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Alex B. Should I treat different symptoms differently?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hi there,

    Some of my symptoms have almost resolved themselves yet others have stayed constant or gotten worse: does this mean I may have uncovered the 'key' to the back pain, say, but not to the jaw pain? Should I therefore spend more time and energy thinking about what I was feeling and experiencing when the jaw pain began?

    And how much can you read into things on a day to day basis? I'm trying to not log or think about my symptoms, but if one day or hour is particularly painful, should I be trying to think long and hard about what was happening in my life/bothering me unconsciously during that day/hour?

    I know that during treatment the symptoms can jump around like crazy and I shouldn't dwell on them too much. But to what extent should I use them to help me find clues to my repressed emotions?

    Thanks for your answers!
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi, and thanks for the question, I think you're touching on a very important point here, one that comes up very often with the people that I work with and that has the potential to create a lot of concern.

    It can be very frustrating when one symptom returns or gets worse while others seem to fading away. More than almost anything else, this phenomenon has the capacity to make you question yourself and your progress as well as your ability to overcome the symptoms. What I tell people going through this is that they have to strive for "outcome independence". Alan Gordon has written a good article on that which you can find here. Basically, it's the idea that the important work is not being done directly to address specific pains or symptoms, but that it is process directed at you as a complete person. The pain is simply one result of the way that you are relating to and treating yourself. That is what needs to be addressed.

    Remember, the pain is serving a purpose. It's "goal" is to keep you preoccupied, questioning, doubting yourself. By creating a wide variety of symptoms it can accomplish that goal, as you are seeing. It has you asking things like "well I understand this symptom, but not that one". The problem here is just what you are finding, that you feel the answer is in the details and so you try to figure out the little key to everything, monitoring yourself and obsessing over all your actions. All the symptoms have the same root cause. It is their success at keeping you scared and preoccupied that provides the fuel to keep generating them.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    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.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
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  3. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Good answer. It's the person that needs healed, not the symptoms. Don't spend time trying to segment symptoms into different classifications, that's TMSing, and exactly what your brain wants you to do.

    Also, symptoms often appear randomly, for no logical reason other than your focus on your current task is probably fading, and so your brain scans to find another current obsession, if there's nothing available it will latch onto your body as a safe haven.

    Most of the time the symptoms are Phase 4, but they can manifest at any time. The idea is to take away the need for the symptom, not to heal the body. "Trying to heal" is a big mistake. It's like chasing mercury with a spoon if the need still remains.

    Steve
     
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  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sound advice, Steve. If we discover who we are and make peace with ourselves,
    we become pain-free.
     
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  5. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    These folks from the PPC are constantly giving out great answers, and they have an excellent professional and humanitarian ethos.

    Walt, somehow you're always able to say what I was saying in one sentence. It's a true gift. You did an amazing job summarizing GPD chapters too. I also remember the summarization work you were doing for your friend at, AMC? Was that the channel? You're a big picture man, which could be why you healed so nicely, you didn't challenge the details. I hope you are well Walt, and hope to speak to you again.
     
  6. whirlingdervish

    whirlingdervish New Member

    Great answers!
     

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