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Sick of trying to help people...

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by cirrusnarea, May 30, 2014.

  1. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Ever since I learned about TMS I have been trying to help others in pain, especially when I have a very good idea that it actually is TMS; that is to say I'm not going up to a guy with a bronchial cough and telling him it is TMS. These are people I know fairly well; I know they have the traits and the tell tale symptoms. Not to mention, I am trying to be helpful and have not told a person they have TMS for sure, but just to let them know it is a possibility. Every time now I've gotten pretty much a spat in the face and I'm really getting sick of it.

    Here's the latest from a friend of mine suffering from 'fibromyalgia.'

    "Fibromyalgia is NOT a psychological disorder, it is a PHYSICAL illness....there are psychological components, but you try being tired and in pain 24/7/365 for a few years and tell me if you don't have any psychological issues! You should really know your facts before you go spewing incorrect and insulting information all over the place!"

    And her mom chimed in: "Fibromyalgia is NOT just a psychological disorder!!! Read about it from more than one source, and check somewhere reliable like The Mayo Clinic!"

    Have fun being in pain for the rest of your life. Some of us want to get better.
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    I know the feeling, all you can do is plant the seed and hope one day they recognize. I know some people who definitely have tms, but don't want to follow through and do the hard work. They want immediate results. One day they will be in enough pain with every medical option not helping them and willing to try anything, just like I was when I took the leap!
    cirrusnarea likes this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    There is a lot of weight carried with the idea of a psychological disorder. People can be very sensitive and defensive about anyone insinuating that it is all in their head. As we know, the pain is real and not in our heads. In my mind, its a syndrome, not a disorder. Obviously your friend is being so reactive and defensive that she cannot get past the idea of "psychological disorder" and all that means to her. Its hard to be attacked when you were just trying to help. I tell people about TMS all the time, but I tend to do it by just telling them about my own personal experience. No one can argue with that! Well, they can try. Since I work with the elderly, I am surrounded by people in pain. Most of the medical profession has given up on them and they become less mobile, more isolated and without any hope of ever being pain free. Just good days and bad days. Sometimes its hard to figure out how to help.
    cirrusnarea likes this.
  4. alexandra

    alexandra Peer Supporter

    I try telling my own mom her fibro is TMS as I suffer from it as well. She's not buying it 100 percent but agrees with some aspects. When I read healing back pain and the part when Dr Sarno says we should try living a normal life and resume all physical activities (instead of laying in bed in agony) I was like...woooo hoooooo! A diagnosis of TMS should make people jump for joy but instead they get offended. Yes I'm still in some pain but getting better slowly and I am as active as can be! I hope to be an example to my mom someday and be pain free so she can gain confidence in TMS healing and heal herself but one can only do so much...
    Anne Walker and cirrusnarea like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think a lot of people are just very reluctant to accept TMS as the cause of their fibro or other symptoms because
    they are like Linus in Peanuts with their security blanket. Their doctor and medication or surgery is their security blanket.
    They trust someone else to heal them, not themselves. Healing ourself is also harder. It requires thinking, and feeling,
    and a lot of people prefer to let someone else do those things for them.

    I'd say save yourself stress, cirrusnarea, and unless you sense your words will be receptive, keep the good news to yourself.
    cirrusnarea likes this.
  6. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks guys. Good to have a pick-me-up after that. :)

    Anne, perhaps I was not careful enough in my wording; it obviously was mistaken that I said she had a mental disorder. Whether that's true or not, mental disorders are often misunderstood to be mental illnesses and our society has a huge stigma attached to that. Even so, a friend should give you the benefit of the doubt and seek to discuss things without having a kneejerk reaction. Yep, us TMSers are prone to have unrealistic expectations. lol

    Walt, that was a great image of Linus and his blanket. I think that explains a lot of people with TMS. In her case, not being mean, but I think some people, not all, do seek the secondary gain from having pain. If her pain isn't physical and is instead psychological she doesn't have an excuse not to work, or to be pitied, catered too, etc. I'm taking away her assumed disability. Just a thought, I don't want to be judgmental. I think there's different reasons we have pain, and we have different ways of coping with it.

    I don't want to stop trying to help people, but obviously once I get a poor reaction I'll just wipe the dust from my feet and move on. I'll find someone that wants to be healed and who will respond well and that will be a great moment.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lately I've been telling people "It's stress," and they seem to accept this more readily and nod their heads. I've seen a slow acceptance of stress as a factor in dis-ease and pain. This may be due to the ineffectiveness of complementary methods and the myriad of snake-oyls that have proliferated since the mid-sixties bringing no cure or only short lived placebo cures for chronic pain sufferers. I can recall when a doctor would never think of referring patients to a chiro-quackter, now they even have them housed in their offices.

    Until the opinion makers discover, accept and publicize the overwhelming relationship between the psychosomatic and chronic pain, progress will be slow. As the Good Doctor has mentioned, TMS is a PROTECTOR, a psychological defense mechanism that serves a purpose for those who cannot handle stressful life situations above a certain level; the human condition.
    cirrusnarea likes this.
  8. tmsandrew

    tmsandrew Peer Supporter

    I'd agree 100% with this last comment - I never mention "TMS" even if someone I know is suffering from something that exhibits all signs that it is. It just opens up to many problems because of the attitude of people shown in the OP - that you are suggesting that it's "all in their head" or that they're "not really ill". Instead I talk about stress - and how that plays a big part in chronic pain - then I talk about how I used to have RSI and how I cured it through stress-reduction techniques like meditation and exercise. It's not the full story - but people (especially people you don't know especially well) really aren't receptive to anything more. Getting them to start thinking in terms of mind-body issues, and getting them to notice how their pain can be reduced I think is a good first step....

    Even being told something is stress related can be enough to get people angry! I remember really fuming at one of my doctors for suggesting that stress was playing a large part of my pain. But even though it made me angry at the time, it did plant a seed - which allowed me to start noticing just how much my symptoms varied - and to start noticing what caused them to vary...
    cirrusnarea and Anne Walker like this.
  9. tmsandrew

    tmsandrew Peer Supporter

    Just after I beat my RSI and I was quite keen to spread the word and help as many other people as possible - I created an account on the main fibromyalgia website, just telling my story, giving some evidence that people with fibromyalgia had receovered using these techniques. The result? I was banned in 24 hours, my IP address logged and I was never allowed to return :)

    With time people start to have a lot invested in their chronic condition - this may sound strange to others, but maybe familiar to people who've been through it like us. The condition starts to define who you are, what you can do, what you haven't been able to do over the past few years, the support you have received from loved ones and friends. Sometimes they become very resistant to even the idea that they can be cured - if you define yourself by your condition and the support groups you attend, then without it who are you anymore?

    I remember having a long phone conversation with the chap who used to (maybe he still does?) run the RSI support network - I was trying to convince him to have something on his network about possible mind-body approaches. I gave my own example, and numerous other examples and evidence - but he was really really resistant. Then he said something that really stuck with me, "We've been fighting for so long to have RSI recognised for worker compensation - this would really undermine that." Basically, he didn't want to provide evidence that RSI can have a non-structural cause because that would undermine everything else his network was doing - promoting worker compensation, employer liability, ergonomic support and fighting to have it accepted as a "real" condition.

    On a subconscious level I think this explains a lot of the resistance to concepts like TMS.
  10. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thank you all for your great responses. I apologize for the negative tone of my original post, but I was obviously hurt. A better approach might have been "How do I tell others about TMS without hurting their feelings?"
  11. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Wow, it is just something else how resistant they are to ban you like that. But I think you are onto something when it comes to that worker's comp thing. If you suggest it is non-structural (non-physical) then they don't have a medical condition; therefore they have to relinquish their secondary gain. I was immediately receptive to the idea that my pain was psychological. But I had to make sure first, once I was checked out enough and nothing found, plus all the TMS traits I identified with I was totally on board.

    Also, I think the fact that Fibro diagnosis is primarily women makes a lot of sense, since woman process information differently from men, and typically have different job roles. For men, it's typically low back pain and the symptom doesn't change because it doesn't have to. They get physical therapy, surgery, chiro, etc and continue to live in that 'I have a bad back" mindset. Not sure what that has to do with the topic, I just thought of it while typing, lol.
    Sussex TMS and Tennis Tom like this.
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting observation Cirrus, TMS is not linear, (or maybe it is), no matter, it sounds good.
    cirrusnarea likes this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, cirrusnarea, I think you're right. Women accept that they have fibromyalgia and men that they have back pain.

    It's all TMS, we know. My father had back pain. Years ago doctors called it "lumbago," pain in the lumbar area.
    I believe now it was from TMS, financial stress.
    cirrusnarea likes this.
  14. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Thanks, Walt. Also, I was thinking, since Fibro is primarily seen as a woman's disease (which doesn't make sense anyway if you think about it), doctors are probably more likely to give the diagnosis to a woman in the first place. If a woman has frequent unexplainable back pain, as well as other muscle aches she will most likely be given the diagnosis so the doctor can give her some explanation. If in the rare case that a man is given the diagnosis he probably would reject it because, "Oh no, that's a woman's disease, I can't have that. I just have a bad back."

    Hopefully I'm not getting off topic, but I've been reading the other Fibro discussion going on right now which is excellent, plus still shell shocked by my friends reaction. I should probably be focusing on the official thread right now. lol.
  15. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Cirrusnarea, I only bring it up when I feel people are going to be receptive. I don't have the mental energy to argue with people otherwise.

    The funny thing is, no-where in the works of Sarno is it suggested that physical processes are not occurring...just that the solution is psychological. I can understand why the idea is so offensive to some, as it comes off as a suggestion that they're just malingering and making up their symptoms, when they are in fact very real; it's just that they can have relief, if they choose to accept it.
    Sussex TMS and Ellen like this.
  16. Tru B Leever

    Tru B Leever Peer Supporter

    I have to chime in on this because I feel the same as Cirrusnarea. After becoming 100% back pain free by simply accepting the TMS diagnosis, I readily preach about how amazing Dr. Sarno's theories and books are to anyone who seems to be a TMS candidate.

    My boss recently started experiencing crippling back pain. It was shortly after we were informed that our company had been bought out and we were all getting laid off within the year. He has been here 34 years. His pain moves from the left side one day, to the right side a few days later. His back pain was a bit better on one day, but he told me that his knee started hurting the same day. The knee pain went away but then both sides of his back were hurting, etc, etc. Certainly sounded like TMS to me. When I had my back pain a few years ago, he saw how bad I was. I had to stay home many times because I couldn't walk. Every few months, it would come back. Now he's seen me pain free for years. I spoke to him about TMS. He listened and seemed interested. I sent him links to some TMS websites and to the 20/20 Youtube video story on Dr. Sarno. For the next few days, I asked him each day if he watched the video or read the websites. Each day....."nope, not yet". I finally gave up and stopped asking. It's been 3 months now. He's still in horrible pain and has been to multiple doctors, pain management therapy, and an epidural a few days ago. Some people just won't accept that their pain is psychological.
    Sussex TMS likes this.
  17. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    As SteveO says, some people need their pain. I can see why people have pain but I couldn't readily say why someone might need to hang on to it. That's for each individual to discover for themselves. I have been seeing TMS in people recently left, right and centre. It's as if the curtains have been opened and the shades pulled up. Once in a blue moon I speak with someone who is open to an alternative view and to those people I can speak frankly. Others are simply militant about their pain having a physical cause, their depression due to a chemical imbalance that must be corrected with medication. I show compassion but steer well clear of any discussions about TMS.
    Ellen likes this.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I used to work for an advertising agency and they kept getting bought out and people lost their jobs.
    It goes on all the time, sad to say, and all kinds of companies now are merging. Mergers usually mean
    people lose their jobs and those employees who are kept may have to do the work of two people.

    I miss the good old days when there was a lot more job security. If you worked for a big company you
    could expect to retire from it, with a good pension.

    I took a different route 40 years ago and became a self-employed writer. Its been insecure but at least
    I can't get laid off or fired. I'm used to living on the edge.

    As for some people "needing" their pain, as SteveO says, I believe it. I know people who aren't happy
    unless they're miserable. Maybe they're happy because they pass on their misery to others.

    We try to help those who may be responsive to knowing about TMS. If they're not, they'll be living with their pain
    and at least we tried to lead them in the right direction.
    Sussex TMS likes this.
  19. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    I like that saying "attraction not promotion. " If people see healing in someone else and inquire, there's some possibility they are open to it. If we move in uninvited people seem to put their walls right up.
    Ellen likes this.

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