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Alan G. Obsessive thoughts about TMS

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by COgirl05, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    I have made good gains in the past several months but still definitely have hills and valleys with it. My question is this - how do I overcome my obsession with my TMS? I feel like I am convinced that I have it and know that's it a real thing. I have so much evidence it's ridiculous that I have it from the symptoms and how they are to my personality and past history. There's no doubt that I have TMS and have had it for much of my life with some symptom. Now, I feel like I'm constantly thinking about it though. Every single event in my life, every movement, every emotion, every situation - I'm thinking about how it's going to affect my TMS. The fact that I have TMS actually makes me feel less empowered because it's created by an unconscious process and sometimes I really doubt that I can overcome it. I just want to live my life and not think about symptoms and pain anymore. I know I'm TMSing all the time - how do you overcome that and just live life without thinking too much? I am constantly on here and reading about TMS. I know that the need for excess information is another form of TMS too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2016
  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    It sounds like you have OCD, as you have continuous and relentless preoccupation with your symptoms. This isn't surprising, as OCD is just another form of TMS. In fact, anything that serves as a vessel of fear or preoccupation is a manifestation of TMS, whether it's OCD, anxiety, or specific phobias.

    The short answer to your question is: teach your primitive brain that the world is safe. Incessant fear/preoccupation is what the brain does when we're in a state of fight or flight. Like a child on the playground constantly looking over his shoulder to make sure his mom is still there, your brain constantly goes back to a familiar thought as way to try and feel safe (though it isn't a very effective strategy...)

    Working to teach your primitive brain that the world is safe on a fundamental level negates the need to engage in this repetitive (and sometimes tortuous) behavior.

    I suggest working with a therapist to get underneath the fear and preoccupation. If you're interested, I have a TMS therapist colleague, Ed Walton, who specializes in Skype treatment. He's had a ton of experience working with OCD and has had a lot of success with it. Shoot me an email if you'd like me to introduce you to him.


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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
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  3. Sean

    Sean New Member

    Hi Co girl 05,
    Hope things are going well for u. I agree it is hard not to think about it. What I try to do is reflect back on my progress and believe it's worked so far...as we continue to challenge ourselves to 'get back to normal' or even go beyond we raise the stakes so to speak...I have a good idea of where I'm hoping to plateau and feel like I can get there but each challenge as I step it up brings some uneasiness...keep at it:)
  4. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Hey Co girl -

    I feel your pain. The couple of TMS episodes I have had I think are related to my OCD. I am having bottom of the foot pain on the balls of my feet and everytime I get up and walk I check. I check first thing in the moring, try out different shoes. I had this pain a few years back during another TMS episode but I was so focused on the other issues I didnt pay attention to it and it went away.

    I know I need to train my subconscious mind like I have in the past but the feet have been terrible since I walk so much it is easy to check and recheck. Some days I feel really good with minimal issues and I get excited but the next day its back and I am crushed. I have not had a official diagnosis from a Dr. One podiatrist said it was compression and gave me shots. The second ssaid it could be nerve damage from the antibiotics from my lung surgery in November.

    I was a mess post surgery with checking and wondering how this happened to me at 38. I have had almost 5 months of me telling my mind my lungs are weak, my immune system must be bad and I have possible nerve damage. For some reason I need this foot pain and I don't know why. It is driving me crazy so yes I am going to try the repetition to convince myself I am ok.
  5. Mac07

    Mac07 New Member

    hOWDY cO GIRL 05.. I guess it is never too late to chime into a relevant post that strikes a chord with a fellow TMSer. I have had OCD at various levels of degrees throughout my last 30 years as well as Anxiety and some depressive states as well. This went on for some time...then when I think my mind could no longer sustain the intense OCD behavior, my MBS decided that it was time to switch attention onto my back and give my brain a rest....but then the obsessing over the intense back pain snowballed and became a whole another painful distraction to obsess over. What I am trying to say is that I believe that it is a cycle and I have always wondered if OCD & Anxiety were TMS traits and surmised that they were. But know upon hearing Alan's take they are, I am going to start treating them just like I would my back pain and apply the TMS techniques of how my symptoms are trying to distract me and how good of a job they do so. So I guess it's time to be diligent with them and apply the techniques that are beneficial and work. Hang in there and maybe call out ur OCD as to what it is trying to distract you from?
    All The Best and peaceful Journeys into the amazement of your powerful mind.

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