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TMS but no repressed feelings?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by vanessa30, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. vanessa30

    vanessa30 New Member

    TMS is caused by repressed feelings and certain personality traits. I read some days ago here a comment where somebody was wondering why people with real trauma have no TMS and others with no obvious serious problems do have it. He says that he has TMS because even in stressful situations he always stays friendly and calm whereas his sister who has no TMS would react in the same situation aggressively and explode showing all her emotions.
    Im exactly like the sister. I can tell you anytime what I feel so can other people because I get in rage very easily and always say what I think. And Im very aware of my feelings and needs (doing psychotherapy) but Im not improving. I can relate my tense muscles to inner stress my other symptom though which Im dealing with for over 10 years now ( weird sensation in my lower belly and genitals) makes no sense at all.

    I started this SEP program and Im working on my inner child (listening to audio books) but Im still not convinced I have TMS. What should I do?
    THANKS for reading this.
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Go to your pcp and get a full work up and get cleared ...then you will know
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Jiddu Krishnamurti
    plum likes this.
  4. vanessa30

    vanessa30 New Member

    What is a pcp?
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

  6. vanessa30

    vanessa30 New Member

    I got so many work ups during The past years without any results i stopped counting.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    See a TMS physician for an objective exam, but it sounds like you've had a lot of exams by allopathic docs and they can't find anything wrong--conclusion: it's likely TMS.

    Maybe dump your current psych, since you're not improving and see a TMS therapist or phone or skype with one . I've seen too many people seeing the same shrink for decades and they are un-happier all the time. There are shrinks who just view you as an open wallet. If you took your car to a mechanic for ten years and you could never drive it, you would see a new mechanic or get a new car. Or, maybe see a Life Coach instead, I think they take people in a more positive direction.

  8. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    I initially looked into this when my symptoms became obvious and while my childhood was less than perfect I felt I did not have any repressed feelings due to it, and I still don't think I do have much, if any. However, with current stuff that happens I sometimes find myself driving home from work, watching tv, etc, and thinking abt stuff that happened and I am internally fuming! Not sure if thsi is what is fueling my current symptoms but i'm sure it isn't helping. One cannot think nasty negative garbage on a regular basis and remain in a healthy state, IMO.....it is just not the way our bodies are designed to operate.
    plum and Tennis Tom like this.
  9. BeWell

    BeWell Well known member

    Everyone has TMS. Every human being is physically affected by the mind and a mental process can end the unwanted physical problem. You have it, I have it, there is no person on earth immune. Evolution will wring out the devil within once we aware. It is inevitable.
    jrid32, plum and Tennis Tom like this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I sometimes wonder if the people who did me the most harm have a conscience and have TMS pain. I don't wish that on anyone, but I do like the old phrase, "What goes around comes around." It's kind of comforting. I believe I have forgiven them, but just in case...
  11. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    Vanessa, rage is not the main emotion. It is called a secondary emotion.

    Rage is a protection mechanism that allows you to not feel your primary emotions. Why are you upset? Because you feel disrespected perhaps. You feel exposed. You feel threatened. Those are the main emotions you need to explore, not the rage. You need to dig deeper.
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  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Vangessa, I agree with ezer - but I also know that this can be confusing, because Dr. Sarno says we need to access our deep rage.

    To make the distinction, what you call "getting in a rage" is perhaps better defined as "losing your temper" or expressing anger" and again, I agree with ezer that someone who easily loses their temper or explodes with anger, is experiencing shallow behavior that is actually a distraction - it's just another way that your brain protects you from discovering and acknowledging the deep rage that is caused by what our brains think are unacceptable emotions. These deep negative emotions are the source of the real rage: we all have rage against our parents for not allowing us to be babies forever, or for not protecting us from every hurt and embarrassment that ever happened as children, or for having siblings; we have rage against our partners and our children for not living up to our expectations; and, for many of us who have reached a certain age, we experience the ultimate rage against life or God or whatever, for making us face the realities of growing old and dying.

    I was married for 23 years to someone with a well-known (not just to me) temper problem - and he's also got plenty of TMS symptoms. The two are not mutually exclusive! I believe from things he has said that he has extremely unresolved issues from his family life, and the repressed rage leaks out as anger and impatience towards just about everything and everyone else.
  13. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    I, too, agree with ezer. His terminology about emotions is a bit unconventional (not that there is anything wrong with that because there is a clear logic to it). I want to say much the same thing as he did using more conventional language because saying the same thing differently can sometimes help communication. I’ll also elaborate a bit on my understanding of his advice to dig deeper.

    Ezer regards anger as a secondary emotion triggered by a primary emotion. In a post on another thread, he gives these examples of primary emotions: feeling trapped, humiliated, taken for granted, disrespected, under appreciated, etc.

    In more conventional terms, many researchers identify half a dozen or so basic emotions, anger being one of them. Each of these emotions is an automatic response to a stimulus. Feeling trapped, humiliated, taken for granted, under appreciated, etc. are unpleasant hedonic states, not emotions. These unpleasant states stimulate the emotion called anger. The distinguishing (and energizing) feature of anger is the behavioral impulse to act aggressively to defend oneself against physical or emotional pain. Ezer’s examples of feeling trapped, humiliated, taken for granted, and underappreciated all involve emotional hurt of some sort. They are stimuli of anger.

    If I understand ezer correctly, what he means by saying to dig deeper is this: Don’t focus on experiencing the repressed anger; focus on what stimulates it. Notice you feel trapped, humiliated, taken for granted, under appreciated, etc., and notice what somebody did or did not do to make you feel that way.

    I would add that this approach to treating TMS comports fully with what Dr. Sarno teaches. First, in The Mindbody Prescription, he answered some questions his patients frequently asked. One question, which sounds a lot like Vanessa's, was: “I know I’m angry. I can feel it. In fact I often show it. Why do I still have pain.” His answer: “Because the anger you know about and express is not the anger causing your pain. TMS is a response to anger-rage generated in the unconscious (in which case you are not aware of it), or conscious anger suppressed.” Furthermore, Sarno believed it is very rare for a person who represses anger-rage to actually experience it. He had only one TMS patient out of thousands he treated successfully who ever experienced repressed anger-rage, and that did not happen until a year after he treated her.

    Second, Sarno gave this advice in The Mind Body Prescription p. 145: “I tell my patients that they must consciously think about repressed rage and the reasons for it . . . .” He did not say to experience repressed anger-rage, which is hardly surprising given his view about the rarity of experiencing it. Instead he said to think about it and the reasons for it. I believe his instruction to think about repressed anger-rage means to think about how the unconscious mind (especially the narcissistic, illogical id) works, and his instruction to think about the reasons for the repressed anger-rage means to figure out what stimulated it—that is, to notice you feel trapped, humiliated, taken for granted, etc. and notice what somebody did that made you feel that way.

    Finally, Sarno distinguished between repressed anger and conscious displaced anger. With the latter, you discharge the aggressive energy of your repressed anger by becoming “overtly angry at something relatively unimportant, like a traffic tie-up or poor service in a restaurant, instead of at your spouse or a parent [i.e., the real target of the repressed anger], because the latter is simply not allowed by your psyche. This is very common among my patients.” What this suggests to me is that to dig deeper, as ezer says, you usually need to look for what a spouse, parent, or someone else you are close to did to make you feel trapped, humiliated, taken for granted, under appreciated, etc. Do not focus on things like a driver who cut you off in traffic or an inattentive waiter in a restaurant.

    This approach works for me. I have had great success in overcoming various forms of TMS since I first read Sarno’s Healing Back Pain a quarter of a century ago.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  14. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    I agree with you duggit. But let me expand a little bit on what I posted. To warn you, I am just a layperson.
    I very much like Eckhart Tolle's description of an emotion (in the PON):

    Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet. It is the body's reaction to your mind — or you might say a reflection of your mind in the body.

    When you feel disrespected for example, for a split second you experience a body sensation or an emotion. Your body may freeze. You may start to blush. You may have a queezy feeling. A cold chill in your spine. Then you get angry... It is almost not controllable. To me anger is there to prevent those emotions to be felt. In this instance, being disrespected is associated with one of the body sensations. It is hard to define the emotion with words. It may be a combination of being dazed, mortified, startled, wretched, insecure, self-conscious etc.

    This is the feeling you want to (re-)experience including the associated body sensation. I experienced instantaneous pain relief when practicing it. It was my way out of this TMS nightmare.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I do appreciate your words and love your success story. Quiet islands of wisdom in the stormy TMS sea.

    A play on Tolle's words may also be that emotion arises where perception and physiology meet, where our thoughts engage our nervous system. As you point out we have the choice to cool the fires, we become watchful of ourselves. With kindness we disengage from the beliefs that underscore emotions such as anger and sorrow, and in so doing we cease triggering the fight-flight response. This is enough in itself because the gentle peace of the parasympathetic is our natural state. This is what I mean when I suggest people get out of their own way. No one else is doing anything to you. They are not even triggering you. All reactions are yours and as you become increasingly aware, you fine tune your antenna to such things and begin the process of desensitisation.

    @vanessa30 Sweetheart, maybe you would benefit more from soothing your nervous system. Oftentimes the emotional route doesn't work for people and that is ok. This was true for me. What works like a charm is to favour the soothe part of the rage-to-soothe ratio that Sarno speaks about. Bring more pleasure into your life. Nurture your body and yourself. A body~oriented method serves to approach healing from the other side: we quiet our physiology and create breathing space for our thoughts, perceptions and feelings. Sometimes it is easier to approach emotional tangles from a distance in this way. It is good to be aware of feelings and needs however if you are not improving in psychotherapy you may need to step away from it for a while. Assimilation is needed. In nature we know that an endlessly ploughed field loses its goodness and to restore it it is necessary to lie fallow for a time. The human mind and heart need this too. As there are seasons in Nature, there are seasons of the soul.
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  16. vanessa30

    vanessa30 New Member

    Thanks a Lot for your answer! Ive Never seen it from that ankle but it makes sense To me.

    Regarding To The actual physical symptoms: do You think they can still be tms Even if they occur in no relation To Stressful Situations? I Would say they come in Intervalls:sometimes they are almost gone for weeks and then they Are there really intense for a few weeks. They Are always there but it varies in intensity.
    With My other Symptoms (tense neck mzscles and tension headache)its real essier: whenever im angry i can feel the Stress in My neck And The muscles tightening up.

    Sorry for bothering You with My stuff it just Sounds You Are really experienced with tms And i feel i Need To be a Little more convinced about it (read all The Books though) from People who actially have that!

    Thank You
  17. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Vanessa, I’m not sure I can answer your question or that I even fully understand it. But I’ll try.

    As I see it, repressed anger is the primary cause of TMS, but there is another cause that can operate after repressed anger has produced TMS in a particular part of the body.

    In Healing Back Pain, Dr. Sarno called this other cause “a very important phenomenon known as conditioning.” He explained conditioning by referring to Pavlov’s famous experiment in which he would ring a bell each time he fed a group of dogs. After a few repetitions of that, the dogs would salivate when he rang the bell even though he did not present them with food. The dogs salivated because they had learned to associate the bell with food. As Sarno put it, Pavlov’s experiment “demonstrated that animals develop associations which can produce automatic and reproducible physical reactions.”

    Conditioning applies to humans as well as other animals. Sarno said conditioning “seems to be very important in determining when the person with TMS will have pain. For example, a common complaint of people with low back pain is that it is invariably brought on by sitting. This is such a benign activity one is mystified by the fact that it initiates pain. But conditioning occurs when two things go on simultaneously, so it is easy to imagine that at some point early in the course of the TMS experience the person happens to be having pain while sitting. The brain makes the association between sitting and the presence of pain and that person is now programmed to expect pain with sitting.”

    Decades ago when I used to have low back pain, some doctor told me, “Slouching while sitting is bad for your back. Don’t slouch.” That conditioned me to have low back pain when I slouched even if I was not repressing anger at the time, just as Pavlov’s dogs salivated when the bell rang even if they were not presented with food. For several years after I overcame low back pain by noticing I was repressing anger and what simulated it, I often made it a point to slouch while sitting as a way of celebrating my victory over low back pain.

    A few years ago, I got a new form of TMS. I woke up one morning with neck pain and simultaneously noticed I was sleeping on my right side when I awoke. After that, I had neck pain whenever I laid or slept on my right side. I had subconsciously associated lying or sleeping on my right side with neck pain. Despite serious effort, I never did come up with what anger I was repressing when the neck pain initially started. The way I finally beat the neck pain was, first, to realize the recurring episodes of it must be the result of Pavlovian conditioning and, second, to pledge to myself whenever I was aware of rolling onto my right side in bed that I was not going to succumb to the conditioning.
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