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job dissatisfaction and worsening symptoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Mike1601, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Mike1601

    Mike1601 New Member

    I have contemplated a career change now for several years but have been 'hanging in there' because I haven't been able to make a decision about my next career path. I have a professional degree in health care but have never really been content with my work. My symptoms (pain, panic/anxiety) are by far the worst while I'm at work and there is a clear neural pathway or pattern of my symptoms and my work.

    Since I have been doing more of the 'work' (i.e. reading, journaling, etc) related to TMS, I have become more self aware and paying closer attention to my feelings and thoughts has caused me to notice that my inner child is really angry, annoyed and irritated about not liking my work. I know that I'm going to have to make a decision at some point about my path. However, I was advised that maybe my symptoms would not improve even if I did choose a different line of work. I'm just wondering if anyone on the forum has faced similar circumstances and looking for general thoughts about job issues and TMS. Thanks.
  2. bur

    bur New Member

    I have. But I did not know TMS was involved at the time.

    Changing careers is not an be all end all solution to TMS. I have changed careers and it did not cure me.

    That said, I do think that staying in a job you resent is really toxic. Been there, done that for 12 years. The TMS symptoms I had before got worse and I developed new ones to boot. I felt trapped though and I did not know what I wanted to do instead.

    Changing careers to a job I love has been the best decision I could have made. I am a teacher now, which by no means is a less stressful job than I had before. But it makes me happy. People often comment that I radiate happiness when I talk about it.

    There is still plenty of stress though. Changing careers did not cure me. I still had the same symptoms I had before. They were somewhat better, but I was by no means cured. That does makes sense to me. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. So if you've never learned to adequately deal with stress (as I had not) you take that aspect with you as well (as I did). There is going to be stress in any career.

    In the years since I changed careers I have found that my symptoms (which I now know are TMS) interfered with the joy I felt at work. I sometimes forget for a period of time that this is a job I truly enjoy.

    Everything considering I still think that it is very important to choose a job that makes you happy. I think it gives you the best shot at finally curing your TMS even though it may not be a cure in itself.

    I hope my story is of some help to you.
    Lizzy likes this.
  3. Mike1601

    Mike1601 New Member

    Hello bur,

    Thank you very much for your insightful post. Your story makes sense to me. I'm currently going through the TMS recovery forum by Alan Gordon here on the website and it appears that a large part of the focus has to do with somatic tracking and facing our fears that is then causing pain or other symptoms. In one respect, I feel that if I change careers I would by trying to run away from the fear/anxiety that my work is causing me. However, I have also felt on the flip side that if I'm doing something that I really love to do, those neural pathways are still 'there' and need to be dealt with but may become easier to deal with since I would be in an environment that I may be able to cope with the symptoms better to the point that will promote healing.
    Lizzy likes this.
  4. bur

    bur New Member

    Both perspectives are true Mike. You are running from fear (as was I). In a way that is useless, because you take yourself with you. The other perspective is true as well though. Why force yourself to do it the hard way and play the "game" of face-your-fears at a really advanced level when you are first learning to play the game?
    When you learn a new sport you don't start competing at the Olympics right away either. You first have to learn the rules and how it works. As you practice, you become better at it and can compete in more challenging environments with confidence.
    Lizzy likes this.
  5. Mike1601

    Mike1601 New Member

    Yes! That is exactly what I feel like! Thanks for your insight and thoughtful posts.
    bur likes this.
  6. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    One of the things Dr Sarno wrote about is inner conflict. Leaving a job you don't want to be at may not be running away, but instead relieving that conflict. If you are what some call a TMSer, then you will still need to learn about self soothing, pain pathways, knowledge penicillin etc, otherwise you will continue to have symptoms. So, I'm not saying a new job will cure you, but it won't set you back, and it may help.

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