Your conscious brain (thinking brain as opposed to automated brain) is where you can turn to to pull you out of these psychological symptom imperatives. Remember it will not be easy so you have to be more determined than the fear, anxiety, depression etc. Your thinking brain can set up healthy behaviours and goals to take back control of your mindset so that you set yourself back on the right pathway, the one filled with joy and fulfilment. You know how to do this. Don't let your fear brain convince you otherwise because it is simply not true. You are capable, courageous and worth it.
    oneperson and Davideus85 like this.
  7. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can see that you are going through the wringer at the moment, David. Some huge issues. I have experienced some of them myself and feel your pain. I hit rock bottom over four years ago and didn't want to live any more. Despite resisting anti-depressants for an even longer time, I gave in and took them and they helped. I've only just finished tapering off them in the last month. There is no shame in accepting some of the medical help offered to you. It can be a lifeline.

    In terms of support, what would you like people to do? If it's ideas, this forum is loaded with them. Responses may have been made to a specific person on a thread they started, but the information contained within is gold dust for anyone reading. It's there for the taking. I am not nearly as eloquent as other forum members, so I don't write so much any more.

    It may be hard to accept that the help you want needs to come from within yourself. As birdsetfree says, you are capable. We all are. Whenever I read someone's success story, I notice how after weeks, months or years dealing with their pain, they eventually came round to the fact they had to take steps to help themselves.
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  8. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    My TMS have progressed so badly now to the point where I can’t do what I normally do to overcome my symptoms. I can’t just be indifferent to the intense depression and panic/anxiety and OCD, laugh it off, etc. It’s so bad that fear has a strong hold over me. It won’t stop because I’m afraid (more like scared shitless) and I’m afraid because it won’t stop. Horrible feedback loop. It’s constant 24/7.
    I absolutely hate the idea of taking medication like you said but at this point I don’t think I have a choice. I feel so bad now that I’m constantly thinking about suicide just to end my suffering. I feel so alone and have no family or friends to support me right now. It absolutely feels like hell. I just need someone to talk to about all this. I don’t know ANYONE in the TMS community.

    As for ideas and information, I have absolutely mined the shit out of the forum for as much information as possible, and you’re right, there is gold to be found, but I’ve exhausted the extent of that and not lacking in info, more knowledge is definitely not going to help me at this point.
  9. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    Reassurance seeking diverts your attention from the real issue. The anxiety and depression are the distraction. You think you fear them but what are you actually afraid of? Being alone? Did you feel alone as a child in one or more situations? When did your symptoms start? Did someone leave you? How do you perceive yourself? Ask yourself these questions and keep going with whatever comes to you until you experience a breakthrough like crying or anger or some other strong emotion. When you get there you will have found the real cause of your symptoms.

    The kind folks on this forum can help but ultimately, you have to be the one who comforts you. You have to be the one who loves you. You are enough just as you are. You just don't believe it. We look for love in all the wrong places. It's never "out there". I don't know if I am at all on track with what you're asking for, but maybe it's worth a couple of pennies.
  10. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    The depression and anxiety is actually a constant reminder of my underlying emotions. I feel so alone and the symptoms just make me feel more alone because when I reach out to people, aka family, all I get is...nothing. No support or help whatsoever. And that terrifies me because that means I have to deal with my TMS all on my own, which I don’t think I can do. As long as I can remember, Long before I had TMS, I’ve been waiting and waiting for someone to rescue me, namely my parents, and my therapist has recently helped me come to the conclusion that that’s never going to happen. That I have to be the one to get my own needs met and that I need to comfort the part of me that was abandoned as a child. I know I need to fully come to terms with this and let my adult self take charge, I just don’t trust myself to get my needs met.

    I don’t feel loved. I don’t feel like I’m enough as I am. I never have. And I’m desperate to get that from someone or somewhere. I just don’t know how.
  11. paige1993

    paige1993 New Member

    Hey David, I'm sorry you're dealing with this--but you can and WILL get through this. You said you had success with TMS before, right? You can have that again with these other symptoms and psychological upset, even if it's worse this time around. From back pain to OCD to panic, the root is all the same. I understand you are in the depths of darkness right now, but as long as you're living, there's hope. You don't have to push through and act as if nothing's wrong to overcome this. Take small steps without overdoing it to create triggers. For instance, just getting out to do something you're feeling resistant to doing. Build on that, without putting too much pressure on yourself. As we all know, pressure just feeds TMS. Even if you do have the symptoms while doing an activity, you're still making progress because you're out there doing it.

    I don't know if you've checked out Nicole Sachs' podcast, The Cure for Chronic Pain, but she has incredible advice for physical AND psychological TMS. I think it could be really helpful to you right now.
    oneperson and Davideus85 like this.
  12. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    Thank you Paige. I can use whatever encouragement and hope I can get. I don’t think I’ve ever suffered more than I have in the last few weeks and it is only getting worse. It is truly scaring me. My healthcare provider is completely USELESS in providing help. I’ve been on the line with several doctors and psychiatrists and crisis specialists many times and they quite simply aren’t equipped to deal with this. Literally all they can offer is medication. I have thought about going to the ER many times as I have a lot a lot of thoughts of wanting to die lately but I don’t think they would be helpful either.

    I have overcome TMS before but somehow this is different. These psychological symptoms are more severe and far more frightening, it’s a totally different creature than the back pain and migraines I dealt with in the past. I would take those any day of the week over this horrible mental nightmare. But my nervous system is so sensitized now, if I have so much as ONE single negative thought, it sends my anxiety flairing out of control. EVERYTHING triggers me. I just want to sit in a corner and space out and not think about anything just to avoid triggers. I need to see a TMS specialist somehow.

    If you were to ask me a month ago, I’d say it was only a matter of time before I recover from this. Now I don’t have any confidence this will ever end.
  13. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

    And it’s not just depression and anxiety. I’m constantly experiencing dissociation, where I feel disconnected from my surroundings and environment and everything feels unreal and I can’t make any meaningful connections with what’s going on around me. Absolutely scary as shit. I’d rather sacrifice one of my limbs than go through this for another month. It’s truly awful.
  14. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

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  15. Davideus85

    Davideus85 Peer Supporter

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  16. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Blimey, what an informative and enlightening web page and site, @yb44! I had no idea until I just read the 'Symptoms of Depersonalisation and Derealisation' that I was suffering with this about 25 years ago. Paul David says, "At one point, I felt so detached that I could not read a book..." and it was the same with me. I remember my alarm clock packing up and buying a new electric digital one, just a simple affair, but it was all too much for me to read the instructions and apply them; I just couldn't do it and a friend had to set it up for me. I also remember going to the park at lunchtime from work on a gorgeous sunny day, sitting in the shade under a lovely tree with a nice view of a boating lake in front of me and I could take in none of it, I couldn't enjoy the view and my surroundings at all and I felt like a pile of hopeless and unattractive poo sitting there. The distress I felt in association with my public-facing job and the myriad of office politics associated with it, had my head in constant spin and I couldn't switch off. Now I can see my 'exhausted' mind was switching itself off to protect me!
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  17. Mark1122

    Mark1122 Well known member

    I feel a lot like you. I also use benzo's a lot. If i don't i cant make it through my workday, il get big panic attacks. With me its a lot when im behind computer or mobile, where pain gets worse and the anxiety. My heart also skips beats a lot etc. I haven't made it out myself yet either, just wanted to say you are not alone. And i feel for you and i can somewhat relate with your story.

    I have this constantly as well. I walked in nature today and it felt like i was watching outof someone else's eyes. Like i was not really there myself... I got this 24/7 the dissocation is the worst... I see things through my eyes but its like im watching through someone elses eyes. Its such a weird and annoying feeling.. Im not sure if its the same but i recognize some stuff you are describing... I am also very tired and cant think straight, its probably the constant anxiety/stress reaction

    We have to stay hopeful otherwise its all lost.

    I will finish with something i readt and that keeps me going, stockdale paradox, stay strong

    "you must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
    Davideus85 likes this.

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