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Questions about depression

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by katie, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. katie

    katie New Member

    Hi there. I am new to the wiki site. This is my 4th day of the structured program. I have had chronic pain for three years now. It started as leg pain, moved to bladder pain and now is back pain. The first several days after reading Dr. Sarno I had great reduction in pain and several epiphanies concerning repressed emotions. I felt excited. I am trying to hold on to that feeling but I struggle with the "am I ever going to get better" feeling and the resulting depression quite often. My question is if you try to push these feelings away, is this a form of repression? How do you feel these feelings (or should you?) and not get sucked into the anxiety. Thanks for any insight. I am so glad I found this community.
    Jilly likes this.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Katie, those negative "am I ever going to get better" doubts and depression are really your old conditioned behavior trying desperately to keep you locked into the same patterns that are causing your pain. Well, in answer to your question, it's been my own experience that pushing those kind of feelings away all the time is really at the heart of emotional repression because you're doing it day in day out and in the process keeping TMS going on and on. But you can regard those negative feelings from a new enlightened perspective as nothing very important, just feelings that will soon change. You don't need to repress them because they don't have any power over you anymore.

    I do have to add that we're only hear to offer you our advice. We don't make any diagnoses, only offer help. I'm assuming that sometime during this progression from leg pain to bladder pain to back pain that you were checked out by a physician who determined there were no real medical problems behind your symptoms?
    veronica73 likes this.
  3. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Welcome Katie :) That's wonderful you got good results so quickly ! Through this journey and process there will be highs and lows, ebbs and flow, and eventually you'll find that middle ground where you don't feel so polarized, that's normal learning.

    Don't push the feelings away, accept that they are here. I find this is one of the most difficult things for TMs'ers. We don't need to fix them or intervene with a solution, we don't need to engage them. All we need to do at this point is accept that at this moment we feel this feeling. When the feeling has got your attention, step back for a moment and just feel it. You'll feel it build, your heart might race, your stomach might tighten, your facial expressions might heighten and your body might tense. These feelings will build and crescendo and peak, then you'll notice a softening of the feelings and a subtle dissipation...slowly leaving the body as all the responses begin to calm. You did nothing but ride the wave, no solution, no validation, no intervention. You provided a safe passage for the feelings to move through your body. This way they do not become repressed and cause hurt in the body.

    As you get more comfortable with your feelings, you will build a resiliency and comfortableness. Through these actions you will come to a place where the feelings won't cause anxiety because your not suppressing them. It is through building this resiliency that we develop the inner confidence and strength to know its going to be fine, we know how to handle this feeling and that's a comforting feeling. These feelings won't cause us harm unless we deny their existence. When feelings like rage or sadness, or disappointments are repressed they come back up at us with a vengeance, as anxiety, depression and we loose our mind body connection which results in bodily pain and all sorts of other ailments. * hugs * your'e right on track *

    "What the body knows the mind forgets" ~ I forgot who wrote that !
    Barbara Marks, Layne, gailnyc and 3 others like this.
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome, Katie!

    When these kind of feelings come up, as Jilly said, let yourself feel them and be compassionate to yourself. But you also don't have to let these kind of feelings rule you. After a while you can let these feelings move into the background and remind yourself that yes, it's scary, but you do have TMS and you are healing. Soon you will be pain free.
    Pandamonium, tarala and Jilly like this.
  5. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    well said, Veronica :)
  6. katie

    katie New Member

    Thanks everyone. That is helpful advice. I will try to feel the feelings and not react. I think it is my natural tendency to try to stay overly positive. I repress all my feelings until it explodes into anxiety and depression. I am not sure how positive thinking fits into TMS recovery.
    veronica73 and Jilly like this.
  7. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Hi Katie....Dr. Alexander is a new forum member from Australia and he has written a really good paper "Emotional Style and Chronic Pain" and has a corresponding questionnaire. You can find the paper / questionnaire link at http://drjamespsychologist-com.webs.com/about-the-book This will be of an interest to you, because he talks about the happy happy Americans and some personality traits, such as resiliency and self awareness that can set you up for TMS. We can fall into the trap of being too optimistic and bypass our negative feelings and go straight to an empty "I'm O.K." when you're really not o.k.

    Once you go to the website look to the lower left for the green boxes. One is for the personality test (quick 20 questions maybe) and the other link is his paper. Take the test first to find out your personality traits then read the paper. The web site also has many interviews with professionals discussing many topics that pertain to TMS.

    Dr. Alexander also has a book "The Hidden Psychology of Pain" you will see it highlighted in blue right above the green hyperlink boxes. I haven't read the book yet, but based on what he has spoken about so far, it looks to be really good. Dr. Alexander came in to Wiki chat last Saturday and it was so wonderful to hear him speak on these topics. He is very knowledgeable and personable !

    Also .... Please come if your'e available :) * hugs ~ Jilly
    There will be a drop-in chat tomorrow (Saturday January 12th) from 3:00pm - 4:00pm, Eastern Standard Time. The chat is a wonderful place to both give and get tips from those who are recovering or have recovered from TMS. To learn more and to access the chat, go to: http://www.tmswiki.org/chat/
  8. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    Hi katie, it's totally normal to think like that. Even once I was better I used to ask myself if it would last, what would I do if it came back? It's just negative self talk that helps to keep us in the pain loop. When you hear those doubts I would give yourself a good positive self talk, for instance:
    Am I ever going to get better?....YES! I am going to get better, because there really is nothing structurally wrong with me, so over time I will improve and one day I will be totally pain free. Positive self talk takes a bit of getting used to but it is a really powerful tool, I would use it whenever you hear yourself doubting.
    Good luck!
  9. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    Ps Veronica is right, you have to accept the feelings, dont fight them.
    Barbara Marks likes this.
  10. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    I know that feeling all to well :
    It's been some time since I wrote the last time in this forum, because I "finished" the Program once and went
    on with the PresenceProcess, which took me the last 11 weeks.
    Why am I answering to this post ?
    Because I also feel very depressed now, fighting really hard to keep me from asking your question over and over again.
    The pain and numbness and weakness in my arms got worse shortly before christmas time and
    I thought it would be over after all the family stuff is behind me again. But here I'm struggling and
    as worse comes to worst, I am alone for a whole week since saturday now, which made me
    cry hellish twice and a lot more often nearly in public.
    It feels like I'm going nowhere, being off work for almost half a year. I feel
    so useless. I simply don't know what to do with my time. My hobbies, which I gradually
    improved, hurt my arms as well and I avoid those now, too.
    I want to restart the program on the wiki again, put in more effort and I think
    that is, what helped me in the first place. I was a bit too lazy with all the journaling and
    want to do better this time. I need to fight avoiding my emotional pain.
    About the PP, I don't know what to think of that now...
    It's said to get rid of the pain, you need to go straight through and
    I'm very anxious about what awaits me there...
    Please help me. You did so well the last time.
  11. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    You're not lazy! And lots of people recover without ever journaling or doing any kind of program.

    If you think of depression as a symptom imperative, it makes sense that as you work on TMS, it wants to through a new symptom at you (depression).

    Posting here and getting support was so helpful for me in my recovery. I also find working with a TMS therapist really helpful. Have you looked into that?
  12. Explorer

    Explorer Well known member

    Katie, Imagyx:

    I had those same feelings in September and the pain is 99% gone now! I had all over body pain from the tip of my head to my toes. I had tingling and numbness with a diagnosis of Fibro, MPS and some other strange things. I did not buy it and found out about TMS. I had a TMS MD diagnose me and had a few sessions with a TMS therapist.

    Things were very hard and I too had depression which I never had in the past, but I leaned on folks from the forum, especially those who have healed. A big step for me was reading Steve Ozanich's, The Great Pain Deception. The book was so helpful and went a step further than Sarno. It's also very funny!

    Today I am running and working out and really enjoying life. Some days when I have stress I get a few symptoms and think, well, they will go away once my thoughts level out. As folks said, just accept them. They are just thoughts and toughts can are made up based on our childhood experiences. Fear is also made up from our thoughts, it's not real, only danger is.

    The Presence Process is also helping me. I too went through most of the SEP program and learned that talking with real people, mainly via phone who have healed from TMS or where currently coping was the biggest healer for me. Healing tools are different for everyone.

    Please don't give up. There is no single answer to healing. I thought my pain was so different from everyone else and would NEVER go away. I believe doubt is a normal part of the healing process. But you will heal!!

    I would like to start a support group in my area and perhaps some day a clinic because I now see TMS everywhere I go. - Susan

    Eric, Terry, Forest - Hope all is well!
    Imagyx and Jilly like this.
  13. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Imagyx: It's perfectly normal for anyone to feel depressed when they are socially isolated and out-of-work. They don't call a Depression a "depression" for nothing. I think the whole USA and much of the Western world is going through an economic downturn that creates a bunch of psychological problems that run in parallel with the economy and tend to reinforce the bad mood that pervades our collective consciousness. You might want to check out the Existential Therapies advocated by Dr Peter Zafirides on this site where he discusses the role of existential isolation and its role in the development of TMS and more. I myself think that you can turn any downtime around and use it as an opportunity to reevaluate and recharge your batteries. Any setback can be transformed into a positive achievement if you approach it with the right attitude.

    Hope you feel better real soon!
    Imagyx and veronica73 like this.
  14. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    Imagyx, sorry to hear you are feeling so down, it's normal to get down especially if you are isolated. I am currently depressed too so I know how you feel. I have refused anti-depressants so far but may have to take them at some point. My depression is not related to my TMS, its to do with my work situation but it's still horrible to go through. For me I was almost cured before I started the PP, and so it was the final bit of the Jigsaw Puzzle. For you it sounds like you might still have some work to do.
    In terms of the hobbies I would still carry on and push through the pain if you can manage it, depending on how physical they are - that can help with the depression. I would take a pain killer beforehand, tell TMS to bugger off and leave me alone, and go for it, and even during the pain tell TMS you know what tricks its up to and tell it you dont need it any more.
    But it still sounds like you are a bit afraid of the emotional work, so maybe the structured programme is a good idea to kickstart your Recovery 2013 plan?
    I have gone from barely being able to walk to being a good figure skater, every time I put myself out there, and I'm not afraid any more. I've only got one life and I'm going for it.
    I really wish you all the best.
    Imagyx likes this.
  15. Imagyx

    Imagyx Peer Supporter

    Thank you again for your help.
    I appreciate that very much and like to comment on your thoughts:
    My problem is that in my country no one seems to know about TMS, so
    there's no specialist available to me. Therefore I can only hang onto the program and
    your help, which I think is most valueable, because you know exactly what Im talking about
    I really want to avoid drugs, because
    an antidepressant would keep me from realizing the emotional stuff, as the PP also told me.
    And I've taken pain killers for over 5 years which I don't anymore. The side effects are evil, I know about that.
    Just now I'm typing with one hand only, because the other one is kind of paralysed from a 1,5h walk.
    I think coming home and no one's waiting gave me the rest for today.
    I only try to get to saturday to have my girlfriend back, my saveplace.
    Until then I'll go on with the SEP and read more.
    Also I listened to most of Dr Peter Zafirides podcasts so far,
    it calms me down and has a lot of interesting thoughts.
    That might help you, too, katie.
    Just google "Dr Peter Zafirides podcast".

    I really like that. Thank you.

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