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How to achieve no fear

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by LaughingKat, Jul 23, 2019.

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  1. LaughingKat

    LaughingKat Peer Supporter

    Hello all,

    I just got a notice that I have been a member for a year! I haven't been very visible but I want to thank everyone who contributes. This forum has helped me sustain hope.

    On the other hand, I have not been at all successful, except for brief periods, in not fearing my symptoms. They are, by the way, foot numbness (the scariest one, and the most enduring), headaches, neck tension and shoulder and arm pain.

    Recently, I stopped taking an SSRI, and I wonder whether some of the symptoms are exacerbated by that. I also wonder if my extreme anxiety about the symptoms is made worse now.

    Anyway, I feel like I will never not be afraid of these symptoms. I just can't figure out how to make that happen. It's not that I'm not living my life. I am. But when I have some downtime, I am in an anxiety state about these symptoms. Even though I sometimes "believe" they are TMS (which I have been told by Drs. Rashbaum and Schubiner.)

    Please, I know this question must have been asked 1000 times, but how do you shed your fear of the symptoms? It's not enough for me to just decide to stop being afraid. It doesn't seem under my control.

    Thank you!
     
    BinLA likes this.
  2. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hi Laughing Kat,

    Don't apologize for asking that question. There is no more pertinent question in regards to all of this, IMO.

    I wish I had the answer for you, but I'm still working through that process myself.... and it's been longer than I want to admit.

    On the upside, like you... I live life and it's usually pretty good. I'm blessed. I sometimes feel strong and confident. I perform all of my tasks and
    take good care of my family. Stress disorder (anxiety/TMS) rarely stops me from doing much... but like you, it does darken my life quite a bit at times.

    Repetition has helped me overcome quite a few of the fears, but I find myself with a "threshold problem." Meaning... I do pretty well enduring
    pain/suffering to a point.... but when it gets too long, too severe for too long... my brain seems to have this expiration date on acceptance.
    Why, I don't know. But to me that indicates the lack of a true belief that we are OK underneath it all. Ultimately, we have to believe we are safe.
    Safe from these symptoms "ending" us in some way, or simply never ending themselves.

    For some of us too, I suspect there is a simple matter of pure pain tolerance. When you go to the doctor with an injury they ask you to rate the pain from 1-10.
    I suspect for some of us, the pain gets into those high ranges and requires a kind of pure mental strength in allowing them to be there.. that is simply hard to hone.
    But I do believe it can be done.... and I suspect you'll see some great responses to this thread.

    I will say, check out Katelyn Michaels podcast. She has a few podcasts specficially on this topic, and there are some very good concepts within.

    And of course, Tolle and Kabat-Zin have some great videos/reading on these subjects. Some free ones on Youtube.

    I know how you feel. I'm in the same boat at times. However, keep your mind open to the notion that you can definitely lose all fear.
    I truly believe it is possible for all of us.
     
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    The first time I got on a 6 story scaffold, my knees were literally shaking. I hugged the planks and was afraid to even sit upright. I couldn't imagine having to stand on it to do my work, which I needed to do to support my family....anxiety on top of fear.
    A Month later, when I trusted the scaffold, they added 3 more courses and I gleefully (and carefully) skipped around it and was really enjoying the breeze and the sunshine. I remembered the first day and was astonished at how fast fear melts when we meet it with sound reasonable thoughts and courage. Courage doesn't mean no fear. It means being afraid and doing it anyways. Otherwise, what would we need courage for?

    Experience. Every person who has TMS goes through a period of doubt and fear..."But what if...? But what about....?". All of us think we are special, unique, the exception , etc..... because the only frame of reference we have is our own discomfort. The good Dr. thought that fear was as important in the process as the pain. That is why all of our recovery strategies have something to do with changing our focus. Also, once the TMS diagnosis is made, Sarno said "Whenever someone is afraid of the symptoms they were really afraid of something buried "down there". (paraphrased from HBP)
    Thus the necessity for a little psychological assistance.

    Sarno was a medical guy and kept his work 'pure' but as a fellow former sufferer and FEAR burner, I can assure you that it is also Vastly abated by addressing your spiritual as well as mental life. My own very biased field work. 100% anecdotal but I am also 100% recovered and I was just as much a nervous nancy as anyone on this forum has ever been. When you are connected to something much larger than yourself, who or what could possibly scare you?

    In that respect, your pain and fear (and Sarno's work) turn you in a great direction that will not only heal you but make your recovered life vastly more beautiful that it was before..
     
  4. LaughingKat

    LaughingKat Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much to @BinLA and @Baseball65 for the responses. I am always moved by the generosity and empathy of the forum members.

    @BinLA, I'm going to check Katelyn Michaels podcast. I have always felt that I could progress so much if I could check in with someone, a doctor or a therapist I trusted, every single day. I actually think this would be a most humane approach to helping TMS sufferers, a kind of coach who would help you believe until you could do it on your own, but the reality of 21st century life doesn't seem to allow for this. But podcasts could be the next best thing.

    @Baseball65, I've had the intuition, throughout this journey, that finding some kind of meaningful spiritual base would be healing for me. Unfortunately, a religious upbringing is a big part of my childhood trauma, and the idea of God or the divine is really caught up in my psyche with punishment and judgment, because that's what I was taught repeatedly as a child. I'm going to keep searching because yes, a belief and trust in some universal spirit or force is what I need to overcome my doubt and fear.
     
  5. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Separate the fear from the symptoms. Your brain is attaching the two to distract you. It is only the fear you have to deal with, see what that is about without attaching it to anything physical.
     
    Pietro Carloni and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. LaughingKat

    LaughingKat Peer Supporter

    birdsetfree likes this.
  7. SRcombs

    SRcombs Peer Supporter

    You said you recently stopped taking and SSRI. Did you stop cold turkey or did you wean off? If you cold turkeyed it, it could be part of the problem. SSRI's can really do a number on you if you don't taper them correctly. Believe me, I know. I cold turkeyed Zoloft a few years ago and I literally thought I was losing my mind for several week until I found how to taper correctly.
     
  8. LaughingKat

    LaughingKat Peer Supporter

    It's interesting, @SRcombs. My foot numbness and panic disorder is longstanding but I didn't start having neck tension and headaches until I cut my dose of Celexa. I didn't cold turkey (yikes, that must have been so rough) but I didn't do a slow taper either. I took my last dose on April 1 though, so I would think I'd be over any withdrawal effects by now...? But my psychiatrist says, even if the headaches are from stopping the SSRI, I can't really do anything about them.
     
    SRcombs likes this.

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