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Told my family doctor about TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by blake, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi there,

    Thought I'd share what happened to me today at my doctor's office. I went for my annual checkup and, of course, she asked about my neck pain. She has been my family doctor for 11 years, 6 of which I have had neck problems. Up until that very moment, I wasn't even sure I was going to tell her about Dr. Sarno, but I'm so glad I did.

    I basically told her that I had stopped all forms of treatment 8 months ago and started Dr. Sarno's program. I described his theory a little bit and told her I was almost completely pain free now. She congratulated me very sincerely and was extremely impressed with my recovery. She said doctors often know their patients' symptoms have a psychological component, but they don't say anything because people don't want to hear it. She said she was happy that I had been open enough to accept the possibility that my pain was psychosomatic.

    It was a great discussion and I'm so glad I got to talk about Dr. Sarno. I'm pretty proud of myself for speaking up.

    It also got me thinking about how unfortunate it is that doctors know about psychomatic illness, but not about Dr. Sarno's approach to healing. Wouldn't it be nice to go to your doctor's office with a problem and have him give you advice about TMS, the same way we get advice on not smoking or not eating too much fat or sugar? I was in pain for 6 years before I found out about Dr. Sarno. If any of the countless healthcare professionals I consulted had mentioned Dr. Sarno's theory, I would have responsed immediately (it actually took me about 10 minutes of reading three paragraphs of a success story to know this approach was right for me). I don't hold a grudge about this, because I'm so happy to be in recovery, but it still would have been nice to save myself all that pain.

    Let's all pray the day will come when everyone has access to Dr. Sarno's theory.
  2. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    You brought up a really good point, Blake. Doctors are in a difficult position in the US where so many doctors get sued. A lot of doctors actually think a patient's suffering is psychological, but feels they cannot say so. If they miss something, they can be sued. My husband and I retired to Panama 10 years ago. I notices that the doctors here are much more likely to say what they really think because suing is not common. Also, it seems that so many people do not want to be told that psychology contributes or causes their problems.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think one of the problems is that for many doctors "psychological cause" = "caused by depression". They may know there is a psychological cause, but they don't understand the theory about repressed emotions and how the mind effects the body. That understanding is critical.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  4. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Chickenbone,
    Hi Ellen,

    We don't sue our doctors much here in Canada. Lord knows they have enough on their plates because of our healthcare system:) (in my home province anyway). But I suspect the fear of missing something applies here as well.

    And it's true that there is still stigma associated with anything related to mental health, so patients don't want to hear that their pain is caused by stress. This talk with my doctor really made me see that Dr. Sarno's work has to get out there. He has a theory that leaves people feeling empowered (not ashamed for having issues) and the tools to solve the problem. Doctors could then rely on more than just a hunch when dealing with their patients. So I agree with you, Ellen, the understanding is key.
    IrishSceptic and Ellen like this.
  5. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    absolutely agree. its commonly acknowledged that depression is often accompanied by aches and pains and many doctors are aware of psychosomatic phenomena but the mechanism is the key. Psychosomatic tends to be thought of as imagined pain I feel and this is what put me off that term initially.

    The mental health stigma is huge in modern societies because to show weakness is to admit failure. Its criminal in my opinion that Jung and Freud/general concepts of the mind are not taught at a young age. really not that hard to grasp Vs benefit to society.
    blake likes this.
  6. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Way to go, Blake! I admire your bravery. When I tell someone about TMS, my heart just pounds, but I try to ignore it and focus on keeping my thoughts straight. It ain't easy! I also think a lot doctors are afraid they'll get sued if they mention TMS and the diagnosis is wrong, so it's all left up to the patient to discover and sadly, most people go their whole lives without discovering TMS.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  7. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Way to go Blake! The docs don't like to mention this to patients because most will storm out of the office in anger knocking things over. They'll then go find another doctor. So docs stay silent for the most part. One day everyone will know about TMS, thanks to people like you.

    You write well too. Very well phrased.
    blake and IrishSceptic like this.
  8. blake

    blake Well known member

    Thanks Steve! You paint a great picture about the guy storming out. I see the whole scene in my head and it probably happens a lot more than we think; Thanks for you comment too; it means a lot to me:)

    E. Lynn, it's funny you should mention your heart pounding when you tell someone about TMS; my voice was actually shaking a little. I could hear it, but I did the same thing as you - I ignored it and kept saying what I wanted to say.

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