I've written here before. This is kind of an update. Kind of a request for help. I first developed TMS symptoms in my hands about three years ago. It was all the common RSI symptoms that tend to be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome minus actual wrist pain. I thought I had developed this from too much constant game controller and keyboard/mouse use. Two years ago I discovered Dr. Sarno's work. Within a a few weeks my pain completely disappeared and I felt relieved and over-joyed I had overcome such a debilitating issue. But it didn't last. About six weeks later the pain began to resurface again via the same activities. Slowly at first in my fingers, and getting more pervasive over time. During this time I was frightened again, but being of resolute opinion that it must be TMS I continued to do my normal activities through the pain, ignoring it and telling it to go away. This had some degree of success. It's never hurt so bad that I had to stop what I was doing. But the symptoms continued and slowly mutated over time. Instead of just aching and weird nerve-pain flashes, the palms of my hands became sensitized to touch, especially along the parts of my hands that maintained the most contact with objects like the game controller, mouse, or even a barbell (when exercising). I kept persisting though, telling myself TMS was behind it all. I kept telling myself this after the similar symptoms starting showing up in my feet and starting to work their way up my calves. Of course it must be TMS because I don't type with my toes and I've never injured my feet in any way. About a year ago I was trying to make bread and the experience left the palms of my hands in agony. Never had that happen before. Since then the experience can most closely be described as a type of neuropathy called allodynia -- my palms are almost always in some state of discomfort, but light pressure on them continues to build up this discomfort to the point where the nerves with suddenly flash electrical shocks only on the places where they are touching something. This has been a very slow progression, and of course during the time I've had my doubts and concerns about a TMS diagnosis. But here's the thing... I've been to my GP and had nerve conduction study of my arms and hands. Also an MRI of my cervical spine. The former showed nothing wrong, and the latter was basically unchanged from six years ago long before this problem arose. My GP didn't think an MRI of my hands would be useful, so he has offered me gabapentin or lyrica to see if they would help. So far I've turned him down. While at times I have my doubts, I still believe that TMS is the root of all this. Why? Because sometimes when I'm doing light activity with my hands and I get into a "flow" of laser-focus, the pain disappears. Until I emerge and it slowly starts up again until it's back where it was a few minutes later. Because hate my job, but can't leave it without losing my retirement and health insurance. Retirement can't happen for another three years at the earliest -- and then it would be pretty meager compared to staying another ten years beyond that. Health insurance is vital because I have to take medication I couldn't pay for without it. Because I hate the tiny, cramped apartment I live in with my partner. But we can't move to a larger place without vastly inflating our housing costs. (Living in the Bay Area.) Because my partner is also prone to depression and recently lost his job -- so I'm supporting both of us. And he feels put upon if I'm sharing my problems with him and constantly accuses me of only dwelling on the negative. Because I have very few friends and even less contact with them since leaving Facebook. (Not going back regardless) Because I journal from time-to-time but it often feels pointless. I feel lonely, miserable and repeating an endless cycle of dull, lifeless existence every day that only seems poised to get worse if I try to change my career or housing situation. Naturally I try to do things that help me avoid thinking about it all. And isn't that what TMS is for? To make a diverting pain to prevent us from thinking about the things we can't face? But I can't keep doing this for another 3 to 10 years.