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Psychosomatic symptoms-do they improve with medication or not?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sarah555uk, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. sarah555uk

    sarah555uk Peer Supporter


    I have a quick question. I read some articles on somatization, some mention improvement with antidepressants like tricyclics while others mention that psychosomatic symptoms respond to no therapy at all.

    Which one is it ? I am highly confused. I have only came across this website 3 weeks ago...

    so does TMS respond to antidepressants? Because I had symptoms out of the blue almost in 2013, nerve pain..I had remission of pain for 3 years after that and I even came off my medication, I had 1 year and 4 months of no pain no symptoms and then I got it again recently after a long period of anxiety.

    I am responding to medication again, this time faster because I practice daily mindfulness and stress reduction.

    My GP says it's psychosomatic (well, she said it indirectly!) and sending me to therapy.

    I am so confused, I studied a math-heavy degree and I like clear facts.

    Thank you for reading
  2. sarah555uk

    sarah555uk Peer Supporter

    I need to add I haven't bought Sarno's books yet or any other, I made a huge list of about 10 books on mindbody syndromes to educate myself.

    Sarno's theory makes a lot of sense. I know this because I've also suffered from mysterious random pains in the past 5 years as these have been the most stressful in my life.
    At one point in 2013, when hit by neuralgia I suddenly developed excruciating unrelenting lower back pain which did not respond to Naproxen at all! I went to a clinic, they found nothing wrong with my spine. 3 weeks later it was completely gone with no reason. I know for sure that was TMS, it didn't respond to medication, pain was there non stop, came and went mysteriously.
  3. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Sarah,

    That's a complicated question.

    Depression is not a cause of TMS, as I understand it. In fact, it's a TMS equivalent -- another distraction. Depression can hold our attention just as much as physical pain. Think of it as just another symptom. So antidepressants may help in the sense of alleviating that particular symptom of TMS, just as Tylenol may help with back pain. But they're both just treating the symptoms.

    The cure for all these symptoms is to unblock the repressed feelings, through journaling, meditation, talk therapy, or whatever works for you. There are many paths to relief, but they all depend on opening up the feelings, not treating the symptoms.

    I hope that helps,
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dive in, start reading Sarno, if you want to be linear read his last books the "DIVIDED MIND" or the "MINDBODY PRESCRIPTION". The mind is not logical like mathematics, there's a conscious and an unconscious--it's as grey as the grey matter of the brain. There are no perfect answers, the PERFECTIONIST and GOODIST personality traits of TMS'ers is the source of the symptoms. All you need to do is read a TMS book--any of his books will do--it's a simple theory if one is ready to accept it. KNOWLEDGE is the penicillin for TMS. Short term use of small doses of anti-depressants have been found to be beneficial for TMS--being in chronic pain is depressing.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  5. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    I suspect anti-depressants may work for some and not for others. For me they didn't really work. In my case I tried Cymbalta (an antidepressant that supposedly can help with chronic pain) in hopes of reducing my physical pain. It only made me vomit so I didn't continue taking it. Then I tried Savella, approved for fibromyalgia I believe, and also an antidepressant-type drug. It made me nauseous at the recommended dose. I tried a lower dose and it gave me heart palpitations and only slightly reduced my pain temporarily (I'm guessing placebo effect). I stopped that also.

    I agree with above... Read the Mindbody Connection and/or the Divided mind. I also really liked Ozanich's the Great Pain Deception and Scott Brady's book (the title escapes me at the moment). Two other books I like, and not specifically Sarno books are Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine and Healing Ancient Wounds by John F Barnes. (Note, I list the many books that helped me, along with all the things I've tried along my journey at: www.healingfromchronicpain.com if you're interested.)

    And like Tom said above, it might take different ways to release the emotions. For me it's been reading, jfb-mfr, Somatic Experiencing (SE) and EMDR that have all helped me (again, my website describes these if you're interested).

    I am a scientist and also like clear facts, so the books I list helped me understand all this Mindbody stuff better. But I also came to learn the following, which I quote from an Indigo Girls song:

    There's more than one answer to these questions /
    Pointing me in a crooked line /
    And the less I seek my source for some definitive /
    The closer I am to fine.

    Good luck!
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