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I am new and not sure how to proceed

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Dida8349, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Dida8349

    Dida8349 Peer Supporter


    I am coming here to introduce myself and ask for your advice.

    I am in my early 40s and have been disabled by for the last 7 years.

    I have many symptoms and several diagnoses:

    - bladder pain, burning urine, nocturia, pain during sex (diagnosis: interstitial cystitis. Symptoms worse after an invasive diagnostic cystoscopy with hydrodistention and biopsy in 2009)

    - tinnitus (since I was 11 years old, worse after an acoustic trauma caused by a super-loud audiological exam in 2011!)

    - hyperacusis ( sound sensitivity caused by the same audiological exam where 130 dB were pumped in my ears)

    - joint pains (diagnosis: chondromalacia patellaea, problems started after being squashed under the weight of my exboyfriend!)

    - irritable bowel syndrome (I am thin but bloat and look like a pregnant woman)

    - daily chronic headache (offset by a concussion in 2017, in a bike accident)

    - night sweats (on and off)

    - insomnia (due to tinnitus-related anxiety, night peeing and extreme sound sensitivity)

    - chronic fatigue (due to my insomnia and constant symptom-related anxiety)

    - anxiety and depression (obvious reasons, see above)

    - I turn any little injury into a new chronic pain issue and react with prolonged pain (and further psychological trauma) to most treatments, however gentle (massage, osteopath, etc)!

    Basically, I'm a mess.

    I have run out patience with doctors who have never helped me and, as you can tell from my story, have contributed majorly to my problems. I only mentioned two of the "medical accidents" but there were many more. I am traumatized by my experience with "public health" doctors and financially broke after seeing the private ones, being sick for such a long time and having spent all my money on supplements, diets, and treatments which haven't worked. I am also sick and tired of extremely restrictive diets which might have made me weaker, not healthier. (I've been moving between vegan and raw vegan diet for almost 10 years!)

    At this point in time, having gone through over 20 years of illness and 10 years of disability, I really want to believe that I have TMS. I want to believe that I can cure myself without going to another doctor or alternative practitioner and spending another penny for stuff that's not gonna work. I also want to get back to eating like a normal human being! (meaning, have cheese, meat and eggs every now and then .. )

    I want to believe TMS in relation to my symptoms so much but FEAR has always dominated me and it doesn't stop doing so now. What if mine is not TMS but something like Lyme or Fibromylagia. Or, worse still, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis in the making?

    I was a HYPOCHONDRIAC, suffering from health anxiety, years before becoming officially ill. I know for sure that my illness-dreading mind has weakened my body and made it susceptible to getting sick. It has also driven me to many doctors (and charlatans) and thus upped my risk of getting hurt by them.

    Mine is clearly a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. I feared illness so I brought it on me. In the same way, I now fear that this mind of mine is going to boycott my desire to get better. It has always done so. Why should it stop doing it now?

    But doesn't this kind of thinking make me the typical angst-ridden TMS patient?

    I have a history of depression and anxiety and my emotional fragility has always played into my physical health. A number of times, in relation to my digestive issues and back pain, I heard doctors say "it's just stress" or "functional disorder". Back in the day, I translated this as "nothing to worry about". Obviously, I should have worried about the underlying causes of so much physical distress but I never really did. It was the physical issues which worried me. With reassurance from the doctor, that fear dissipated for a while until a new problem presented itself and stole all my attention.

    There was always something.

    Last but not least, as a University student, 20 years ago, I suffered from an eating disorder and also vaginismus .. all because of unresolved stress and low-esteem issues ... Luckily, or unluckily, both problems resolved themselves without me really digging deep into the reasons for getting these issues in the first place.

    To address the possibility of a mind-body process at work, I have tried psychotherapy but it didn't help. As for journaling, I have always written lots. Tons. I am a graphomaniac. That's another cause of my concern: isn't TMS a condition that usually strikes people who tend to repress their emotions and not have outlets for them?

    I am a very emotional and expressive person (as you can probably tell from this super-long intro). I don't hold back - I can't. Psychologically, I fit a profile of a "hysterical" or "borderline" person, someone who really can't manage their emotions. They burst out of me, physically and verbally. Does that make me un unlikely TMS patient (who is typically unaware of their feelings)?

    Please illuminate me. Give me hope. And tell me who to turn to. I live in Europe. I move between various countries. I am happy to do the work but I think I need some (affordable) real-life support that is specific to me.
    Idearealist and Balsa11 like this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dida,

    Yes, to confirm, your description and profile sound like TMS and TMS equivalents. We cannot diagnose here, but can point you to resources, including the Wiki with practitioners listed, and the large bank of Success Stories.

    Your myriad of symptoms, feedback from physicians that some were stress related, your anxious personality ---all support a TMS diagnosis.

    This is not a concern in helping you self-diagnose. Many people have TMS who are acutely aware of their emotional states.

    Read success stories, especially ones with many symptoms experienced! Many many people in your situation have gotten better.

    Fibromyalgia is a form of TMS. Lyme typically presents with fever and joint aches, and is treatable.

    Journaling and psychotherapy are not treatments for TMS per se. They can be used within your (growing) framework of understanding. I did much inner work and was struck down by TMS. It was only by understanding and applying Dr. Sarno's work that I got better. So don't let your past experience with different modalities discourage you. Apply your journaling to Dr. Sarno's work. Connect all the material you journal about to his theory: "I feel __________, and this explains why my symptom of _________________ is arising right now." "I just had this experience, and my Inner Child probably feels ____________. How are my symptoms connected to what I am seeing?" Something like this.

    If you can find affordable psychotherapy and educate the psychotherapist about your goals and TMS, this may be a very viable route for you. Many have succeeded with this approach.

    In short, you are here, you're unsure if you'll get better, and this is natural! Don't let the fears run you. Try to develop confidence in your own treatment. Make this very personal to you, your life. Read Dr. Sarno's work in depth, and start the Structured Education Program or Alan's latest program, and dig in~!

    Andy B
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Free of Fear likes this.
  4. sery92

    sery92 New Member

    Hello Dida, I am new on this forum too and I just wanted to encourage you to try follow this healing path and have hope. I can only say I understand your feelings because I am also struggling with "lady parts pain": I know what it means having your life and intimacy ruined by stuff like burning urine or dyspareunia. And I know what does it mean to become anxious and depressed because the symptoms won't go away.
    By the way, since I learnt about TMS, I have made some significant progress and, even though the pain keeps coming back, there were days when I almost had zero pain. So please, don't give up.

    I think an important issue to deal with is the relationship we have with our mind. You said "In the same way, I now fear that this mind of mine is going to boycott my desire to get better. It has always done so. Why should it stop doing it now?". Well, maybe our mind is giving us pain because we need it. Pain comes to tell us that there's something to be fixed. Maybe not in our body, but in our psyche. So maybe we have to stop fighting it and embrace it, try to accept and listen to what it's trying to tell us, shifting the focus from physical reasons to psychological ones. Don't hate your mind for giving you TMS: surely this pain has a reason and once we'll be healed, we'll be better and happier both inside and outside.

    Wish you success and good health.
    Balsa11 and Dida8349 like this.
  5. Dida8349

    Dida8349 Peer Supporter

    Thank you very much, Andy, for your reply. That's most helpful. And I love the success story (and the whole thread that follows.) I feel encouraged and ready to get into this.

    One more question: is there any explanation why one person develops TMS and another one (with similar issues) doesn't? What creates the perfect breeding ground for TMS? The question popped up in my mind whilst watching a documentary about a woman dealing with the suicide of her sister ("32 pills" It's on Youtube). She comes from a very dysfunctional family, has an alcohol problem and her sister had a Borderline personality disorder and depression which led to her suicide ... There were unresolved traumas all around and yet no chronic pain or chronic illness (apart from addictions and emotional disorder) in either of the two sisters .. Most people I know have repressed emotions and traumas in their past ... but most of them are not sick in the way as I am.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    No certain answers to this question. Obviously it matters little to each of us personally, in that we have what we have, and answer the challenge to move forward.

    Here, perhaps is part of your answer. The stress manefests its way in different forms.

    Another factor, as I guess you know is our personality. It isn't just what happens to us, it is the way we work with it inside.
    Balsa11 and Dida8349 like this.
  7. Dida8349

    Dida8349 Peer Supporter

    Just wanted to thank you for your kind words and support. Much love, D.
  8. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Reading @plum 's posts would be really insightful.
    plum likes this.
  9. emporeon027

    emporeon027 Peer Supporter

    same, how are you to day? has any symptom gone or getting better?
  10. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Got rid of a bunch of symptoms but still have some. Making more progress anxiety wise. Things are slightly different for each person but anxiety/depression/trauma are often the common thread here.
  11. emporeon027

    emporeon027 Peer Supporter

    in my case anxiety, tinnitys (the last month) and a little hand pain and some times upper back but just little, the rest its really fine.
  12. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    You can just release tension on the spot and go back to living your life. If it's mild it's easier to practice:)

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