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New to TMS wondering if some insight can be given

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sacolucci23, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. sacolucci23

    sacolucci23 Peer Supporter


    I am new to TMS and after having spent a long time trying to research spiritual and even emotional causes, I am hoping someone more experienced can provide me with some insight into my problem.

    I am 32 years old and from 16 years of age until now, my life has been a rollercoaster of emotional and physical issues. I was a generally happy child even though my parents split at an early age. There was a lot of turmoil in my mother's life that I experienced as a viewer. I witnessed domestic abuse as a child and although I never endured any kind of physical or sexual abuse, I did endure the abuse of a narcissistic mother, whom I later learned has a mental problem and also an undiagnosed learning disability.

    When I was 16 years of age, I experienced my first anxiety attack while smoking a joint with my friend. I wasn't new to marijuana at the time. In fact, I smoked in often and often, I enjoyed the experience. This time was different. I felt intense depersonalization and in the midst of that and being high, I had a sudden panic attack which had me convinced death was only moments away. The entire experience shifted by psyche to from being a happy child/teen to one now consumed with endless worry over the thought of death and what happens after death. I started dealing with questions like "where do we go after we die" and "Am I good enough to experience heaven."

    When the high finally subsided, I was glad to awaken feeling like myself again. It was until weeks later I started to experience panic attacks except I was no longer high. This became a constant battle and a problem that warranted therapy from a children's psychologist. The social worker who ended up helping me succeeded in allowing me to manage my attacks and forget the idea that I was dying. While the panic attacks stopped, I developed GAD and throughout my late teens and early twenties, I worried endlessly about health.
    I grew up with an uncle who had a progressive form of MS and so I knew what it was like to go from healthy to physically disabled in a short time. Although my uncle was not my father or immediate family, his experience with the disorder traumatized me. Whenever I felt the slightest neurological issue, I would spend hours googling MS symptoms and visiting various doctors. I was always assured it was just anxiety as I didn't exhibit any telltale signs of the disease.

    In my early twenties, I had to move out of my house I shared with my mother. She experienced job loss and unfortunately, was not able to carry the house. She decided to move back with my grandmother and I was allowed to come except I was not allowed to bring my 55-pound dog as he was a nuisance to her grandkids. I was caught in a tough situation and because I loved my dog and could not bear the thought of giving him away, I decided to move into an apartment in the city (as I lived in the suburbs but worked in the city) and give up my car.

    This was a culture shock to me and I learned that I was unable to live alone. I had an intense fear of being "it." The only one around, the only one to answer to. I started having increased GAD symptoms like constant urination at night although I didn't have to urinate, worrying needlessly about the apartment burning down, or a cockroach climbing into my ear. I also felt extremely sorry for myself and where I had ended up. My friends no longer kept in touch and no one would drive down to the city during week nights either. I felt nothing but sadness, depression, and anxiety. I just couldn't be alone.

    I was scared and I was living in fear. One day, while at work, I started to feel like I was swaying and not able to hold on to my desk at work. I started to feel off balance and spent my days googling what that could mean. Of course, MS was also a symptom. This started getting worse.

    I awoke one night with an intense internal rocking. I went to emergency and they told me it was probably labyrinthitis, a viral inner ear infection. My doctor believed I was having hysteria and it had nothing to do with my ears. The ENT could not find anything wrong. It subsided after two weeks when I decided to take a plane by myself and visit family in France. Slowly the pendulum sensation was getting fainter and after about a month I felt kind of normal and was able to resume my life. I started making new friends back at the apartment but just before I could truly experience life alone and be ok with it, I met my soon to be husband.

    Shortly after that episode, I got married and my life seemed fine. After my first child, stress took over. I exercised every day so I was able to get through the stressful times with no sleep. My family situation with my mother was on the rocks and often times, I felt like I had no one. When my daughter was 3 I became self-employed, something I always wanted for myself. I worked hard to establish myself and two years in the business, I was somewhat where I wanted to be.

    I then got pregnant with my second child, which was a planned pregnancy. I worked my entire pregnancy with her, right to the end. When I gave birth, I had to stay at the hospital for two days. When I got home, I had a panic attack because my legs went numb or so I thought. I immediately panicked and thought perhaps, the epidural ruined my nerves or would now make me permanently disabled. I couldn't believe I was having a panic attack - I hadn't had one in 10 years. I went to the doctor and he assured me it was anxiety - there was nothing wrong with my legs and no evidence of actual numbness.

    After that day, I kept having panic attacks. I couldn't figure out why. I mean, I didn't really take a maternity leave and I was working 3 weeks postpartum, right after I stopped breastfeeding (which I stopped cold turkey). But why was I having panic attacks after years of not having them?

    Around 6 months postpartum, I started to get weird migraines. Please note, around this time, I had completely cut off my mother and her side of the family. I was feeling very alone and isolated. I also worked a lot and was responsible to get my first daughter to school every day, watch the baby, the dog, etc. I was feeling tremendously overwhelmed and I had constantly expressed this to my husband. He was unable to help because his job was also demanding and he had to leave at five in the morning.

    Around this time, I started to feel off balance again. I remember my eyes were constantly getting blurry because of computer use (12 hours on the computer a day) and ringing in my ears... periodically. I also couldn't take loud noises like children yelling, tv, ETC. I felt confused my noise. The headaches got really bad. One day it felt like my head was put into a vice or run over by a truck - I called my husband crying and telling him I couldn't handle the stress anymore.

    Then I woke up one night so incredibly dizzy. I couldn't even read the advil bottle (my baby was teething so I wanted to give her some relief). I felt like I was having a stroke - I couldn't comprehend anything and my head was spinning.

    After that night, I started getting positional vertigo but I went on with positional vertigo for 2.5 months thinking i was having anxiety attacks which I was also. But the anxiety was also because I was dizzy. As the attacks got closer together, I ended up in the ER and the doctor there advised me that I had BPPV or positional vertigo due to losing calcium crystal getting dislodged. For some reason, I couldn't accept this diagnoses. How could this be? I performed the EPLEY on myself and it finally went away. Today, I am stuck with this depersonalization, anxiety/panic disorder, phobia of being alone with my children, driving, etc. When I had BPV (and didn't know it), I would get attacks while driving. It was terrifying.

    Every day, this is all I think about - the fact that I am dizzy 24/7. Although the true spinning is gone, I just don't feel balanced, day in and day out. If I turn my head, I feel like my perception is constantly off.

    I've had a CT scan, blood work, hearing test and have seen an ENT and neurologist. The ENT has no clue - he says maybe BPPV but a weird case, but definitely no Meniere's as my hearing test was normal both times I went. Neurologist seems to think I suffer from Migraines or more importantly, Migraine Associated Vertigo.

    I also wake up with ear fullness.

    Some of the emotions I feel is :

    the world is on my shoulder
    don't have anyone who understands
    not living the life I want

    Any input is greatly appreciated. I am not sure if the BPV was organic or in somehow connected to my emotions/life events.
  2. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    First, welcome and taking the tremendous courage to share your story. It most certainly sounds like TMS on many levels. Have you ever spoken with a mental health professional? Have you read any books on TMS?

    I just finished reading The Great Pain Deception by Steven Ray Ozanich. I can absolutely recommend it if you believe you can commit to reading it with a truly open mind. Based on your history though I think you might be better served by first seeking out a TMS professional to start your journey.

    I've personally made very good progress on my own TMS journey but my story is not nearly as complicated. Even still I'm considering seeking professional help. I wish you the very best and believe you can accomplish more than you currently realize.
  3. sacolucci23

    sacolucci23 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for responding to me. I've seen a neurologist, an ENT and my family doctor and they were easily able to diagnose BPPV, however, the other physical symptoms - they have no clue.

    I also don't know if it is allergy related as sometimes I get a clogged left ear and my migraines/headaches seem to only throb in that ear. Sometimes, I wake up with watery, blood shot eyes, too. But allergies from April to August? Doesn't seem likely either.

    Because I have so much background emotional noise, it's hard to distinguish what's organic and what has to do with the mind/body disconnect. It's so disheartening and depressing.
  4. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    Given your background and the stressful environment you currently live in, I'm sure you have quite a bit of tension built-up and that can definitely manifest itself into all kinds of physical symptoms. Since you've already seen several doctors, I can relate to the frustration of not having a clear answers as to what's going on. While I'm not qualified to say definitively that you have TMS, you certainly have a lot of indicators for it from what I've read. I'd say for peace of mind and to start off on the right path that you should speak to a qualified TMS doctor or therapist.

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