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Alex B. How do know if a new pain is TMS?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I've gotten rid of most of my symptoms, but every now and then something new pops up: knee, ankle, shoulder, wrist, etc. I don't want to just assume every new symptom is TMS, because what if I actually injured my rotator cuff or ACL? If I treat it like TMS, it'll make the injury worse.

    Then again, I don't want to run to the doctor every time I have a new pain.

    Any advice on how to navigate this dilemma?
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi, great question.

    This is a common experience for a lot of people. It's important to take each symptom individually, look at the how it came up and how you're responding to it. Did the pain come out of the blue? Was there a specific injury? This is the first and most important question. If you have indeed had a serious fall or other such incident, you should rule things out with a medical professional. If, however, the pain seems to be coming from something very minor or out of nowhere, then there is of course a chance that it could be TMS. You have already seen that TMS symptoms are one of your unconscious mind's methods for keeping you distracted and anxious and therefore it is reasonable to expect that it could show up in different places. It's like your mind is like a bad magician, turning over card after card asking you "is this the one you picked?" until it finds one that sticks, that will be able to generate fear. But because pain is so scary, it has the capacity to drive out other considerations and take center stage.

    It's important to track how you're responding to your symptoms. Remember, your TMS is your unconscious mind's attempt to keep you preoccupied and distracted. Do you find yourself ruminating and obsessing over every little symptoms, constantly monitoring and trapped in a state of fear? This is exactly what TMS is all about. The pain serves to keep you in this state. Responding to it positively doesn't necessarily have to mean pushing yourself physically to your limit and beyond. It is just as important, if not more so, to address the preoccupation and anxiety that are generated by the symptoms.


    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.

     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    A great response Alex.
     
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had a roommate who was a "bad magician." I had some anxiety and couldn't sleep, and he played amateur psychologist.
    Every day, or even hour, he suggested what the cause was. I finally got a panic attack from thinking about all the bad things he came up with.

    I finally realized my anxiety and sleeplessness was from overwork in two jobs at the same time, then quitting both, and having too much time
    on my hands and no money. I got another job, not a perfect one, but it saw me through until I found a better one. I wasn't anxious anymore
    and slept fine.

    So be careful what your Inner Bully tells you about yourself, or what others suggest is causing you emotional or physical pain.
    You can probably discover that by yourself, by thinking, or by journaling. Then make necessary adjustments. One big one is forgiving,
    others and yourself.

    And live in the present, not the past or the future. And beware of what Alex calls "bad magicians." Sometimes they can be doctors.
     

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