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New to Forum - Stuck

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by keep on livin, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. keep on livin

    keep on livin New Member

    Hi Everbody,

    I'm new to the forum. I'm having some problems with the TMS approach and wonder if anyone else out there has run into the same problems.
    I have quite a few chronic "physical" ailments. My main concern at the moment is an RSI like syndrome in my wrists. I've had issues for twelve years with one of my wrists and six months ago the other wrist acted up. It's gotten so bad, that I'm no longer able to work and am on disability.

    For YEARS I have known these ailments are psychosomatic. I've been to many specialists (hand, ortho, rheumatologist, neurologist,vascular surgeon, acupuncture, chinese medicine...) and undergone every imaginable test, and they have never found anything physically wrong. I've tried every kind of medicine (eastern, western, etc..). All without improvement. I've also been (and am currently) going to psychotherapy for many years. I meditate on a daily basis, and journal.
    I'm well aware of what psychological issues I've had in the past. I've dealt with them, but my body doesn't seem to change along with my conscious mind. Consciously I have no conflicts and the only fear/frustrations I consciously have are about my "physical" problems.

    What typically happens is this -

    I "overuse" a part of my body, then I develop a chronic pain/issue there, and have a VERY difficult time getting rid of it.

    Part of me identifies with the classic TMS personality, but it doesn't really fiit me to a tee.

    Also, though I have some pains, the aspect that is most debilitating w/regards to my wrists is a weakness/paralysis that develops when I use my hands.

    Also, I don't have random flare ups where I can stop and think about why my hands/wrists have begun to get weak/painful. It's always there, 24-7. The symptoms get worse after activity, get just a little better with rest.

    Here's a partial list of some of the books I've read on the topic -
    Sarno - Mindbody Prescription & Divided Mind
    Schubiner - Unlearn Your Pain
    Brady - Pain Free For Life
    Fehmi - The Open Focus Brain

    So I have a few questions -

    1. Has anyone else gone through all the steps but not seen any improvement / gotten stuck, but then found a breakthrough? If so, what was the breakthrough?

    2. Does anyone out there have an issue that has to do with weakness/paralysis and cold hands/feet (rather than pain)?

    I really don't know what else to do. If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Keep on Livin and Welcome to the Peer Network,

    It sounds like you have read a lot of books, so you have a good idea of what TMS is about. How would you describe your level of acceptance of the approach? One issue that a lot of people who get stuck run into is that they don't fully accept the diagnosis and continue to think structural about their symptoms. It is also really easy to put a time table on your healing. This again keeps you focused on your symptoms.

    We had another Q&A article about getting unstuck which us answered by Dr. David Schechter. He responded with

    I know that this is really little to go on, but I do sort of like how simple he makes it. The reason why is that a lot of people who struggle complicate their recovery by thinking they have to do it a certain way. It is very easy for our obsessive perfectionist personality to come into play and prevent us from recovery. In the end it comes down to fully accepting the diagnosis and understanding the psychological components to your symptoms. A lot of people look outside of themselves to heal by journaling a whole bunch of times or reading a whole bunch of books looking for the answer. But in order to heal you have to look inward and identify the emotions behind your symptoms.

    Don't try to compare your recovery to any one else. This is your journey and you will recover when you do. When you say I have to improve by X day then you are setting yourself up to fail. Remember, what you resist persists.
  3. keep on livin

    keep on livin New Member

    Hi Forest,

    Thanks for your response.

    I completely accept the TMS diagnosis. As I said in the post, I've been to many doctors and they can't find anything physically wrong with me.
    I know my issues aren't structural and the timing of my problems is always very suspect. I first read about TMS and applied some of Sarno's methods over five years ago. Before then I knew my issues were psychosomatic, I just hadn't read any literature on the topic.

    The intellectual understanding of TMS is there. It's just the body hasn't followed along.
    In other words, (in my experience) identifying, then releasing the negative/repressed emotions through journaling/therapy doesn't seem to relieve the physical symptoms.

    I haven't given myself a date to get better by, though at this point the pressure is mounting up because I can't stay on disability forever.
    As far as the journaling goes, I've always viewed that as part of the process of going inward.
    Recently, in addition to my regular therapist, I began seeing a therapist who is familiar with Sarno's work and specializes in mindbody medicine.

    Also, I'm not a perfectionist. I don't have to journal everyday, I don't focus on my TMS 24-7.

    I don't want to be a downer and discourage anyone out there. I'm glad the TMS approach has worked for so many, and I really think it can work for me. In theory it makes perfect sense. I'm just not seeing results (yet).

    Also, again if anyone has any advice on dealing with weakness/paralysis and cold hands that would be great. Pain is much easier to tune out, than a loss of strength/control.


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