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Overwhelming fear - need help

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Renate, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Renate

    Renate Peer Supporter

    Since 10 years I have pain in my foot and since five years I know about TMS. I am convinced that the pain is in my brain, but the fear of the pain got so strong that now I am lying 90% of the time on my couch. Three years ago I’ve been able to walk for 30 minutes and to stand much longer, but now the fear of the pain gets stronger and stronger. I’ve done everything: talk to TMS therapists, doing the program of Alan Gordon, read every book (Sarno, Ozanich and many others), journaling and self talk, behavior therapy, trauma therapy, meditation, Body Scan....

    When I have to go to the pharmacy p.ex., I am nervous the day before, because I’m so afraid that I will have to stand in line and then the pain will come. And of course it comes and doesn’t go away for the rest of the day!
    The only thing that helps against the fear is a tranquilizer, but I don´t want to get addicted to them.

    The fear of the pain is really overwhelming and I am not able to deal with it in a way that reduces the pain.
  2. Renate

    Renate Peer Supporter

    I forgot to say that when I have to stand in a shop or anywhere else I can‘t think anymore. I can’t think of breathing, nor of relaxing my body...nothing. I am so blocked that I only can think that I must get out of the situation as soon as possible! Flight...!
  3. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I would suggest at first tackling the fear in much smaller doses so that you can gradually desensitise your fight or flight response to the thought of the pain and the pain itself. Once you gain some confidence you will gather steam and life will normalise. The important part is to make sure you don't increase your exposure to the fear until you can keep calm with those first small amounts. Reward yourself significantly along the way as you conquer the fear. This will help to strengthen your new fear free pathways. Give up the concept of trying to not feel fear and instead tell yourself you are practising a new skill as this will remove any pressure. Slow and steady wins the race in the overactive fight or flight challenge.
  4. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Hi Renate, try listening to Dr Claire Weekes on youtube. The one I much prefer is "Dr. Claire Weekes Inspirational Edit - Heal Anxiety & Fear" ().
    If you are feeling a bit over-the-top then listen to it over and over. Once you get a handle on it, it is almost easy to "feel" her voice telling you to "go limp" or "accept accept accept". I get great comfort from it and it might work for you. Like Birdsetfree said, it's just about practising a new skill, not forcing yourself to DO IT, but just simply practising. Give it a try. cheers, marls
    tgirl, miffybunny and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    I am so sorry you are going through this. One thing that jumps out to me is that you are afraid of the fear, which is stacking your emotions leading to their escalation. The goal is to allow all feelings without judgment, including fear. Your brain is responding to the fear and adding more on top - this is the pathway to interrupt, your reaction to the fear. Practicing mindfulness is a huge help so that you can become aware of your reactions and stop them when they occur. Check out Kristen Neff’s self compassion meditations. Specifically, her soften soothe and allow. Remember you are safe, you are just experiencing a very big emotion. With time you will stop reacting and meet your fear with calm acceptance and reassurance. Virtual hugs to you
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Renate, it appears that your primitive fearful brain has taken control of your common sense. It must think that it has a good reason for doing so, and the problem is that your psyche is more comfortable in this state of fear than it is being mindful and accepting.

    Thanks to @Marls for reminding me that Claire Weekes gave us a simple yet invaluable mantra for moments of fear and panic:
    Face, Accept, Float, and Let Time Pass.

    Face means to be willing to come to a full stop, and allow yourself to see, feel and acknowledge your symptoms and the fear accompanying them.

    Once you face them, Accept that you have these symptoms, but also Accept that you have fear of them. Accept that the fear is a natural and normal survival mechanism - it's just gone slightly haywire and a bit over the top, and it's not actually necessary for your survival in today's world.

    Float means to allow your acceptance to rise up and float past the pain and the fear until they are left behind.

    Above all, you must Let Time Pass as you practice this over and over until it becomes second nature.
    Jeather likes this.
  7. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Renate so sorry to hear that you are struggling & I understand exactly what you mean when your mind is just fully occupied by the pain & thinking or relaxing is impossible.

    I have downloaded a book called Defying the Verdict by Tamara Gurin for $0.99 on my kindle & its a book by one of our very own members here @TG957 .
    She had what you have but in her hands & her story of how she overcame it using a TMS approach is truly worth reading.


    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
    TG957, JanAtheCPA and Ellen like this.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I second @Mala's recommendation. Tamara's story is awesome. Everyone here should read it.
    TG957 likes this.
  9. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Renate , I am very familiar with the feeling of paralyzing fear. Fear is your main obstacle to recovery. The main lesson I learned from my ordeal is that healing does not come from the outside therapist or doctor. It must come from within. Unless you dig deep inside yourself and find strength to combat your fear, all the improvements will be temporary, because your fear will be pulling you back and preventing the healing induced from the outside.

    There is this technique called visualization, maybe worth a try. Before you go anywhere, visualize your trip, imagine it step-by-step and feel your fear as you go through the virtual journey. As you are moving through the trip with the imaginary fear, you train yourself to handle it in a real situation. I use it a lot, as I am prone to fear of heights - and it works! Best of luck to you!
  10. Renate

    Renate Peer Supporter

    Thank you all to your helpfull answers! Some times ago I have already listened to Claire Weekes and read the book of Tamara Gurin BUT: I practised not very long and then I thought "this does not work" and jumped to another technique. So now I think that consistency is a very important important part of healing, isn´t it?!
    Now I will continue with these two "methods" and try at home to relax my body as often as possible - because it is tensed up all the time, but I can relax it quite well when I do it consciously.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Indeed it is - and one of the hardest things for us to accomplish, it would seem. I know that Tamara learned this in her journey: Consistency, and, above all, Patience.
    TG957 likes this.
  12. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jan, you are right on: establishing a routine, following it, being patient!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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