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Day 8 One week into SEP

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Connak, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Connak

    Connak New Member

    The first week of SEP was fine. I feel like I've made some progress. I'm still having my back-neck-shoulder pains from time to time. Still, I try to keep in mind that all of these pains are from anxiety. Of the traits, I feel the my anxiety is the reason why I've been in such pain. The journals have helped a little. Even before I did this program, I had written about some of the "traumatic" things before for school assignments and several different occasions. I still wonder how there are people who have done the program and have felt better by the end or even before. With me having social anxiety and anxiety in general, I find it hard to believe that my pain will completely go away in some five to six weeks. I worry if it doesn't work at all, what do I do then?

    Before starting this program, I was on the phone with one of the TMS doctors closest to me. There aren't any in my area. The one I called came from North Jersey (I'm from south). He let me know that if I do want to see a therapist, I should try and look into seeing a psychodynamic one. He noted cognative won't do it. He did say that I may have to "educate" them a little as to what TMS is and they'll probably get the idea. I've been thinking about looking for a psychodynamic therapist. I might start this week.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Connak,

    As someone with lifelong anxiety, I can relate to your questions. The answer is that your pain probably won't go completely away, because the brain mechanism that causes TMS and its equivalents (which include anxiety. as Dr. Sarno himself eventually came to believe) are built into our primitive psyches to protect us and keep us on the alert for danger. This doesn't serve us very well in the modern world, but the fact is that we simply haven't evolved very far from the days of sabre-tooth tigers. This is a fact of neuroscience - but neuroplasticity is also a fact, and THAT is what you want to have as your ultimate goal - changing your wiring so you aren't constantly firing off your fight-or-flight mode. This would be a great goal to work on with a therapist.

    TMS recovery means being able to respond completely differently when your symptoms appear again - as they will whenever you cease being mindful about your subconscious thoughts. Many of us who have achieved success actually say that we are about 90% recovered most of the time - with occasional flare-ups which we generally can take care of pretty easily - or at least shrug off without going into panic mode and running off to see a doctor. I have been having a very stressful time lately with three different highly-logistical projects going on at once - I've been constantly worried that I would miss a deadline or forget something crucial (Google Calendar is my friend!) And there have been days when my one remaining symptom, which is dizziness, had me reeling and clutching for things to hold onto. But the thought of going to the doctor lasted about two seconds - because I've been there and done that, and there was never anything wrong. I know it's TMS - the same thing happened in May when I was hit with two urgent projects during the two weeks before I left on a long trip to Spain. Once I arrived, I had a great time without any symptoms. And, this weekend, with almost everything behind me, just a couple of loose ends to clean up, I've felt 200% better than this time a week ago.

    Bottom line - don't expect to be "cured" but DO expect to change your life for the better, and to keep working and improving over the years. For those of us who have really struggled with TMS symptoms, especially when one of them is anxiety, it will continue to be a life-long struggle, although these days I like to think of it as a journey. Each new battle, once it's been won without slipping back into panic attacks, depression, and the multiple other disabling physical symptoms that I had four years ago, is another positive step on that journey.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.

  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Connak,

    Jan gives a great nuanced response.

    I like this guidance. You also want a therapist who has done "work on themselves," psychodynamically. This is a question you should ask: What support do you have for your growth? In this work, what have you learned and how have you grown yourself? This is partly the difference between cognitive work and psychodynamic work. With psychodynamic work, the therapist has to know their own hell realms in order to meet you there. Empathy comes from direct experience. Otherwise you as the client is the "pathology case," and the therapist is a distant helper.

    Andy B.

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