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

TMS psychology

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Shanshu Vampyr, May 7, 2012.

  1. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Anyone ever have this experience?

    So you're doing OK in your daily life de-valuing the TMS strategy and its cleverness. Then a painful twinge or episode will occur in X body part and you end up wondering what its genesis is. If you're anything like me, who's been on the same journey towards relief for over a year, for a long period of time, you get to start wondering if you're just a conventional "chronic pain patient" and this TMS stuff is all hooey. After all, what's distressing about a slow recovery is that it's a slow recovery, am I right? Most of us here, I would wager, can deal with the pain knowing that *someday* it will end. But while you're *in* the pain loop, it's just as permanent as chronic pain is for the population out there who doesn't know/doesn't accept Sarno and for whom chronic pain is a reality, amIright? And so that obsessive part of the TMS mind cleverly "undoes" all the work that we've done up until that point because one chronic pain patient is just the same as another chronic pain patient while the chronic pain is still there, right? It's only when a person "recovers" from TMS that they realize the medical establishment is all wrong about the permanence of chronic pain. When you're in the loop, the realization doesn't do much for ya, does it?

    Am I correct in thinking that directed mindfulness is the way out of the obsessive loop? It's not easy. :(
    Endless luke likes this.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Obsessing is a big part of anxiety and TMS. When I'm obsessing a lot, I find the best thing is to just do something that will distract me for a while and then when I feel a little more calm I look at what might be the root cause--what emotions am I stuffing down that are causing this?
  3. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    I can see how you think like that but for me small victories along the way convinced me that TMS was not all hooey. And it did take me a long time to get better but I was sure I would beat TMS. Just be as patient as possible and don't lapse back into the old way of thinking.
    Forest likes this.
  4. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    I didn't actually post this to convince myself that I DON'T have TMS. I of course want my cure as much as anyone else. I was just commenting, actually, on how sneaky TMS is in making you DOUBT its very existence. Tricky bastard! :(
  5. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    It sounds like you've taken a very medical point of view there (I wonder why... :p). Dr Sarno says everyone has TMS and everyone experiences TMS symptoms, it's just when those symptoms take over your life that it comes a pathology. I view TMS as kinda like obesity. Having waaaay too much body fat/psychogenic pain is bad for you. You can take steps to get rid of the fat/pain, but it's a slow process and one that you'll have to engage with for the rest of your life. There is no 'recovery'.

    And just like loosing weight, when you're struggling with TMS sometimes you go backwards. I wouldn't say it undoes what you've already acheived, because you've gained knowledge and strategies and motivation that you didn't have before you started the journey.

    I wouldn't say that all patients with chronic pain are the same. People with pain due to degenerative conditions have no way to shed their pain, they're reliant on medication, surgery and doctors for help. People with TMS pain can aquire the tools and skills to help themselves. I find that really empowering, even when I'm still hurting.
    Forest likes this.
  6. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hi Justina,

    Excellent! I had to read this a few times to let it sink in. You are right, there are gray areas in life, and I'm guilty of thinking in terms of a pure binary. Pain vs. no pain. Healed vs. not-healed. "Good resident" vs. "bad resident"? I blame my perfectionistic tendencies. :) Damn them. :)

    I don't know enough about chronic pain conditions to refute the idea that there are degenerative change conditions that cause pain. I'd like to be a Sarno purist and say that wear and tear does not cause pain, that arthritis does not cause pain, that all chronic pain is TMS under its various disguises, but I don't know enough. I believe you are right, though. I may be too much on the TMS bandwagon. I'm inclined to call TMS on ANY chronic pain condition these days.

    And I definitely agree with you about the going backwards. I guess I just meant I feel frustrated when I get "more" TMS despite my efforts. Really frustrated. And worried. And everything.
  7. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    I don't think all chronic pain is TMS, and I don't think that's what Dr Sarno says either. Arthritis is a painful degenerative condition and debilitates a lot of people. I interpreted Dr Sarno's skepticism of "wear and tear" is that our bodies are robust and can heal themselves. A broken femur heals in six weeks, people can survive being shot in the head and other horrific traumas. A person shouldn't be disabled for decades by a "bulging disc", "tendonitis" or other minor injury, it doesn't make sense.

    Going back to my weight loss analogy (lol, you can tell it's another demon I've wrestled with) people who throw themselves into calorie restricted diets and lots of exercise often see a weight loss for a few weeks, and then gain for a while. This isn't going backwards, it shows they're developing muscle mass from all the hard work they've been doing. Getting new or increased pain with TMS isn't "more", it shows that you're working hard and your brain has to try harder and harder to distract you. It means it's working, keep going!
  8. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    If that's the case I'm winning maybe. I have this crazy bad "tendonitis" in both thumbs for no apparent reason after my left ankle has stopped hurting significantly. But other parts of my body still ache just as bad. :(

Share This Page