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Observation about symptom selection

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Wings313, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Maybe this is common knowledge to everyone on here, but I just had to share an observation I made recently. TMS seems to give you the symptom you fear the most, which I guess just goes without saying and is pretty obvious. But it was clearly demonstrated in my life this week. I've posted a lot about this before, but my main TMS symptom is urinary, with a near constant feeling of an urge to urinate (I've been checked out by urologists, it's gone away for months at a time, etc, so I know it's TMS). That is the symptom I fear the most. At times, and especially this past week, some pelvic/urethral pain was there, but pain to me is less scary because it's a more common TMS symptom so to me it's more obvious that it's TMS...I can believe it's TMS more than the urinary urge stuff. I think about all the people who have healed from pain, but there aren't many stories about people healing from urinary urges, which I know intellectually doesn't matter and TMS can give us anything; it shouldn't matter if it's not "common".

    Anyway, so the pain symptoms were much quicker to leave. Or they come and go I guess, much more so than the other symptom. Also, one day I got a pain in my hand. But right away I was able to tell myself it was TMS and I really didn't fear it. It went away quickly.

    This just goes to show that TMS will attach itself to whatever symptom distresses you the most or you fear the most, at least in my experience and I'm guessing in others too. I wouldn't wish horrible pain on myself, of course, but in my mind I'm like, please, give me pain instead because at least then I wouldn't have to keep obsessing on using the bathroom. But of course it's not going to give me pain as a symptom because I'm not so scared of it. Make sense? Can anyone relate?
    Gigalos likes this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    You seem to be thinking about urinary pain too much. Steve Ozanich says don't think about a symptom or it
    stays with us. Distract your mind with happy thoughts and doing things you enjoy.

    You're building up a fear of having urinary problems and it can develop into a conditioned response.
    Some people think that when they walk or sit they will have pain, and associate their pain with their activity.
    For you it is needing to pee. Then pain moved to you hand. TMS likes to move pain around until we find
    the source of the pain, which is one or more repressed emotions or how we react to a personality trait such as
    perfectionism or wanting to be admired or liked by everyone all the time.

    You've been tested and learned that you do not have any urinary problem, so it is pure TMS.
    Stop thinking you need to pee and eventually you won't have to.
    But you have to believe 100 percent that the problem is not structural, it's psychological,
    from TMS repressed emotions that may go back to childhood, and/or your personality.
    Stop trying to be perfect. No human is. Only dogs are.
  3. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Walt! I'm definitely thinking about it too much. But I don't really know how to stop. I've tried to do the whole thought stopping thing, think about something positive or at least different instead, try to identify what I'm actually feeling, etc....but when you have a thought about the urge (not the pain - that doesn't bother me so much) every 30 seconds or so (seemingly), it gets really hard. Is it normal to be THIS obsessive about a symptom? I have a long history of OCD too (which I know some would say is TMS), so I'm used to these obsessive loops. I've been able to beat them eventually when it comes to OCD thoughts, but this is proving difficult this time around.

    I do think part of me still doubts the TMS diagnosis. I didn't really have any physical tests done. But I have seen Dr. Schubiner in person and he treated it as TMS.

    Plus, I can try to stop thinking about peeing...but then the actual need to pee will come up, because it would for anyone as a normal, natural physical need. So I have a hard time differentiating.

    Lastly, this symptom has gone away at times, the best time was when it went away for months. And honestly, I was on an antidepressant when I felt the best (last year at one point). I know people on here aren't big on antidepressants but I'm thinking maybe it helped take away the obsessive loop somewhat, helped me to think about something else, and I know that once I'm not obsessing on the symptom, it lessens. Xanax helped too, taken as needed. I'm not taking anything now.

    But you're totally right in that when I'm not thinking about it, even in the back of my mind, I don't feel it physically. Getting to that point is the hard part.
  4. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I sympathise with you. The OCD can latch on to things so perhaps it is making you more obsessive about the urinary thing. Practicing trying not to think about it is worthwhile but ultimately you need to cure the OCD part as well. Perhaps getting to the root of the fear of needing to pee would be productive. Can you think back to when you first had these thoughts? What was happening in your life around then? Think literally - (read Louise Hay perhaps?) was there something or someone who 'pissed you off' or did a situation as a child 'scare the pee' out of you? I think if you can identify the root of the thought you may be able to rationalise and discard it. I agree that if you felt better when on antidepressants it probably is bound up with the OCD loop thinking. Perhaps using CBT as well as TMS work (the programs on this TMSWiki site, meditation, mindfulness, journaling etc) would be a good approach for you? OCD and TMS can and will be overcome - you just need to carry on till you find the right way for you - I wish you luck.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wings. it's great that you don't feel pain when you don't think about it.
    That's what Steve Ozanich recommends.
    Load up on distractions... thoughts and activities that make you happy,
    that put some joy into your life.

    Hecate's suggestions are excellent... Try to discover the repressed emotion
    that could trigger your urinary problem.
  6. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Thanks to you both. As for the root - I'm not sure. I do remember that I had frequent urination in first grade, after switching to a new school (which I'm sure was stressful). I had IBS symptoms in 5th grade and since then but not severe or diagnosed. When this TMS symptom started this time, I was definitely in a stressful life situation but the trigger was OCD health anxiety about ovarian cancer - I was afraid I had it and frequent urination is a symptom, so of course I got that. It has gone away and come back though even though I know I don't have ovarian cancer and don't fear that. But I do fear the symptoms. As for being pissed off - I guess you could say I'm pissed off at how life has turned out for me so far, in some ways at least. I have tried to work through anger at my parents and still have work to do there.

    Walt - I so wish I could distract myself. Like I said, it's obsessional. Even when I'm working, it's there in my mind. When I have something else bad to worry about, but it has to be big, that does distract from the symptoms. Otherwise, the thoughts are there. Some of the TMS self-help resources talk about how to react when you have a thought about the pain/symptom...what if those thoughts are virtually every waking moment? Maybe this is really an OCD manifestation for me. I've had OCD thoughts that were also seemingly there 24/7.
  7. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hope others don't mind I have different opinion and believe in different theory.
    I have a hard time believe that anything happened 20 or 30 years ago can be the cause of our pain now. (Dr. Claire Weekes said that) If repressed emotion that were created 30 years ago were able to create pain in us now, all of the people living in North Korea or Somalia or Afghanistan or Vietnam or... take your pick of just about any third world countries, all those people would be cripple and disable. Is your body so much more vulnerable than the body of those always starving people who also suffered from: torture, war, disease, lost,... ?
    I believe our mind body symptoms were created by some strong or chronic emotion that were created by some recent strong negative events or chronic stress. In "normal" people, the symptoms would slowly disappear when they no longer "stress". But for us tmser's, the symptoms stay with out because of "fear of the symptoms". FEAR is what keep the pain, the symptoms alive. FEAR is the fuel for our symptoms. Without fear, there is no symptom. I believe we can never never be able to eliminate our tms symptoms if we still fear the symptoms. All mind body expert trying to help us achieve the same goal, they all try to help us over come our fear of our symptoms. They may not say it out like that but if you notice, all their methods try to help us achieve that very very important goal, NO MORE FEAR.
    Dr. Sarno advised us to keep doing whatever we want to do, our symptoms is tms, it is benign and not dangerous. To me that is equivalent to: "don't fear your symptoms"
    Steve O. hit thousand of golf balls to conquer his tms. His action proved to his mind that he has no fear of his symptoms.
    Dr. Weekes told us to just sit and relax and float, the symptoms will just subside and disappear after a while, no Fear.
    Dr. Lissa Rankin told us to believe in ourselves, believe in our body's ability to heal. Again, do not fear.

    If we can eliminate our fear of the symptoms, we would eliminate 90% of our symptoms, the rest is just conditioning that we need to work on.
  8. Kev

    Kev New Member

    I am 59 and I have had tms since my late 20's. It began with wry neck (torticollis), which lasted for several weeks and the doctor prescribed me Valium and said that I had slept the wrong way. Then I got tennis elbow, which lasted several months from 15 minutes of painting. Then I developed lower back pain ( the doctor told me I had got out of bed too quickly), then I developed numbness and tingling of my hands when I first woke up in the morning, then I developed
    excruciating pain throughout my whole body and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia lasted over 3 years. Then I developed chest pain and a feeling that I couldn't breathe properly. All tests were negative for any heart or lung condition. Then I developed prostatitis which manifested as pelvic pain and a need to urinate frequently. That went and was replaced by irritable bowel syndrome which is what I have currently. I have read almost all of the books available on tms and know that I have tms, but I don't seem to be able to overcome it.
  9. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    I couldn't agree more. Spot on as always Balto.

    I started with one symptom and my obsessive fear of it spawned the rest. I was so uptight you could have played me like a piano ;)

    It's not the symptoms themselves that are the distraction, but our fearful preoccupation with them. Lose the fear - lose the pain, has definitely worked for me.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  10. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Balto - Well put, I totally agree. Just can't seem to put it into practice.

    Kev - Sorry to hear that. Your story sounds spot on for TMS. Do you know what has caused you to "beat" a symptom and have it move somewhere else? Not sure if that could clue you in to beating all symptoms for good.
  11. DanielleMRD

    DanielleMRD Peer Supporter

    Lisa Rankin is writing a new book called something like, "The Fear Cure." Looking forward to reading that because it is the fear that keeps a lot of this alive and how it has stolen our joy... I think Steve O may say that the joy will overcome the fear in time if we can slowly have more joy in our lives. I'm just now starting to remember my joy. It was a real eye opener when a few weeks ago I realized, outside of my love for my family, I had no idea what brought me joy.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  12. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is an awesome opportunity DanielleMRD. We can always learn what joy is and then gain wisdom and happiness with it. Thats how you get joy by practicing its off spring wisdom. 1 thing I'd most definitely say is helpful is walking in the outside nature and feeling the breeze blow in the wind as we breathe in that fresh air. Now that happiness as the sun glows off our skin gives us warmth and healing.

    The the inner wisdom of sweet mindfulness. The focus on the breathing and nothing else. Just being in the moment in the now and smiling on purpose. It's all a part of the healing that you will experience when you decide to dance in the fields of life again. It's always an adventure and rest and relaxation is above all a huge factor in the protocol. We get tense from just internal unconscious nervousness. Learn to recondition here at the SEP and you will be fine. But remember to walk in the nature and enjoy the modalities. Breathe and smile, think of all that is good -- you got this..:)
    plum and DanielleMRD like this.
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Its your protocol. You just need to get better or do something more or subtract or add a tool. Kev, Tell me what your protocol is and i'll be able to help lead you to healing. Make sure you post here and ill watch this thread and get back to you sooner rather than later.
    Thanks -- Bless You
    Kev likes this.
  14. Kev

    Kev New Member

    Thanks Herbie.
    I have tried journaling the things in my life that have made me sad or angry. I have also tried thinking psychologically ie just being with my emotions. My protocol now is just trying to ignore the stomach cramps which start when I awake each morning and last until late afternoon.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kev, that's right... ignore the stomach cramps or any symptom.
    Steve Ozanich says start the day thinking positive, that you feel fine and will be fine all day.
    Then try to fit into your day some things that make you feel happy and relaxed.

    I tell myself each morning before I get out of bed that I'm going to have a great day.
    It's going to be one of the best ever.
  16. Kev

    Kev New Member

    Thanks Walt.
    I will think positive and make the affirmation that I am going to have a fantastic day before I get out of bed.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  17. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thats Great advice from Walt. Now make sure you put all of your effort behind those words and make it happen.
    It might be hard at first but you can do it then the rd is down hill.

    Have you started the SEP yet ?

    You said you tried, now just do. :)
    Kev likes this.
  18. Kev

    Kev New Member

    yes started the SEP today. This is a fantastic site. Thanks for your inspiring comments.

    Have you started the SEP yet ?

    You said you tried, now just do. :)[/quote]

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