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Is TMS contagious?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by veronica73, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    ...I'm kind of kidding, but mostly not.

    Since I learned about TMS and working on it in January, I've noticed my boyfriend, who I live with, is having more TMS-like stuff (mostly back pain). Today he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with some unusual migraine disorder. He came home with the same pills my neurologist had given me in the fall (which did nothing for me). I think I just started really freaking out inside--that I'm somehow making him sick by talking about all of this mindbody stuff, that I'm going to have to listen to him being in pain and it's going to trigger pain in me, that he's going to be in tons of pain and I'm not going to be able to help him, etc.

    He knows all about how I've done with TMS and feels that was probably the right diagnosis for me (I saw a TMS doctor after seeing a neurologist, pcp, pt, etc.) but that none of his stuff is that.

    He's less of an obsesser than me (not that that's saying much :) ) so hopefully this won't hang out in him the way my pain did with me.

    I know I'm being kind of mental about all this and that I am not really to blame but I just needed to vent.
  2. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    I think its all about the fear factor in this.. weird thing I noticed in people at work is that they didn't even notice they were in pain until I asked them questions about it. Some people are very analytical and others are able to block out things and not focus on them. Its possible by you talking about your pain that he started thinking about his own and worrying that possibly he could be suffering as well.. when you draw attention to it thats when the fear begins.
  3. Steve

    Steve New Member

  4. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I say it is. DH went to the doctor three times and was given three courses of anti-biotics for a skin condition recently. Suddenly I developed the exact same skin condition! The difference was I avoided the doctor, the drugs and all the anxiety. It went away on its own in a very short time with no muss or fuss. The mind is so powerful but the possibilities of harnessing it and using it to our advantage are exhilarating.
    Enrique likes this.
  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I feel strangely guilty about this. Obviously I'm not going to live in a cave for fear of infecting people with my feelings, but it does make me worried that how I feel might be hurting people around me.
    I guess this means I'm a goodist in addition to being a perfectionist? ;)
  6. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Other people will have to find their own way. We are on our own journey. The fear you feel about infecting people...they were most likely already infected before you got there. And fear of anything will keep us rooted to the same spot. If we lose the fear, we can move forward.

    It's natural for anyone with a caring nature to want to help others. One wise manager of mine once told me "you can only help those who want help and whom you have the ability to help." This became one of my mantras.
    Beach-Girl, Forest and veronica73 like this.
  7. Steve

    Steve New Member

    You are the master of your emotional states. You create them with what you focus on, how you communicate to yourself, your beliefs, how you use your body, etc. Commit to living in good emotional states and then you can start infecting others with those.
  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Thanks everyone. A lot of this is tied in with my fear of hurting other people. Steve, I think I pretty much always come across as very positive, often more positive than I actually feel. People will even comment on me being very positive and upbeat. I don't take credit for that, yet I was more than willing to take the blame for making someone else sick. Hmm...

    Another element here was just feeling upset about seeing my partner with a lot of the same meds, ice packs, etc. that I felt like I just "graduated" from. I think I just need to find a way to listen supportively without having his approach to pain make me doubt what I'm doing.
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Schubiner actually wrote an article along these lines called Mind Body Syndrome is Contagious. One of the best lines in is My body had chosen the sneezing as a reaction because it had heard the other story and “filed it away” for when it might be useful. I tend to think that if we see someone else with a chronic symptom we tend to think it is more severe, so when our mind creates it (even if it is mild), we start focusing on it and think that we also have a serious problem even when it is just TMS.

    The rest of Schubiner's post is below. Dr. Schubiner has given us permission to repost all of his blog articles.


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  10. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    I think there's the "caring component" going on here too. You care for each other, you've been talking about how much you've learned and how much better you feel. He may have taken this on himself. Yours is gone - so it needs to go somewhere. Plus he could have heard all your deep dark secrets, saw how you improved and bam! He got your symptoms.

    Just an off the wall theory, but maybe there is some truth to it.

  11. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I hope I didn't pass on the pain...but it wouldn't surprise me if this kind of thing happens. I remember getting really angry a lot with my old roommate and a therapist friend commented that my roommate seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't allow himself to express anger at all and so I was expressing it for him. Hmm.

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