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Day 1 TMS?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by katie9, Jul 17, 2022.

  1. katie9

    katie9 Newcomer

    I have been experiencing a variety of symptoms over the past several years, intensifying since fall 2020. Some of my most bothersome symptoms have been gastrointestinal, including nausea, vomiting, unintended weight loss and difficulty gaining weight, and a perplexing array of apparent food sensitivities that I seem unable to make sense of despite strict adherence to several elimination diets. I also have pain/discomfort in my left shoulder and a variety of unpleasant sensations in the lower left portion of my abdomen and upper left leg/groin, as well as occasional lower back pain. I have unpleasant sensations (a sense of burning, tingling, and tension) in my mouth, cheeks, tongue, and jaw. When I am lying down, there is often a sense of tingling and/or pressure throughout my arms and legs.

    I have had extensive medical testing (tons of labwork, abdominal CT and MRI, brain MRI, colonoscopy, EGD) and nothing has revealed anything that would account for the extensive array of symptoms I have been experiencing. Several months ago, I began experimenting with the hypothesis that at least some of the symptoms are related to stress. Last month I learned about TMS, after my aunt recommended the Curable app.

    I am quite accepting of TMS as a real phenomenon, though part of my mind doubts whether I have it. I think much of the doubt comes from the emphasis on pain in the Curable app. Since pain has not been one of my primary symptoms, part of my mind thinks that this all doesn't apply to me. But other parts of my mind are quite convinced that at least some of my symptoms are related to repressed emotions. So I plan to continue exploring this hypothesis, directing my energy and effort less toward medical appointments and more toward my mental health.

    I will be grateful for any suggestions of resources about TMS that discuss symptoms other than chronic pain.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome @katie9 - and it sounds like, based on your lack of any significant diagnosis in spite of multiple tests, that you are in the right place.

    Please be assured that "pain" is only one aspect of TMS - although it is the primary one that first manifests for many, perhaps most, people.

    I myself put up with two significant pain problems for twenty+ years: disabling neck spasms, and what I called 5-ibuprofen headaches. But the symptoms that led me to a desperate search for answers in 2011 were not pain at all - I had digestive issues just like yours (check my profile story, written 11 years ago, and you'll see what I mean) along with dizziness/imbalance, shaky legs, panic attacks, and even depression (which I had never experienced in my life until then - and that one really scared the shit out of me.). I wrote about all of these things just the other day in response to a recent post, so I won't repeat myself here (see https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/tms-for-life.26221/ (TMS for life?)). Short story - those two long-time symptoms disappeared, and although I still deal with others popping up, I nonetheless got my life back, and panic attacks and depression are also not part of it.

    Dr. Sarno wrote about other TMS symptoms in The MindBody Prescription, and in The Divided Mind he turned over more than half of the book to six other medical/mental health professionals to discuss all kinds of aspects of TMS.

    The key to success in doing this work is flexibility and open-mindedness. The Curable app is awesome, along with the related resources, and there is no reason you can't interpret "pain" as any symptom which causes you distress. The source of your symptoms, after all, is emotional pain.

    Good luck,

  3. katie9

    katie9 Newcomer

    Thank you for your response, Jan, and for linking to some of your previous posts. Your story sounds similar to mine, so it is very encouraging to hear that Dr. Sarno's book and the Structured Educational Program have had such a positive impact on you. I am going to try to channel the attitude expressed at the end your "My TMS Story" post, when you said "I can't wait to find out how this story ends!" I think I could benefit from approaching this all with a sense of enthusiastic curiosity, rather than my default mode of anxiousness and urgency. I've been reading The Divided Mind the past week. The book seems to be increasing my confidence that TMS is a plausible explanation for my symptoms and increase my confidence that recovery is possible ... but the more anxious parts of my mind tend to latch onto statements such as "The potential danger lies in the fact that the substitute symptom may be due to serious pathology: an autoimmune, cardiovascular, or neoplastic process." Then I find myself thinking ... if I don't turn this around quickly, my mind is going to give me cancer or heart disease. Oh my! I do wonder how this story will end!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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