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How to deal with the pain and anxiety

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Erik1971, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Erik1971

    Erik1971 New Member


    I am in desperate need of some moral support. It all started 2 years ago when I developed muscle twitching, tinnitus and insomnia after a stressful period when I became part time entrepreneur alongside an already demanding day job. Unfortunately the entrepreneurship didn't work out and by the end of last year I had was burnt out. While the initial symptoms were still there, I also developed painful muscle cramps and nerve pain that haunt me up until this very day. It has caused me great anxiety and stress and while I am almost working full time again, the pain, stress and anxiety have gotten me to a point where I am always, tired, depressed with an obsessive focus on my symptoms. I am working with a psychologist, taking anti-depressants to combat the anxiety and have done a course of mindfulness. I am also writing a daily journal to keep track of my emotions.
    Although the mindfulness exercises have helped a bit, I am wondering if there any mindfulness exercises that people on the forum have had a lot of success with in dealing with the chronic pain and related stress and anxiety.

    Any suggestions would be very welcome as having these painful symptoms for almost a year now makes me very doubtful if they will ever go away ,and quite frankly I wouldn't know how to deal with a life where this will stick with me forever.

    I appreciate all your help and advice!

  2. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Hi Erik,

    Please know that you are most certainly not alone! That's one reason why this forum is sooooo beneficial. The symptoms you list are common for many of us.

    You mentioned a lot of approaches to your symptoms, but I didn't see you mention the SEP. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a wonderful tool for recovery. Just click on "Structured Educational Program" from the home page and start taking it day by day. You'll quickly learn about the importance of understanding and accepting TMS and feeling your feelings (which is different from tracking your feelings). You'll also read a lot about being kind and patient with yourself - those reminders have helped me a lot and are very important!

    As for mindfulness, many of us find that a helpful tool. Personally, I really like the TMS-related mindfulness information from Dr. Schubiner. He has both a great workbook - Unlearn Your Pain - and Web site with that information. I listen to his mindfulness sessions often and find them helpful.

    I also have anxiety, and find it interesting that you seem to list both anxiety and stress as results of your symptoms. I tend to think of them separately and that has helped with my understanding. I view stressors as triggers that cause more symptoms or cause them to intensify. What I learned from Dr. Schubiner and others, though, is that anxiety is a symptom - i.e., think of it as a pain equivalent. In other words, anxiety is another defensive reaction that "protects" us from feeling uncomfortable feelings.

    You are spot on when you mention the obsession with symptoms - that's familiar to us all - and it's critical to understand how to stop obsessing about your symptoms. Obsessing about symptoms is a form a fear and fuels the pain cycle. To recover, we all need to learn how to break the pain cycle. It is a journey!

    Please let me know if this helps, Sunny
  3. venice

    venice New Member

    H Erik

    I also really like the workbook Unlearn Your Pain by Dr Schubiner as Sunny mentioned. I read it last year and did most of the exercises. Specifically what helped me was the the "Reprogramming Symptoms". I was still having back pain and would say the following every day, several times a day:

    1. There is NOTHING seriously wrong
    2. The symptoms WILL subside soon
    3. This IS a learned pathway/Pattern
    4. (Tell your mind) You can STOP producing the symptoms

    I did this for several months. When I repeated these I really meant them. Sometimes I would also sometimes add colorful language. Once the back pain was under control (and I did this through reading Sarno's books, listening to other success stories on youtube, not being afraid to move, journaling and mindfulness- in that order), I then got anxiety- it was awful and scary. I used this specific exercise and would repeat for a minute or two until the anxiety would pass. I would also listen to a very peaceful song or hum it to soothe myself until the anxiety passed.

    Also, do some fun things! I hope this helps. It WILL get better.

    SunnyinFL likes this.

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