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Alex B. Overcoming stubborn TMS pain

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Question
    Hi,
    I am a pro athlete and I've been dealing with TMS since my career started in 1999. I've been talking to therapists over the last 6 years. Some weeks I feel like I've everything under control, other times I feel like nothing I do helps me to feel better.
    I guess the question I've is why I keep having these pain attacks. I'm not worried or afraid of the pain, but I'm worried because it stops me from performing at my best in workouts and games.
    And how do I teach my brain to not constantly reinforce the pain (fuel for the pain) and stop to think about the pain? I kind of have to keep testing the spot that gives me trouble to know if I can work out again.

    This off season particularly I am dealing with pain that keeps coming back doing the same exercises.

    I feel I can realize fairly well when it is a psychogenic caused pain attack or not. I have read Dr. Sarno's books and met him personally. I listened to Alan Gordon's presentation a few weeks ago he organized with Dr. Stracks which lead me to this site.
    At the moment I am in therapy with Dr. Stracks. I thought it would be a good idea to see if you guys have any suggestions.

    Regards,
    Marcel

    Ps.: Sorry for mistakes but English is not my native language...:)
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi Marcel, thanks for the question.

    So often TMS is about pressure, anxiety, and fear around the pain. While it does seem that sometimes the pain itself doesn't scare you, perhaps you really don't believe it has a structural genesis, the implications of the pain are still able to preoccupy your mind and put you in an anxious state. You're still afraid of the fallout: will my performance be compromised? Will I be able to prepare for the season? Will my performance meet expectations? All of these are pressures that you put on yourself that are being amplified by the pain and the possibilities that its presence creates.

    While I think you are doing a good job of reframing the meaning of the pain and thinking psychologically, there is still a lot of pressure and "fortune telling" connected to your symptoms. This is why you are experiencing these "swings" from one place to another, feeling good one week and helpless the next.

    You can remind yourself that the goal here is not to just eliminate the pain through force of will but rather address the pressure and expectation that the pain puts on you. From monitoring and measuring symptoms to hopelessness and helplessness, the more the symptoms have the capacity to keep you focused on them, the more effective they will be and the more stubborn they will remain. Continue to tell yourself that you are ok and that the pain can't stop even if it arises. It's frustrating yes, but as long as you know it can't harm you long term, you alleviate yourself of the burden of fear.


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    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

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