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TMS onset

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by jula, May 13, 2020.

  1. jula

    jula New Member

    Hi! Can you induce TMS by being afraid of specific symptoms? I have health anxiety, read horror stories and was terrified of getting neurological symptoms and I started getting some burning skin sensations, stabbing, pins and needles, etc. It gets way worse and spreads to different body parts when I am more anxious but never fully goes away (on the top of my hands is where I feel it the most as soon as I start using them), which keeps me really scared.
     
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    this is an interesting topic. I would say YES.

    I have always viewed TMS as 'OCD of the Body'... something happens 'out there' to keep me from a perceived threat 'in here'... it occupies my attention to protect me.

    then there is the 'Nocebo'... I cannot count the times in twenty years that someone has been talking about some malady and I begin to feel like I have that problem within a day. Most recently it was my son telling me "Plantar fascitis is real dad... not everything is TMS"..... later that day, My foot started feeling like I was stepping on a nail. Curious, I looked up 'Plantar fascitis' and that is one of the symptoms???? It's like TMS is evil with consciousness, huh?

    But, from introspection realized that I had a very painful situation with my siblings that I had dodged the same day the symptoms started. As soon as I reviewed that the pain left... immediately. Not plantar fascitis. I still believe PF is TMS. In fact, more so now, because that nail in my foot feeling was very, very real.

    Over 21 years I have seen that the distractions I get are always nicely tuned. If I have a guitar gig coming up, it's my hands. If it's a baseball game, my hips and knee... if it's a work thing, my back. TMS is designed to distract / Focusing on stuff exacerbates it...ignoring stuff ameliorates it. Period
     
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  3. jula

    jula New Member

    Thanks for the reply. Oh yes, I feel like now I have most pain in my hands and guess what - I am a photographer, which of course makes me spiral that I will be unable to work, etc. The pain is not debilitating, comes and goes, but it’s enough to bother me and send me into a vicious cycle of pain and anxiety. It was worse, at one point I was so scared that I got pins and needles and burning in many parts of my body. Right now it has stabilised and doesn’t get worse unless I start panicking.
    My psychiatrist told me about the nocebo effect. She said that I am prone to somatization and I should not read side effects when given a drug and I shouldn’t google ilnesses, etc.
     
  4. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Absolutely, that’s how symptoms start for many people. It’s not uncommon, for example, for someone to fear MS for years and then develop similar symptoms after a specific event or a combination of events.
     
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  5. jula

    jula New Member

    I read horror stories about getting floxed after taking the drug and I associated every little symptom with it to the point when it got out of control and weird symptoms started appearing (pain, pins and needles, tingling, burning) and I developed full blown anxiety. Most symptoms have disappeared and some flare only when I panic (e.g. burning) but I feel I am in fight or flight mode every day, still really scared it will progress. Now my hands are affected and I have occasional pains in other parts but they quickly go away, I guess because I am too focused on my hands. I don’t know.
     
  6. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    So interesting - I JUST posted last night about taking antibiotics and experiencing joint pain after reading horror stories. Fluoroquinolones weren’t prescribed to me that particular time, but I have taken Cipro multiple times in the past, and in general I have been over prescribed antibiotics since childhood.

    One of the antibiotics that triggered the emotional fear that caused my joint pain was Metronidazole, which appears to have generated incredibly negative stories from some people, including a growing number of individuals who say that it can cause problems similar to floxing. Floxing is real for many people, but there are certainly people who haven’t truly been floxed and are only experiencing symptoms because of the horror stories. I have also seen stories on Reddit from genuinely floxed people who say they ultimately healed and that anxiety over healing can absolutely cause someone’s symptoms to go on even after they’ve recovered - I strongly suspect this is far more common than we realize.

    If you’re finding that your symptoms come and go when you’re overly focused on your body, definitely consider that to be a sign that this could very well be TMS/the mind-body connection. You wouldn’t be alone - this topic comes up fairly regularly in the TMS community and people have overcome it, even people who were legitimately floxed at one point but healed.
     
  7. jula

    jula New Member

    Yes, I wish I had never read about the drug. I also have Lyme disease (never treated until now) and this is why I took it but again not sure if Lyme is not another TMS, cannot make up my mind on it. I had few symptoms, for example I had wrist pain many times before the drug, always appears out of the blue. When I was diagnosed with Lyme I associated the pain with it. But now it’s just worse and also in my fingers but the pain is weird, lasts a couple of seconds in one spot, goes away, appears somewhere else. Today my right hand is better but the left is worse. If it was neuropathy I guess it would not wax and wane. My symptoms migrate a lot and there is definitely an anxiety component here - the burning I had and associated with floxing was 100% triggered by my anxiety. I also read some success stories but they still were terrifying and made me spiral. I cannot read about diseases or side effects online, too scary. I definitely am too focused on the body, I have a weird combination of OCD and health anxiety. I have an impression I think about my health all the time, read too much about it, cannot focus on life. It’s really difficult to break this cycle.
     
  8. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chronic Lyme disease that continues after someone was treated for genuine active Lyme disease is absolutely a known component of TMS/the mind-body connection. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing diagnoses we’ve been hearing about over the years. Lyme goes away once you’re treated with antibiotics - and it doesn’t require endless treatment like many of these “Lyme-literate” doctors often believe.

    Per Steve Ozanich, a master of TMS:

    The knowledge right there helped you stop pain. The knowledge of what was going on. The knowledge of what could happen.

    This is not just chronic pain either. We’re talking about ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme diseases. The doctors are creating epidemics all over with this Lyme thing.

    These people have chronic TMS. It’s TMS pain, but when they go in, they’ll do blood work, and they’ll see that that the Lyme antibody titers are in there. And so, they’ll blame it on Lyme when it is not Lyme. Just because their antibodies are in the body does not mean it’s causing the pain and so these non-stop false associations with the testing and symptom.

    https://thrivinglaunch.com/stop-pain-steve-ozanich/ (Stop Pain - Steve Ozanich - Thriving Launch Podcast)

    Based on your history, I encourage you to look at your chronic symptoms and consider TMS/the mind-body connection. Have you seen a cognitive behavioral therapist for your anxiety and OCD? What support have you been provided by loved ones? What helps your anxiety? The good news is that the cycle CAN be broken. So many of us have felt similarly before with anxiety and OCD and feel significantly better today.
     
  9. jula

    jula New Member

    Yes, right now I am in ACT (mostly mindfulness) but I went to a CBT therapist in the past. I managed to get my original OCD under control with her help and with the help of an online course. But when my stomach got worse last year and now this neuro thing began I started obsessing about these issues and I am constantly worried. It’s like thinking about symptoms 100% of the time. My family supports me and they believe that I should try not to overfocus on my health. My bad anxiety began 2 weeks ago, turned into a panic attack that landed me in the ER and now I am just trying not to focus on bad info, I no longer read about floxing or neurological diseases and try to live but it’s really hard as all these negative thought keep bombarning me. I lost interest in everything. I also take an antidepressant and something for my insomnia, I had success with them in the past, of course I know they are just an aid, therapy and self-work is key.
     
  10. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just posted a lot of information about OCD for someone else this morning and how it's a TMS equivalent; feel free to skim pieces of the quote below as some of this may apply to you as well (it's quite long, but please do not feel pressured to read it in its entirety). You can definitely incorporate mind-body healing into your ACT sessions and bring that up with your therapist; they do not need to be a TMS expert or even know what acronym means or who John Sarno is.
    Not reading about floxing or neurological diseases is huge - that is absolutely amazing! I know you've said feel like you've lost interest in everything, but is there anything that still intrigues you, even if only for a very short period of time (perhaps just for a moment)? If you could set a small goal for this week, what would it be (it can be as simple as reading a book or walking around your block or home for 5 minutes)? You don't have to answer this for me on the forum if it's too personal, but what was going on in your life with OCD and your physical symptoms started? Have you had any longer periods of time where things felt better?
     
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  11. jula

    jula New Member

    @Dorado I have had stomach issues for years, they started after I quit my first job. I went from a doctor to a doctor and as they couldn’t find anything physical for my symptoms - they kept telling me I am stressed and this is why I have problems. But I rejected that believing they were missing something. Then after my wedding I started a psychodynamic therapy to look into the possible reasons for my bosy going crazy and quickly my OCD began, which my therapist didn’t really notice or help me with so I went to a CBT therapist, who was really helpful. It took me well over a year to get OCD under control but in the meantime my stomach problems became unbearable - besides my normal GERD I developed LPR (which spontanously improved recently), horrible functional dyspepsia with a period of mild gastroparesis, nausea, IBS. The full spectrum. And I kept obsessing about that, tried all possible diets (I ate 15 products at one point), intolerance tests, supplements, unconventional therapiss. I looked for real diagnoses every day because I couldn’t accept being told it’s all because of stress. I mean I could imagine that but had no idea what to do about it because docs didn’t really give me a solution besides „don’t stress” and I did not really feel that stressed, somehow that stress is blocked from my awareness. During the whole time from being an active, ambitious and a motivated person I became really tired and lazy, now I stay at home most of the time. I quit a job I hated 2 years ago and I opened my own company, which was doing pretty good but my new job stressed me anyway (close work with clients) and now of course because of the virus I don’t really have work.

    About setting small goals - this is exactly what my therapist told me to do yesterday. I am trying to incorporate that.

    I will definitely read your post, thank you so much for your help. Your story is my inspiration as we share many symptoms.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  12. jula

    jula New Member

    And with regard to what you wrote about OCD - it makes perfect sense. I know I can get better but this time it will require even more work than before. I really struggle with making myself believe I am safe.
     
  13. mbo

    mbo Peer Supporter

    Lo
     
  14. mbo

    mbo Peer Supporter

    jula,
    when CBT is not enough it's time to try ISTDP ( intensive short-term dinamic psichotheray) in order to find buried feelings.
     
  15. jula

    jula New Member

    The problem is I went to one (not short term though) which resulted in me developing OCD. Something went wrong there. I guess my OCD was a defense mechanism, but not sure. The therapist wasn’t too good because she didn’t notice what happened.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  16. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    @jula, I have definitely experienced those symptoms. I've written about how I was treated for confirmed H. pylori (which I now know was not the cause of my symptoms; over half the world lives with H. pylori and less than 1% ever develop complications) and ultimately had an endoscopy after treatment didn't work. The test showed that my upper intestines and stomach were bright red, yet nothing was actually wrong with me - there was no inflammation, infections, bleeding, etc. My gastroenterologist diagnosed me with IBS, which I knew was TMS/the mind-body connection. He instructed me to not eat certain foods or drink more than a glass of wine on rare occasions to avoid stomach irritation. I immediately did all those things anyway, and everything that would've made my stomach hurt for weeks straight suddenly had zero affect on me. I no longer felt like my stomach was being doused in acid, rumbling, inflamed to the point that even seatbelts bothered me, etc. You would think I'd learn after my experience with the crazy nerve pain and other symptoms.

    I'm sorry that one of your previous experiences with therapy led to you developing OCD symptoms. The good news is that you can overcome this! :) Please know you are not alone and we are here to support you. I completely understand the need to avoid reassurance seeking with OCD (trust me, I've been there too many times to count) and we can be supportive in a way that does not further reinforce that loop for you. I'm glad your therapist is working with you to set small goals and achieve acceptance and commitment - it sounds like a great program. Please let us know how we can best help you from here!
     
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  17. jula

    jula New Member

    Right now the stomach doesn’t scare my as much, it’s not as bad. But the neuro symptoms... yesterday I had a fairly good day and all of a sudden I developed elbow and ankle tingling feeling and it sent me into another panic attack. I am setting up an appointment with a neurologist because it will either show I have some damage to my nerves or will show nothing and will make me sure I am fine and this is TMS. I am so scared, it’s like a nightmare coming true.
     
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  18. Drew

    Drew New Member

     
  19. Drew

    Drew New Member

    hi @Dorado I have also been a big follower of your awesome threads and comments and story.

    Would it be possible to talk to you directly. I have crps and neuropathic pain/ neurological symptoms (like tingling burning pins and needles twitching electric shocks cold water feeling hot ants crawling or bugs bitting feeling) as well for last 3-4 years and what crazy I have seen some amazing improvement when I just pushed myself at the gym and became very active and got busy in life the pain subsided. The neuropathic pain was always mainly in my legs and certain times in last two years I have been working out like an athlete doing lunges, squats upto 200lbs, step up, leg press upto 500 lbs and a lot of biking and cardio. But last 4 months all neuropathic pain has come back with a vengeance and not just in legs but all over especially the burning skin, tingling, electric shocks, cold water feeling, fire ants biting crawling, you name it and I have that neuropathic symptoms. I had these nerve symptoms before too but they slowly faded I even travelled all around Europe and went to 16 counties on my own working out going to bars having a great time. But last 3 months my mom visited I panicked to her about still getting these symptoms and more I panicked it’s like everything came back and then we went and met 3-4 more doctors and the more I explained my old symptoms it’s like my brain was listening and I have debilitating pain in legs and all nerve symptoms back all the time, the nerve sensitivity and when my mom was still here my full body was having nerve symptoms shocks tingling burning, it was like in just the 3 weeks she was here the more I focused and panicked about my problems it just kept intensifying and now I almost feel like a cripple in just last two months. It’s astonishing to see I was lifting 200 lbs squats and doing Such hard workout again thinking I’m mostly past it with most of my nerve symptoms restricted to stressful times or night time while sleeping or in morning to now them being there 24/7 and some days I can’t even walk. When I started getting better 2 years ago I couldn’t walk anymore so I forced myself to Walk 10-15 miles everyday, I couldn’t wear jeans or any clothing pretty much would cause sensivity pain in knees classic CRPS allodynia sign. I have been overly obsessing and spending about 10-15 hours on forums everyday since this relapse and everytime I have to explain my stmptoms even right now as I’m writing I can feeling them Going up and up. If I pick up and call mom n dad and vent or start getting sad or panicky the symptoms go up 100 times but if I don’t call them every morning I wake up with full body burning tingling and every nerve symptoms everywhere. I can’t belive just 7 months ago I was dancing in Ireland and running around in Barcelona and here I am restricted to my bed unable to do anything and because of wrtiting and explaining my symptoms to so many people over the last 2 months it’s like every single one of them is back which I thought I had forgotten or loved past from. It’s like my nerves are so hyper and nervous system can’t seem to turn off anymore. Would love your opinion on how to get back since I almost so many times thought that I was back in life and move in closed this chapter but then here I am again stuck way deeper this time just cause I’m more scared and read a lot more and went to neurologists and other doctors last 2-3 months which I never did. It was like I did everything to out way more focus on sympotms by telling everyone so symptoms that had disappeared also returned :(
    Would love your advise
    Thanks
     
  20. Drew

    Drew New Member

    Wow I have started to have ankles and elbow tingling since last two months crazy how identical our stories are
     

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