I've been so happy to have reduced my pain so significantly that I've recently told people about my TMS diagnosis and Dr. Sarno's books, especially the book, Healing Back Pain that led me to this awareness. In the past few months I've had a number of people tell me all about their pain, usually back pain. These are intelligent, kind, receptive individuals (or so I thought) who know me as a person and I would say respect my opinion. As soon as I told one guy, Michael, about TMS - I heard a litany about his "fluid on his shoulder and hip joints", and yet he was in such pain as he told me this. He then proceeded to tell me about his dryer dying and his inability to pay for a new dryer....hmmmm I thought to myself. Okay, so then another gentleman I know who has suffered for many years with back pain. I told him about TMS and Dr. Sarno's book. The response that I received was, "I don't have back pain" and then he diverted the conversation away. My husband was in shock because this guy has complained about his back since we've known him (maybe 7 years or so) and he has been on painkillers and other meds. which he himself told us about. He is an intellectually brilliant person who is curious and respects what I have to share. Okay, so this was shock #2 for me. My own family members have pain that manifests in areas that are covered in Dr. Sarno's book, The Divided Mind. Again, no go Shock #3. Just so you know, I am a very diplomatic person, so I am not going up to people and blurting out that they have psycho-somatic illness and their pain is not real. Quite the contrary. My husband laughed with me about the last gentleman, saying to me that he knows that the reaction is not about how I deliver the message given that my husband thinks I'm the most diplomatic and compassionate person he knows and he witnessed the reaction. So, I think I'm starting to understand more about how physicians who treat TMS must feel. The resistance to this possibility is fierce! My motive to tell each person was to be of assistance in helping them to get out of their pain. Now I must be careful and not get MAD at them for negating TMS as even a remote option for their healing. There is the concept of "free will" and it is up to each person to decide for themselves what is true. These individuals saw me when I was in excruciating pain, unable to walk for weeks and with only a cane once I started to mend. Now they see me walking around town, enjoying myself without pain. Question for both practitioners and TMS'ers on this web site: Is the possibility of being labeled with a psychological illness of any kind so frightening in itself that one would consciously prefer to be in excruciating physical pain? Is it possible that TMS develops for this very reason? I can admit that I too did not believe that repressed emotional issues can bring on such excruciating physical pain (about 10 years ago). So, do we have to get to the point of such intense pain that we finally surrender and stop resisting the TMS diagnosis? Is the TMS personality so perfectionistic that one needs to deny any perceived "fault" or "failure?" and that fault or weakness is having serious emotional tension or stress or psychological pain? And finally, I suppose that society's focus is so much on the physical that, if we were all to be aware of the psychological and stop going to Dr's for psychosomatic illness, well - I suppose there would be much fewer ill people. Economically, it's as if the system needs us to be ill. Just some thoughts. My intention is not to offend anyone so please know that I am just curious about what reactions you've received. I was wondering if any of you out there have experienced the same intense resistance to the TMS diagnosis, even from friends and family members who understand who you are and know that you sincerely want them to heal. I guess I was taken aback since this has happened every time I've told someone how I healed from my back pain. I've only told about 5 persons in all, but the "societal shame" or whatever attached to psychological illness may be the source of the resistance. I just don't know, but that is my theory at this time. What do others here think? Maybe our culture is creating this epidemic of pain... Any feedback?