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Preoccupied with worry (long post)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Rachel72, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Rachel72

    Rachel72 New Member

    Hi! I am new to this forum and looking for some insight about what I believe to be my battle with TMS. Sorry, but this is a bit long...

    A little backstory...I have struggled throughout life with anxiety, periods of depression (including two rounds of postpartum depression/anxiety after the birth of my children). I am very much a "goodist" and likely a "perfectionist" and have even chosen a profession that validate those personality traits (I am a psychologist). Up until about a year ago, most of my struggles have been emotional/psychological in nature. From 2010-2015, I worked in an extremely stressful environment that had me in a perpetually hightened state of anxiety, which manifested in obsessive thinking, withdraw, and some gastrointenstinal issues. I finally left that job in the summer of 2015 and accepted a new, less stressful one. That's when the neck, shoulder, arm pain hit me like a ton of bricks. I went for a physical examination in preparation for the new job and two days later, BAM! I was in the shower, raised my arms to wash my hair, and a lightening bolt of pain shot through my right shoulder, into my armpit, and then into my right breast. Needless to say, I was terrified. As someone who rarely had physical pain, it threw me into a tailspin of worry and fear. I went back to my doctor, who found nothing wrong other than "tender spots" in my neck and shoulder. Prescribed me prednisone for inflammation, which I did not take bc I have had bad reactions to it in the past. I started the new job, and the physical symptoms got worse and spread to my lower back, hip, and down my leg, all primarily on my right side. I also developed chronic allergies, TMJ, and headaches. Went back to the doctor, who subtly suggested that my pain "may be related to anxiety," referrred me to a chiropractor (I didn't go), and suggested an exercise regimen for stress reduction and to build strength. The exercise has helped, but as my new job revealed stressors that I did not anticipate (welcome to the real world), my pain settled into my right hip, buttock, perinium, knee and side. I felt like I was falling apart!

    My husband got me the Mindbody Connection and reading it was a revelation. After completing the book, my pain went away.I felt great for a couple of months. Then I hit a setback at work. I also had exceptionally bad PMS and my left breast felt extremely sore. I became hyperfocused on the pain in my left breast, and BAM! Now my left shoulder, armpit, chest, breast, arm, elbow are hurting. I have made an appointment with my GYN for a check up and mammogram, but I am still completely preoccupied by this "new" pain.

    My question is...How do I get myself back to the place I was after I first accepted the I likely have TMS? I have re-read the Mindbody Connection and I am still stuck.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rachel,

    Welcome to the Forum!

    Many of us find we have to do more than reading to sustain recovery from TMS. Like you, I experienced the "book cure" initially, but than my pain flared up again. Have you tried one of the structured programs available? There is one free on this site (Supported Education Program) and Dr. Schubiner has one in his book Unlearn Your Pain, which is what worked for me, though it took me about a year to be pain-free. There are other books and programs available.

    Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. We are all here to support each other.
  3. Rachel72

    Rachel72 New Member

    Thank you so much for your response. I definitely will look into expanding my understanding. Logically, I know that 43 years of thinking and feeling the way that I do will not disappear forever after reading one book...this is something that is going to require ongoing work! The emotional part of me just wants the pain to go away! Thanks again!
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I also want to add, Rachel, that I, too, work in the mental health field and know how stressful it can be. It took me a very long time to understand how my clients' issues were triggering my own repressed emotions, and that my brain was creating TMS to protect me from looking at these painful issues. I was in such denial about this for so long that it is rather amusing to me now. It's amazing what our brains can hide from us.Of course, I could recognize this in my clients, but not in myself for decades. Although I have made much progress in addressing my old trauma, it is an ongoing process. I came to the realization that I needed to make some changes in my work in order to stay well and balanced. I switched to serving a different population that was less triggering of my own stuff. It has helped, but I realize it is not always an option for everyone.

    Best wishes.....
    Rachel72 and MWsunin12 like this.
  5. epotz

    epotz Newcomer

    I would like to reply but I can't figure out how to use this Forum! My first posting, which I entered last week, has received no replies. I was encouraged to post by the Structured Program the first day, but can't seem to get it read by anyone. Sorry, Rachel, for taking the spotlight off you to get this technological question answered...
  6. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's mostly an ongoing thing for me as well. I've found that…when feeling better…my mind jumps back into "getting things done." But, there's still more that needs help below the surface, emotionally. I'm very curious about early childhood / infant lack of feeling safe or attached. I wonder how many of us have that deep at the core? I know I do, but the question is…is acknowledging it enough? You can't go back and get it. So, then what?
    Rachel72 likes this.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sorry to hear that your initial post did not get any responses. That happens sometimes, as this is a peer support site. There has been an increased number of posts recently, so it is hard to keep up with all of them. Don't give up. Everyone's input is valued here.

    Please keep posting!
  8. epotz

    epotz Newcomer

    I just really want to know if anyone here has been diagnosed with moderate to severe spinal stenosis (according to an MRI) and still been helped by following a TMS program. Anyone out there with that diagnosis?
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Put "spinal stenosis" in the search box at the top right corner of the page. Many threads come up.

    Hope that helps.
  10. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

  11. Rachel72

    Rachel72 New Member

    Yes! I often wonder the same things. I have never struggled with acknowledging my anger. I have, however, struggled life long with GUILT, which I believe, for me is at the root of my existence. Growing up in an intact family, which for all intents and purposes, appeared to be the "ideal," I never felt entitled to voice my disappointments with my parental relationships (Mom had unacknowledged anxiety/depression, used guilt as punishment, and would withdraw emotionally from her family; Dad worked 70 hours a week and was often there "in body, but not in spirit" because he was exhausted). I was always tiptoeing around, trying to keep the peace bc my sister was always stirring the pot. I had to get the b St grades, was the only one to go to college, perfect, perfect, perfect. My "failures" were a personal afront to my mother. Sooooo, I know WHY I am who I am, good and bad, but what to do about it?
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  12. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    We have very similar stories: distant, but good provider Dad, Guilt as punishment Mom, siblings who took all the space. And, it all looks great to an outside eye. I went underground, like you did, too. My mother commented to me on the phone just the other day after I attempted to describe the trials of the past year: "You were always my easy child. I didn't even have to think about you. Don't get problems now!"

    I wonder if we've always been the kids no one had to "Think about" or "Worry over." That was probably a message we gave ourselves…that our worth was tied into being nothing anyone had to worry about.

    I think what has helped me somewhat is to make sure I speak the truth in my daily life and about my daily life now, whether it makes anyone uncomfortable or not. I don't know how to heal the past, but a counselor did tell me this: Think about it in these terms: What strengths did growing up in your type of family give you? Even through the negatives?

    That has helped.
    Rachel72 likes this.
  13. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Also, Rachel, even though I just speak the words sometimes and still have fear, I say to myself: "This is 100% psychological. I am open to hearing what I need to know. I am willing to release this physical pain by listening to my emotions."
    Rachel72 likes this.
  14. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    Hi Rachel, I have a daughter who had a pain in her breast for about 6 months. She has had many tests done and they have found nothing. She "doesn't think she believe's in TMS" so she has not looked into it. I tried to find someone who had this symptom and found nobody. So, although I am very sorry your symptoms returned, I am glad to know that this particular symptom did disappear once so far.

    I am sure you will get on track again. One thing that I found helpful is relaxing a bit so that you're frustration over the symptoms returning does not contribute to your problem. When I found this website I realized I was doing that. The SEP helped a lot also.
  15. epotz

    epotz Newcomer

    Yes, thanks so much! I've been reading all afternoon!

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