1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1 that question

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Leslie, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Where am I at in my treatment, a cleverly disguised version of my least favorite question: "how are you". I don't even like to think about that, let alone talk or write about it. And my standard answer these days is "we don't talk about that". Basically where I'm at depends on who you ask. If you ask my two extremely dedicated, wonderful treatment providers they would probably tell you that physically I have made dramatic improvements over the past 18 months and anatomically and physiologically there are no notable abnormal issues. They would also probably tell you they are as baffled by the sudden increase in pain (with no apparent cause) as I am. In fact, one of these wonderful people is so dedicated to helping me that a short time ago, after consulting with several of her colleagues as to what we may not have thought of or might be missing, she suggested very diplomatically, not that the pain was "in my head", but the possibility that there might be an emotional component to it. I ran this theory past a friend in the psychology realm, and my friend agreed and suggested I consult with a psychologist in my local area. After an expensive hour with the local psychologist, he too was in agreement. Everyone has been very forthcoming about the likelihood of a "long, painful journey" ahead of me and that I will likely get worse before I get better. Not to mention the out of pocket financial blow for weekly sessions with a HDHP. So now the paradox that has led me here, frantically searching the web trying to solve the multi-faceted problem: the pain in my shoulder left me unable to work over a year ago, now without a sufficient income source, I cannot afford to get rid of the pain in my shoulder. So where (how) am I? I'm at a frustrated standstill. I have already wasted tons of money (I don't have) fruitlessly trying to end the pain. I think it is very likely that I have TMS, however much of the "work" and many of the "steps" to overcome it are (not surprisingly) very similar to those I've been given to overcome the depression/anxiety that I've suffered with for most of my life. Silly me, I actually thought I had that problem under control only to have it join forces with my shoulder this past fall and completely overwhelm me. If I haven't been able to kick the depression with these steps, is there any hope that I can overcome the TMS with them?
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Leslie: Have you tried beginning to work the 37-day SEP (Structured Education Program) listed on the TMS Wiki?


    Also, you might try logging in to the TMS chat on Saturdays at noon PST for advice and moderated assistance from a group of TMS peers. The link is on the same page listed above. Likewise, are you familiar with the work of Dr John E. Sarno? If not, begin by carefully reading (and later re-reading) Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain, the most accessible I believe of his many books and articles. It does sound as though you've been examined by an MD, so your pain condition must not be due to an existing medical condition. Just remember, all the people on this TMS forum are here to help you and direct you toward knowledge sources. Hope you're feeling much better soon!

    I think Alan Gordon says somewhere that anxiety and TMS are the same thing, only dressed up in different costumes.
  3. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Welcome Leslie,
    I , too, have spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I have terrible health care coverage so every step of the way was very expensive so add that to being already physically in pain and depressed it is/has been a heavy burden.

    My physical therapist helped to turn my life around by recommending Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno as MorComm has suggested. I checked out The divided Mind by Sarno from the library. I started reading it and new I had to have a copy. He described me perfectly in the book.

    I initially would not have called myself a perfectionist until a friend said "Sandy, anything you decide to do... you do 110%". Yes, I do and Yes, I am a perfectionists. I would not have called myself controlling either. But once the seed got planted in my brain I could see that I was controlling. I always new I was a people pleaser. There are many more personality traits which also describe me very well.

    This has been a very eye opening journey for me. You will find lots of support here for you. I have been able to kick the depression and most of the pain. You can too. Sandy
  4. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Leslie,

    I too spent tens of thousand of dollars over the 20 years I have had back and sciatic pain. I also spent those 20 years working on emotional issues and growth. But working with the TMS material (the Structured Educational Program is indeed a great place to start as MorComm suggests) since October, I have now reduced my pain by about 90%. It doesn't cost any money, and the support is priceless.

    Also, those years were not a waste, even the physical component. For someone in her 60's, I am very flexible, have terrific posture, and move freely, much of it thanks to the physical therapy I sought for my back pain. As for the emotional work, I think it was very healing, and helped me make many positive changes in my life. The TMS material is now getting me to the deepest bits were left, where I don't think I would have gone except for the pain.

    I think many of us have experienced the frustration, depression and discouragement that you mention. There really is hope, and support. You can heal.
    veronica73 likes this.
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Thank you all for your wonderful words of encouragement. I have started the SEP and have completed one of Dr Sarno's books. I actually read The Mindbody Prescription because it was the only one they had on the shelf at the bookstore and I was too impatient to wait for the UPS man! A great deal of what he talks about in his book describes me. I plan to continue the reading and the SEP, I'm just wondering if given the depression/anxiety component (and the reality that when I desperately needed all the expensive coping skills from years of dealing with the depression, they completely failed me) if I should start the psychotherapy now as well. I only had that one session with the therapist because the cost and potential for years more treatment totally overwhelmed me and my husband and I decided to take some time to think about it. My husband wants me to get better as much (if not more some days) than I do; but the reality is that we really can't afford any more "maybe it'll work"s. I realize everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another, I'm just wondering if it's likely that I can overcome this without some psychotherapy given the almost lifelong struggle with depression.
  6. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I, too, have had depression and anxiety all my life. i have seen numerous therapist over the years and none ever helped. it was not until i bought an $18.00 book that i learned more about myself compared to 60 years of living. I started with The Divided Mind.

    i know in the past the financial burden was so worrisome i felt it made all my problems worse. So my suggestion is to work this program. Plus very few Therapist understaƱd the Mind/body connection and, if not, can end up undermining this program/your progress.

    You can always decide to add therapy in if you can find someone who gets and supports the Mind/body connection.

    I have no doubt you can do this.

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