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Symptoms not moving

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hiawatha922, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    So far, after focusing on treatment for about eight weeks, I have noticed no change in physical symptoms. The symptoms are still concentrated in the same parts of my body where they have been for the past several years. I'm wondering if this is cause for concern (in regard to this being TMS). Many people seem to talk about symptoms that come and go, or symptoms that move around.

    My symptoms are present every day. I do notice a shift in intensity from time to time (often associated with what seems like allergic reactivity) but most of them are centered in certain parts of my body.

    Has anyone eventually experienced success with symptom patterns similar to mine (present daily, not moving)?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Hiawatha. Yes, many of us have had symptoms stuck in one place without relief, lessoning or moving around. This is no way an indication that you do not have TMS. It does reveal that you are monitoring your symptoms, hoping to find some sort of predictable TMS pattern to hang your hopes on. I used to wake up every morning and my first thought was about my pain. How severe was it? Had it changed at all? Would I be able to function or not? I could not imagine how not to monitor my pain. I think I began to make some progress with this while working with my somatic experiencing therapist. She helped train me to be able to focus on parts of my body that were not in pain. It was very tedious and hard to learn at first. With the pain in my head and neck screaming for attention it was very difficult to sense into any of the parts of my body that were not in pain. My symptoms did not start moving around until I could successfully stop being so distracted by my right sided head/neck pain. I hesitate to say that took me many months because my path to recovery does not need to be yours. There is no timeline. But don't be concerned if your symptoms don't move around. The reason everyone talks so much about things moving around and the symptom imperative is that it is a very effective TMS strategy and tends to catch people off guard even when they know its a possibility. So if their symptoms lesson, improve or get better and then suddenly some new thing arrives, it is rarely ever greeted with joy "oh, boy, lucky me, symptom imperative!" No, usually the new symptom is very disturbing and effective in being distracting. We may hope that it is just symptom imperative at work but it can take a while to convince ourselves. Months even. Sometimes it is only in retrospect that we realize that it was just another side of TMS. So, you will have success if you think psychologically, don't focus on the pain, and find joy regardless of whether you are in pain. That last piece of finding happiness even when you are in pain used to really piss me off but it makes sense now. And there is a part of your body that is not in pain. If you practice and put your focus there, even for short periods of time, it does help. I couldn't do it at all at first so it does take patience and practice.
     
    Ellen likes this.
  3. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Anne, thank you for your reply! I really appreciate your thoughts on this. You are right--I find myself continually looking for a reason for my physical symptoms (other than emotional or psychological reasons). I guess the first step is to see that this is what I am doing. Now for a change in behavior/thought pattern. I would like to let go of the attention and fear I associate with these symptoms. Thank you, Anne.
     
  4. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is one of the trickiest things to accomplish in working on our TMS - outcome independence. It is completely natural to search for a cause/effect. If you believe you have TMS and you understand that TMS is a mental distraction then it would make perfect sense to expect the pain to lessen once you have followed a TMS recovery program. I wish TMS were that cooperative! Outcome independence and not monitoring your symptoms is difficult to achieve but I promise once you get it, your symptoms will be very much improved. I went from not being able to understand how it is possible not to monitor your symptoms to not being able to remember the exact day my pain lessoned. It was a lot of work but so worth it!! I hope that day comes for you soon.
     
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, and I believe the trick is in diverting your attention, not trying to force yourself not to think about the pain. Although you can notice when you are thinking about it and then intentionally take your attention elsewhere.
     
  6. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Yes, it sounds like mindfulness practice is key to recovery.
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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