1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Derek S. Is Depression a TMS Equivalent?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Ellen, Jun 2, 2014.

Tags:
  1. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

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

    Question
    Is depression a TMS equivalent, and if so, is the treatment protocol the same as for TMS pain?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2014
    Forest likes this.
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi Ellen,

    Thank you for your post. You ask a very good question which, in my opinion, raises a very important issue. TMS is often associated with anxiety but is less commonly linked to depression. Your question provides us the opportunity to explore the different symptoms that appear as a result of painful or intolerable unconscious emotions.

    Depression is a defense mechanism, just like mind-body pain. The basic gist of the idea is that when unconscious feelings arise, the brain employs defense mechanisms to protect you from these emotions which it identifies as a threat. Depression is not an "emotion" but rather a cognitive/physiological shutdown response that prevents you from connecting with your authentic emotions. Feeling genuine anger, sadness, or shame is MUCH less uncomfortable than being in a state of either depression or physical pain but the primitive brain doesn't know that. It just senses something which it perceives as a threat and defends against it.

    You may be asking yourself right now "Thanks for that detailed lesson in psychobabble, Derek. Now what can I actually DO about it?"

    When either depression or mind-body pain are present, there is a good chance that your brain is blocking a feeling (or feelings) that it deems intolerable. Remind yourself during these times that there is something going on emotionally with you and make it a priority to be kind and patient with yourself, practice mindfulness, and create space for these elusive feelings.

    Now "feeling your feelings" is not always the easiest thing to do. I would recommend reading and listening to the "Address Repression" section of Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program. This will provide you a with a template for working toward accessing unconscious emotions. The 2nd edition of Howard Schubiner's book Unlearn Your Pain has a chapter on ISTDP (Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy) that provides good guidance along with transcripts of actual consultations.

    I understand that trying to access your feelings can be extremely frustrating for some. Sometimes you don't have the tools to access feelings that you don't even know you have. This is where a psychotherapist can be a tremendous resource in your recovery process.

    If you are reading this, you have already acknowledged that your pain (or other symptoms) are psychologically generated which is half the battle.
    The road to recovery from TMS can be bumpy but don't get discouraged. You have the capacity to change this pattern, whether it be on your own or with the help of a therapist.

    Best of luck in your recovery!

    Derek Sapico


    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.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2014
    honey badger, JoeB1, Shirley and 2 others like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, about depression being a symptom of TMS,

    Steve Ozanich says in his terrific TMS book, The Great Pain Deception:

    "Anxiety and depression are folds of the same person, anxiety being the lighter side of anger,
    and depression the darker side. Depression is the absence of light, the opposing state of vitality.
    The individual sees only the bad -- eventually giving up on his anxious attempts to see any light at all.
    His light has burned out from anxiety -- he falls prey to darkness. If the darkness is black enough for
    long enough, irrational thinking enters... ego begins to despise superego.

    "Deep depression is not always rational. In fact, people who seem to have everything have a very high rate
    of depression, because purpose fades when motivation ends. They find that money and material thing
    do not bring happiness. Once obtained (money and material things) it no longer excites them.
    Depressed people need purpose, a sense of connectivity, to bring back that flicker of light... a motivation.

    "TMS knowledge gives hope for a brighter tomorrow. The pain will leave, if you believe."

    Steve might have been writing about Tom, my best friend. He was the wealthiest person I ever knew,
    but probably the unhappiest. He was depressed all the time, and I think a main reason was he did not
    discover a real purpose in his life. He loved photography and was offered an internship to study at the
    National Geographic but turned it down because he didn't want to be away from his girlfriend, whom he
    later married. I think he always regretted not following his photographic ambitions. He settled for jobs that
    never made him happy, and drank a bottle of wine every night to put himself into a stupor and fall asleep.
    What a waste of a life that had high potential.
     
    tgirl, Bodhigirl and Anne Walker like this.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Derek. The information is helpful and I appreciate your taking the time to respond.
     
    Derek Sapico MFT likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for the information, Walt. Steve O always has lots of good insight and advice.
     
  6. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    My pleasure, Ellen.

    -Derek
     
  7. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I have been depressed most of my adult life until I participated in the TMSwiki program. I had such shame. I kept thinking I am an intelligent person. Why can't I figure this out. Years ago I read that depression was anger turned inwards but I could never figure out how to get it out.

    I can specifically tie the floating in of the dark cloud to the personality traits. Now if I start to feel the heaviness in my head I know it is tied to perfectionism, feeling I have disappointed someone, anger and fear of rejection. For the first time in my life I am not depressed.....wahooo. I have the tools to work it out of my head and the pain out of my body.
     
    Anne Walker and Ellen like this.
  8. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    As a little girl I so needed my Mother to love me. I watched every breath she took, every shrug, heard every sigh, listened for a positive tone of voice or heard the unhappy tone. I developed a great power of observation and listening for unhappiness and disappointment which when observed was interrupted by me as my failure. The Dark Cloud floats into my head when I see my failure observed in their body language. But now I can push it away.

    And I know now that my interpretation has been wrong. They may be thinking about their own short comings or pain in theit life. Even if it is disappointment in me I now have the tools to disconnect the disappointment from depression and pain. I work at it all the time.
     
    Maribel, Bodhigirl and Anne Walker like this.
  9. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

  10. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Walt, you beloved grand eagle, you wrote, "Depressed people need purpose, a sense of connectivity, to bring back that flicker of light... a motivation."

    I have been so sad and unable to distinguish between depression and the grief that I feel. I want my season of grief to be over and it's not. Between old dog and best girlfriend dying last fall and retiring my horse to pasture last week I am just bowled over. I meditate and cry, I speak to people and I cry. I feel connected and remember I have a purpose, many purposes. When I feel the depression and grief, it's as if the aperture of my 'camera' narrows and doesn't let in light. My puppy and her sister may get in for a bit but the wave of apathy, ache of loss and attendant dramatic feelings are exhausting.

    I am whupped. ...and then there is "May gray" in my neighborhood, socked in my late night and early morning fog that oftentimes doesn't burn off till JULY. No kidding.

    I know that struggling to rush the process doesn't help, any more than I can melt the fog of the season. I am reminded by the people older and wiser that I need to give this series of losses all the space they need to complete their cycle without harsh judgement or self-hatred from me. I am keeping my actions as pure and consistent as I can in the midst of it.

    I have purposes whether they feel meaningful or not. I am service all over the place and it is no fix for loss. I guess it's not supposed to be but I want so much to be done these days.

    Thank you.

    bg
     
    plum likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. Depression is often a symptom of TMS emotional pain. Whatever emotion we are repressing, or our perfectionist and goodist personality, can cause us to feel depressed.

    But take hope. I am confident that your feelings of depression will leave you when you discover what is troubling you.

    Are you taking the Structured Emotional Program? It is free in the subforum of this web site and helps us to discover our repressed emotions or how to deal with our personality... not to change ourselves drastically but to moddify our perfectionism or goodism.

    You have come to the right place to heal and be happier.
     
  12. CandyLu

    CandyLu New Member

    This has been helpful for me as well. I have dealt with depression since childhood. Ty
    Candy
     
  13. lavendertealatte

    lavendertealatte Peer Supporter

    Glad to see this being addressed. Have developed depression in recent years. Am treating with anti-depressant medication, which was effective to curb the worst of it, but weaning off has proved difficult and is preventing me from getting pregnant safely (according to my standards).
     
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  14. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    As a little girl I so needed my Mother to love me. I watched every breath she took, every shrug, heard every sigh, listened for a positive tone of voice or heard the unhappy tone. I developed a great power of observation and listening for unhappiness and disappointment - I am really good at this!!!

    For me its feeling that I am a failure - failure at what - making, keeping my mother happy
    She wasn't unkind to me. I was just simply not in the picture!
     
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  15. lavendertealatte

    lavendertealatte Peer Supporter

    Wow Stella, what a story. I don't know where to begin. Do most people here do a recovery program? Seems there are quite a few.
     
  16. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I so understand this feeling. I was not abused... I was simply and completely misunderstood. And struggled not to be invisible. To be even a hero.
    My worst symptoms began at age 18... I believe I saved my parents marriage by nearly dying.

    Through adulthood and in recovery we were able to clarify and communicate. My mom admitted she just never got me. I was so different than anyone she had ever known... I made her very anxious with my creativity. My tomboy athletics.
    Today's soccer moms would have gotten me, perhaps. We didn't have those when I was little.
    Thank you for your words. They touched me and brought back some important memories.
     
  17. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    I am also creative, and football and karate weren't sport my mum appreciated -being a 'nice lady' is very important for her!

    A good friend with who I chat a lot about my family said that she thinks my mum could have had post natal depression which would explain why we never bonded!
     
  18. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    My parents use to play triangulation - my father would complain to me about my mother, and my mother would complain to me about my father - which is the perfect way to relieve stress and not resolve the problem.

    My life got better when I finally told them that they were adults and should solve their own problems by talking to each other.
     
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  19. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Saying that you saved their marriage is taking to much responsibility for the relationship of two adults!!!
     
  20. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Ha. I was their responsible child. Their hero. They said my illness caused them to set aside their differences and make the family a little healthier. A good reason for symptoms, in my opinion. Relieved the tension in the whole family system.
     

Share This Page