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Alex B. Return of the pain

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by levfin003, Aug 18, 2015.

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  1. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter




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    Question
    Hi - I used to suffer from severe neck pain. I used to carry my special pillow everywhere and could not drive even short distances.

    This all changed when I realized that I had TMS. I stopped all my treatment, and after a few weeks of journaling the pain went away. I started living a normal life.

    Howevey, yesterday I drove for 3 hours and now my back is in a lot of pain. I understand that this is a conditioned response, but would want some advice on what to do about it.
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi Levfin, thanks for the question.

    It sounds like you have a lot of the tools you need already in place, which is good news. Most importantly, and I can't stress this enough, is that you have already experienced changes in your symptoms when taking a TMS approach to your pain. Oftentimes this is the single most important piece of evidence that you can use to reassure yourself as you confront your symptoms. Let's explore this idea a little more.

    At this point you seem to be certain that your pain is TMS. Previously it had been associated with driving and lo and behold, a long car trip triggers your symptoms. When you are faced with this situation it is important for you to focus on your response to the pain rather than what you can do to make the pain go away. The former is focused you, your well-being and your sense of self while the latter is focused on pressure, expectation and the power of the symptoms. In other words, the goal should not be to get rid of pain, but rather focus on not allowing it to scare you. This is where your evidence comes in: you know what this pain is, where it comes from and how it works. As long as you remind yourself of what it is, you will remember that, while it might be uncomfortable, ultimately it can't damage or hurt you. Thus, you don't need to fear it. If it's there, let it be there. It will pass. If it goes away, fine. But if every time the pain arises you move into anxiety and desperation to figure our how to banish it, then the pain is still fulfilling its function. It is still able to send you to an anxious state of preoccupation. By not caring, allowing it be there, confident it can't hurt you and that it will pass, you take away the pains power and ultimately its purpose. As you continue to do this, it will become less and less intense and frequent until it falls away. By relying on your experiential evidence and supporting yourself, you will be able to see the pain for what it is and counter its capacity to scare you.


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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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    Benny562562, JanAtheCPA and levfin003 like this.

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