I am a 47-year old man and have lived in Los Angeles with my wife for twenty years. I am a happy person, friendly, and think I have a pretty good sense of humor. I was raised an only child in a small town on the East Coast. I had kind parents, a good education, and never really battled any major struggles -- health or otherwise. Life has always been pretty good. My TMS journey officially began in the summer of of 2014. I was working at a particularly stressful five-month job and I had a big presentation one Monday morning. During the weekend before that presentation, my ears began to ring but I didn’t really think much of it. On Monday morning, just before the presentation, I turned to my friend and said, “If I faint, I’m not joking. I’m really fainting.” I had never said words like this before in my life. It was the closest thing to what I imagined an anxiety attack must feel like. However, I got through the presentation and everything turned out fine...except the ringing in my ears persisted. When the job ended, I was unemployed -- and my body began to freak out. My ears would scream 24 hours a day and my skin would crawl with a “pins and needles” feeling all over my body. I was overwhelmed by these symptoms and consulted with my general physician. He gave me a pamphlet about tinnitus (ear ringing) with exercises about tipping my head upside down. Needless to say, it didn’t help. The next six months were pure hell. Every. Single. Night. I spent hours researching my symptoms on the Internet. Was it Lyme disease? Something to do with my thyroid gland? Cancer? Diabetes? I began to obsess about my symptoms every single second of the day. I was having nightly, hysterical breakdowns to my wife. When I’d go to a dinner with friends, I would leave the restaurant and burst into tears in the car. Eventually, I stopped having social plans altogether. I would just stay home with my wife. And even then, I would feel that TV shows were too upsetting. I would retreat to the bedroom and just read more and more about what this could possibly be that was happening to me. My body felt like it was being squeezed like a sponge. I was terrified, and eventually ended up sleeping in the guest room for months, waking up every single hour of the night. During those six months, I saw more doctors than I had in my entire lifetime combined. I saw a chiropractor who couldn’t really help, but referred me to a therapist. I saw that therapist for nine months, but she never really said what was wrong with me. She just said I was “going through a change.” She referred me to an acupuncturist who specialized in ear disorders. I saw him for months, multiple times per week. He told me that i had “Adrenal Fatigue” and that I should stop going to the gym and just rest. He prescribed various herbs and tinctures. I spent so much money, but never had relief. I went to an allergist. I had hearing tests. I went to an Ears, Nose and Throat Doctor. I went to another chiropractor. I went to another acupuncturist, who put me on a 30-day cleanse and prescribed numerous herbs -- and still no results. I went to a highly respected alternative medicine who tested me for everything under the sun, but he couldn’t find anything wrong with me -- but I still signed up for his twice-a-week Vitamin C drips. (I think it helped a little with my symptoms, but the placebo effect didn’t last long.) By February 2015, my health concerns were consuming my life. I spent every second of the day obsessing about my symptoms or trying to come up with a solution. I took time off from work. I spent my days alone, and would just wait for my wife to come home so I could have a good, hysterical cry with her. Finally, the outbursts became too much for both of us. After six months of trying to treat my symptoms using both holistic and traditional methods, I was advised to see a psychiatrist. I was given an anti-depressant and Xanax -- both of which helped somewhat with my symptoms. However, I was still left with this nagging ringing in my ears and a deep fear about what could be causing it. One night, after another terrible day, I called my brother-in-law who is a Navy Seal. I asked how they treated soldiers who had come home from war with PTSD -- because that’s how my symptoms felt. While my mind might have been at peace, my body always felt like it was bracing itself for a car accident, 24 hours a day. He told me a story about a non-military friend of his who had been so consumed with his various health symptoms that he eventually ended up in a wheelchair, but after my brother-in-law gave him a book to read, he eventually healed himself and was out of the chair. The book was “The Mind Body Prescription” by Dr. Sarno. I had run out of options, so of course I bought the book immediately and read it cover to cover in one night. The book resonated with me deeply. I related very much to the types of people profiled in the book -- perfectionists, people pleasers, easily agitated -- and that their pain manifested in strange ways. (I also had constant lower back pain for many years that no doctor was able ever to help.) I did more research and came across a speech on YouTube by Alan Gordon at the Pain Psychology Center in Beverly Hills. It really moved me -- so much, in fact, that I called his office immediately and spoke with him! I explained my symptoms and he put me in touch with a therapist in his office that he believed would really be the right person for me. He was right. In March 2015, I began seeing Daniel Lyman for weekly therapy sessions. Within the first five minutes he used the word “anxiety” to describe what was happening to me. After nine months of research and doctor's appointments, no one had ever used that word. Everyone was trying to eliminate the symptoms rather than the cause. It was an epiphany moment. Within ten minutes of meeting Daniel, I started to understand that my anxiety didn’t start in the summer of 2014 -- it had been building for years. (Looking back now, I can see it clearly. I had hysterical crying fits over parking tickets, extreme stress while on vacation, insane road rage, picking fights with my wife for the stupidest reasons). Right off the bat, Daniel gave me a metaphorical “toolbelt” of coping mechanisms -- yelling back at my inner bully, stopping the internal ruminating thoughts with a loud “No!”, being compassionate to myself, saying no to things I didn’t want to do. Probably the best advice I received from Daniel was to slow….things….down. I never thought of myself as an anxious person, but when I started to become more mindful, I noticed that my thoughts were all over the place -- from when I first woke up until it was time to go to sleep. I was stressed in the shower, fearful I’d be late. I was anxious in traffic about being late. I was anxious about all the simple chores I had to do when I got home. I lived in a constant state of obsessing about micro-anxieties. By slowing things down, I instantly felt so much better. Prior to meeting Daniel, my hope and faith had disappeared. At our first meeting together, I told him all that I had given up based on other doctor’s recommendations -- caffeine, sugar, social plans, working out, etc. etc. He looked at me and said, “You took away anything that was fun in your life.” I had never thought of it in this way before. Daniel told me he had numerous patients who had been in the same boat as me - and healed themselves by retraining their brains. For the first time, in a long time, I had faith that I would eventually get better. Within a month of seeing Daniel, I slowly began to acclimate back into my life. I returned to work. I slowly added social plans with my wife. With Daniel’s encouragement, I went back to the gym (a year after that acupuncturist told me I should stop because it was too exhausting on my system.) I was finally living my life again. It’s been ten months since I started seeing Daniel and I feel like I am 80% back to myself. I am still on the anti-depressant and Xanax, but hope to wean off them this year. My ears still ring, but for the most part, I am learning to accept it and have faith it will dissipate. I still get extremely overwhelmed when I get bad news or my wife has to travel for an extended time for work -- but the freakouts may last five minutes now instead of an hour. My back pain is completely gone. I am living life at a slower pace now -- enjoying my surroundings, focusing on my task at hand, trying not to obsess about the future. I have definitely become a more compassionate person. I can see when people’s stress is manifesting itself as physical pain. I recognize the people in my past who suffered from anxiety. I have more patience. I think before I speak. I try to be less reactionary. So, in an odd way, I am thankful that this TMS both literally and figuratively stopped me in my tracks and made me look at my life. While my days can still be a struggle, I do find myself getting stronger. I look back at my life a year ago (holed up in the house alone, not talking to anyone, and terrified to go to the supermarket) to now and I am so proud of my progress. With Daniel’s help and my own perseverance, I know I will get to the other side of this.