Hi all, I never thought I'd be support forum guy, but hey... I'll try anything at this point. Would greatly appreciate any advice or insight. Short synopsis: Back pain, for approx. 6 years. Started when 18, right in the middle of moving from US to UK for college. Started upper mid-back, mild and has essentially progressed in intensity since then. Main zone is upper back / neck now essentially always present at 6-9/10 strength unless I'm horizontal. I've known about TMS for approx 1 year now, with varying degrees of belief. I'm a deeply cynical skeptic, so I'm a tricky healer. It may be one of those things where everyone thinks their horoscope sounds eerily like it applies so specifically to them, but, well, we're desperate humans looking for guidance. Anyways, I've had extreme anxiety/depression with nearly the same timeline (start of that mess predates physical pain by approx 1 year). I definitely match the hyper-selfconscious goodist personality type. Very self-critical, perfectionist, OCD related disorders, night time jaw clenching, occasional knee pain, nightly nightmares etc, etc. I've tried osteopath, chiropractor, injections, acupuncture, deep muscle massage, meditation, swimming, physical therapy, and more (a very familiar list for many of you I'm sure). MRIs show mild arthritis, and moderate degeneration in a few areas. Some doctors have mentioned the degeneration as possible cause, some don't mention it at all. Needless to say, no clear diagnosis, no successful treatments. I will say that I've had a few good placebo kicks... the first 48 hours after any/all of those treatments has been pretty good. I've also had a good 48 hours of 75% relief after reading each of the Sarno (and related) books. Certainly I fit a common 'type' that seems susceptible to TMS, but man o man is it hard for me to get that idea to stick. I don't baby my back and never have. I'm very active, cardio and weightlifting most days of the week (I think healthy amount, not over the top), which is very relaxing and offers a small amount of confidence/mood boost. I try hard to ignore the pain and go about my day doing the things I'd like to do (and the work I have to do) as if the pain wasn't there. I've been following the SEP and journaling. I also meditate before sleep. Many sources, of anger, frustration, loneliness, anxiety, etc... but nothing too surprising or seemingly 'repressed' has popped up yet. I definitely have a problem tracking my progress, which I think goes hand in hand with having a hard time believing the TMS theory. It's very difficult for me to accept a rather non-scientific, not widely accepted diagnosis (not to say that mainstream theories on back pain are any more scientific) and it almost seems cruel that the treatment for this disorder is to 'fully believe' in the diagnosis. I've never 'fully believed' in anything in my life, I'm not sure how to start now. And yes, I'm aware that that type of thinking is a big part of the reason I have pain in the first place. Anyways, I'm all over the place, and getting pretty desperate at this point. If any of you have any words of advice (the more specific the better), I'd very much appreciate it. Thank you, Tyler PS Does anyone else here share this concern?: One of the main worries that the chronic pain gives me is that it's negatively affecting my mental faculties. I feel like chronic pain turns the brain into mushy mush and that terrifies me. My egotistical, likely unrealistic, sense of intelligence is one of the only positive feelings of worth that keeps me buoyant(ish) in the midst all sorts of emotional problems... and the chronic pain attacking that part of me is really upsetting.