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Stuck & depressed

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Mala, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    I have recently started exercising a little bit, doing zumba & going for walks. The pain in my neck will sometimes increase but sometimes it stays the same after exercise. A few times i have had a sudden bad twinge in my shoulder, arms which is scary but I manage to not be too scared or let it frighten me.

    Yesterday for no reason the pain got worse. I was having lunch with friends & afterwards it just felt bad.
    I told my self it was psychological & tried to go thru a list of what could be bothering me but it steadily got worse. I got onto the forum & read some posts i thought would help. And then of course I went into depression/ panic mode which i had earlier told myself I would not do. When that happens, I just go to bed & mope.

    It felt like i had gone back to square 1.

    No matter how much I told myself I would not slip into the old thought patterns, I did just that.

    The fear is huge and I am not able to pinpoint what is bothering me which s frustrating in itself. It could be anything or everything or nothing. Maybe I have just conditioned myself to feel this pain.

    So confused. Sigh!

    Oh & the humidity has been creeping up to around 95%.

  2. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    I've been there Maia and it can be very frustrating.

    I'm seeing one of my subconscious mind's most powerful ways to distract me is to let me get almost pain free and then have symptoms come back even stronger.
    It's something that Alan Gordon predicts will happen when we try to have symptom indifference. Like a child throwing a tantrum.
    I'm see that the measuring, comparing, and predicting when I'll be pain free only strengthens the TMS distraction.

    Have you read Claire Weekes Hope and Help for Your Nerves? In it she talks about not adding secondary fear to the initial fear or anxiety. In other words I may not be able to stop the initial worry or fear but if I just allow it, I won't add to it by being anxious about being anxious, for instance.

    The therapist I've been seeing has told me anxiety is, in a sense, a cover up for deeper feelings I'm not willing to feel, anger, rage, deep sadness etc. which makes a lot of sense to me.

    The fact that your symptoms have gotten worse doesn't mean you are back to square one. As I've experienced it, TMS healing is non-linear, symptoms come and go, get better then worse.

    I've been using a guided meditation called "Soften, Soothe and Allow" which has helped me relax and accept rather than fight when symptoms happen. If you have any interest I can send you a link. It's free by the way.

    This past weekend I had something similar to your situation going on. My left hand had been doing much better, then over this last week started hurting again. I did quite a bit of journaling yesterday and when I showed up to play my gig last night. I used the technique of the meditation I mentioned. As the night went on the pain left almost entirely. It was a great experience for me to call the bluff of TMS and see it recede. The more compassion I have for myself, and the more patience I have for this crazy process, the easier it seems to be to let the pain float away.

    When I get stressed out, it's very easy to slip into old thought patterns of fear discouragement. What helps me is to do something nice for myself. Watch a movie, take a nice hike or walk, read a positive book, something that breaks thinking loop. I try to do things to soothe myself. This too will pass.

    Wishing you the best
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
    Ellen, Lily Rose, Anne Walker and 2 others like this.
  3. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Soften, sooth and relax, sounds great to me. Please send me some info. I hurt so much tonight
    in my legs and hips that I feel like giving up. I have hurt for 10 yrs now. Send me anything that
    you are able to, thanks, Nancy
  4. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Thank you for your kind response. I too have read Alan Gordon's post where he mentions symptoms getting worse before getting better. What I find very strange is how the subconscious which is supposedly trying to protect us can be so clever, so evil that it would allow us to continue to suffer like this. It seems to be a contradiction.

    Although I have not read all of Claire Weekes, I have dipped into bits of her work & have listened to bits of her audio recordings. She was definitely a very wise woman. My problem is that I was never anxious or depressed before i was in pain. This pain has changed my whole perpective, it has made me become fearful, fearful of the present & also fearful of the future. Again I do not understand why the unconscious suddenly decided at age 39 to 'protect' me & I am still wondering what it was trying to protect me from. I am truly baffled. Its not that I am not saying my life was or is 100% perfect but I do consider myself to be in the top 5% of the luckiest people despite having some issues. I know for instance that anger is an issue for me and i am working on that but sometimes dredging up things for the sake of dredging them up can be counterproductive too.

    I understand how healing can have ups & downs & even Sarno mentions an increase in symptoms but even he has given a certain time frame by which he thinks people should heal. On this forum many seem to think that this process can go on for a very long time maybe never end. How can this be so??

    I would really like the link to the meditation that you mentioned please.

    Once again thanks for yr post . If I sound negative or blunt its only because I have doubts, I want to voice my opinions, get some feedback, hear what people have to say.


  5. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    hi Mala and Nancy

    Here's the link http://www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/ click on meditations and then downloads you can listen there or download that meditation as well as several others.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Msunn, thanks for posting the link above. I began listening to one of the audios and found it to be very relaxing.
    I'll spend more time on the audios. I hope lots of others see the post and visit the link.
    Msunn likes this.
  7. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Mala,

    Voicing doubts and fears is healthy I think. One saying I've heard in 12 step meetings is that "we are only as sick as our secrets."

    I relate to what you posted. It can be a mysterious scary process, especially the part where as we try to be good or better people, can bring on TMS. But on another level it's allowed to me look deeper into my shadow self and actually deal with some core issues that were my "secrets". However my physical healing goes, this is very freeing emotionally.

    You've probably already had physical exams that rule out structural problems.

    You're approaching age 40. Does that have any significance? For me turning 60 was a factor. I think I had a fantasy of what I should have accomplished at that age and the reality didn't match. This made me look at my perfectionism, my passivity as a person, how I judged my worth by needing approval from others, how I stifle my creativity etc.

    I think admitting and talking about things like this takes away their power and allows me to change and re-write some of those core beliefs. It's not something I would have chosen to do without G.O.D. The Gift Of Desperation!

    Your issues could be very different but if you look deeper maybe there is more to explore. It's very possible the anxiety was there, maybe you put pressure on your self, expect a lot from yourself, and now it's comes to the surface with TMS.

    Again not trying to be your therapist, or assume to know what is going on with you, but realizing in my case the anxiety was there, if not always on the surface.

    In any case I wish you the best. Hopefully others here will give you some feedback about their doubts, fears, frustrations, and how they resolved them.

    take care
    yb44, Lily Rose, Mala and 3 others like this.
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    Thank you so much for posting this. I downloaded and listened to 'Soften, Soothe, and Allow' and I think it is great. It is very similar to one that I've been using and found very effective called 'Soften and Flow', but because it is copyrighted I haven't been able to share it on the Forum. This one is a very good substitute and free.

    Msunn, I just want to add how very much I enjoy reading your posts. They are always kind, compassionate, and full of wise advice. You always manage to strike just the right tone--perhaps that is a reflection of your expertise as a musician.

    Best wishes...
    Anne Walker and Msunn like this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I completely empathize with you. I'm having a flare up today of pain and a migraine, and I don't really know why. And it is discouraging and making me have doubts.

    Msunn has given great advice, which I'm attempting to follow. The meditation has helped quiet my nervous system and has improved my mood. I'm doing better at just accepting this and moving on with my day.

    Hoping you are feeling better....
    yb44, Mala, Msunn and 1 other person like this.
  10. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Thanks Msunn, I downloaded" Softer soothe and allow" today. It helped me to relax as
    it has been a rough last few days. You are in the Arts field as I was for many yrs, we tend
    to be perfectionists. I was a ballet teacher and of course practice makes perfect! Now I'm
    trying to unwind those yrs and let "pretty good " be good enough. Expression of doubts
    and fears I also feel is key in tms, I always kept them to myself, working on that too.
    Thanks and please know your posts are helping many.
    Mala, Lily Rose and Msunn like this.
  11. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Thanks Ellen,

    Likewise I've gotten a lot out of what you share. I read your description of the technique where you just observe your symptoms without judgement, which is what I've been trying to learn with this meditation. It's really helped. Thanks for your sharing and all you bring to this community!

    Nancy, yes I agree we artistic people are born perfectionists. I'm trying to let go of that as well. I've been trying to re-connect with that child like part of me that just enjoys playing and writing music without comparing, judging etc. Hope you are feeling better soon.
    Ellen likes this.
  12. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    As I posted yesterday, I had this big flare up of symptoms (pain and migraine), and I was trying very hard to find an emotional cause, but just couldn't. Anyway, last night we had this huge thunderstorm and tornado warnings. I looked up the barometric pressure and it had dropped like a stone during the day yesterday. So once again it appears that my weather trigger is the culprit. I purposefully do not look at the weather forecast because I don't want it to be a nocebo. But I'm thinking now that I need to see when the trigger may become an issue for me and do more prevention--using the meditation technique before I'm in a lot of pain; talking to my brain before it is already reacting, etc.

    Mala, we have discussed the issue of weather triggers on other threads, and I know this is also an issue for you. You mentioned in your post above that the humidity has been very high, so maybe weather is a trigger for you as well.

    I'm going to do more research about conditioning and how to address it, and the role that nerve sensitization plays in the process. Dr. Sarno mentions this, but doesn't go into much detail on it. Dr. Schubiner goes into more depth on this issue, so I am going to read more of his research on this.

    We are having a stormy winter where I live, and I'm tired of doing well only until another storm comes through.
    Msunn and Mala like this.
  13. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just found this blog post by Dr. Schubiner about addressing triggers that I find helpful, so thought I'd post in case it is helpful to you, too, Mala.

    "Once you have recognized your triggers, you can start to reverse them; this is known as ‘extinction’ in the psychological literature.There are several methods to overcome triggers.A common response to triggers is to avoid them.People learn to avoid the movements or foods or people or events.However, that is exactly the wrong thing to do.When you avoid the triggers, you actually give them more power over you.What you really need to do is to overcome them.You need to retrain your brain to avoid developing the MBS symptoms when you encounter the triggers.The way to do that is to be brave and to look forward to encountering the triggers bit by bit and to learn techniques for stopping the nerve pathways that get triggered.The techniques to use are self-talk, breathing and other meditation techniques, therapeutic writing, psychotherapy and a variety of other psychological techniques, such as EMDR.The self-talk or affirmations are very powerful and should be done continually whenever you find yourself encountering a trigger.These are detailed in my educational program as are the therapeutic writing techniques.You can also find some of these techniques in books by Dr. John Sarno, Dr. David Clarke, Dr. Ronald Siegel and others.I also teach mindfulness techniques to deal with triggers.These are also detailed in the program, and have to do with learning to be alert, focused, and relaxed while encountering stressful situations."

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  14. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks from me too for the link and your very touching replies, Msunn.

    Mala, I can only say that you are not alone. I have acknowledged my stuck-ness for some time but until recently have been in denial about the depression. It's not a 'break out the Prozac' sort of depression, just this low grade hum that I have gotten so used to that I believed it was my norm and impossible for me to feel any different. I can't quite break out of those familiar thought and behaviour patterns.
    Mala likes this.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, we in the Chicago area are also getting weary of the bad winter weather.
    Freezing rain overnight has us covered in ice. A warmup will bring rain and maybe flooding.
    Like the may told Mother Nature yesterday: "Enough already!"

    A long, cold, snowy winter can bring down our spirits and leave us wide open to TMS pain.
    We just have to keep sunny inside and ride out the weather. I think of daffodils and laugh and it helps.
    Mala likes this.

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