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Importance of having TMS diagnosis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Having a Word With Myself, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Hi All,

    Before I launch into my wee story, I want to thank everyone on here for their input. Just reading through this forum alone is really good therapy.

    I am on day 16 of the S.E.P. I have sciatica pain which started as mildly irritating and has gradually gotten worse. I was referred to physiotherapy about a year ago. They thought it was very likely that I had a bulging disc and I either had to put up with my sciatica or look at an MRI / surgery as symptoms did not improve with physio.

    Ever since then it has gradually worsened. There have been 2 occasions where it noticeably worsened and I can relate these to stressful happenings in my life.

    3 months ago I decided to give acupuncture a try. The TCM acupuncturist told me she thought it was unlikely that it was a disc issue but that I needed to stop my hillwalking and hiking for now. I did as she said. It got worse. Next I decided to take time off work to try and “heal” and again it got worse. During this time I read Healing Back Pain and discovered this site (which I am so grateful for).

    I am now suffering from anxiety, I am crying a lot and the pain and the fear of it is now stopping me from doing many simple things that I used to enjoy. I would never be able to obtain an official diagnosis of TMS as there are no TMS professionals in my country. I have noted patterns that do point to TMS including the pain shifting. It has always been just the left side but since last week I've had occasional sharp pain and throbbing in my right leg as well.

    Has anyone here been able to prove to themselves that it is definitively TMS without an official diagnosis or any medical intervention?

    Thanks for reading through what it undoubtedly (for some of you) yet another sob story.

    Sheena.
     
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sheena,

    Firstly, welcome to the Forum, I'm glad you've joined us.

    Most TMS Dr's and Practioners always work to the rule that you should get checked out by a medical Dr to ensure there is no underlying cause for your pain. Once this has been ruled out, it's up to the individual to decide whether or not they wish to pay to see a therapist. Some have and some haven't, but quite often it's been useful as it eliminates doubt, uncertainty and fear. It's always nice to have confirmation from a specialist.

    That said, while you are working through the SEP, I would most certainly keep an evidence sheet and track your pain and try and think "psychologically", rather than on the pain itself.

    Last but not least, I would try and incorporate some deep breathing or meditation into your life, particularly when you are feeling anxious. It definitely helps quieten the mind.

    Oh, on another note, there is a FREE Mindfulness Meditation Summit in October with approximately 30 guest speakers discussing meditation and mindfulness. I would definitely encourage you to subscribe to the event.

    Good luck and bless
     
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sheena, and welcome.
    Mike has given you the official and careful answer which is that you should rule out a serious condition first, which you can do via traditional medical practitioners (including your acupuncturist).

    It's definitely not necessary to be diagnosed by a TMS practitioner. I was not, and I never felt any need to see one, because regular and alternative practitioners couldn't find anything wrong. When I read The Divided Mind, I was 100% on board with all of my symptoms being TMS, and I've never looked back. That was four years ago, and I'm typically 90% better most of the time. Due to lifelong anxiety, I may never be at 100%, but I'm okay with that, the anxiety is almost non-existent and I don't fear symptoms when they happen.

    Back to you: it sounds like you have seen traditional and non-traditional doctors who aren't overly concerned by your disc, so you have two questions you need to ask yourself:

    Question 1. Could you hurt yourself by assuming it's TMS and pursuing a psychological source for your pain? If no one is advising that you need immediate treatment of some sort, the answer is probably "no" because assuming it's TMS doesn't involve any kind of treatment. All you have to do is change your mind, and allow for some time to pass.

    Question 2. Changing your mind brings us to the second question: How strong is your belief in your TMS self-diagnosis? If it's not 100%, then sadly your chances of recovery are not good. I hear a lot of doubt, so although you are on Day 16 of the SEP, I wonder how much it can do if you're not really on board with the belief.

    I might suggest that you stop doing the SEP for the moment, and do one of the following:

    1. Join the Mindfulness Summit which starts this week on October 1 (the registration link is in my signature line below)
    2. Read Hope & Help For Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes (this book has helped many of us with anxiety)
    3. Check out Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program before going back to the SEP. It incorporates more concepts of self-love and learning to listen to your negative self-talk.

    Good luck, and let us know how you're doing.
     
  4. Thank you Jan and Mike for your replies.

    Jan - I think you get where I am coming from. I have already gone through the Recovery Program. I have looked up Claire Weekes (off the back of a YouTube clip someone here posted about her), will consider the book. I have just signed up for the mindfulness summit (thanks for the link).

    I have bitten the bullet and arranged to see a Dr. I will probably never be 100% on TMS unless I can completely rule things out. So, as much as I w0uld prefer to see results from my own self-work that would convince me that it is psychological in nature, I may need assistance to ease my anxiety and or an MRI to aid with this before I will have any consistent results.

    I will lay off the SEP for now as you suggest, but I will continue with some of the strategies and tips I have learned from this site, such as clean thinking. When I become fearful I now hear the Beach Boys in my head as one of the Clean Thinking suggestions was to change your thoughts from fearful "what ifs" to "Wouldn't it be nice if......". This triggers the song in my head which alone instantly cheers me up a little. Glad to have a nice new habit.

    I've just looked at your story Jan (I know it's public information but strangely it still feels like prying.....) and I will take a look at your recommendations for dealing with anxiety.

    Thanks for all the information, help and support folks.
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Wouldn't it be nice..." :headphone:
    Now I've got it in my head, which is a huge improvement over some of the others that have been stuck there lately:D
     
    mike2014 likes this.

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