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

Too much time in our heads

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pingman, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    I was reading a post between a few members on here about their migrane headaches and this stuck out to me...

    "Too much time in our heads"

    This might not be the initial trigger of my TMS but it is for sure the prolongment of my tension feelings and vision issues in my head. Even though I have been medically cleared and know that the issue is all mental I still can not stop symptom checking to see if my head feels 'normal' and if my vision is normal.

    Before my heads issues I constantly checked to see if my leg was in pain and was able to tell the mind the leg was fine after I started running 2 miles again. For some reason I can't find a way to convince my mind that my vision is fine so says the optometrist and my head can only be from stress. I believe it but can stop the symptom checking...I am spending too much time in my head about my head.

    Anyone have any good strategies I can use? When i watch TV I check my vision and head...when I drive I check. I am always checking for it. Also, am I to now focus on what my be the cuase of my OCD tendencies and once that is brought to the surface I might be able to break the cycle of symptom checking?

    The only thing I can think of is how much of a perfectionist I can be at times....and with my head and vision I won't be happy until my vision and head feel perfect like before this all started. I can't relax and just roll with the feelings until my body heals itself.

    Two other things I do that I just realized have increased with this TMS has been an increase in biting my finger nails and I play with my ear lobe when nervous. I am constantly rubbing my ear now all day.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Pingman,

    I suggest trying a replacement behavior. This involves substituting a positive behavior for a problem behavior. For example, when you find yourself checking your head/vision (problem behavior) take 3 deep breaths (positive behavior). The breaths will calm your nervous system and doing it will take your mind off the checking of symptoms. Another possible replacement behavior could be EFT tapping if you are familiar with that.

    Good luck and keep us informed about how it is going.
    Lily Rose, Msunn and Bhamgirl like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman, you've gotten some good advice from Ellen.

    Deep breathing is one of my favorite things. So is laughing away any anxiety.

    I've had some good results from tapping.

    I also suggest that when you feel the need to bite your nails or rub your ear, you instead
    practice the yoga trick of massaging the "valley point" between your thumb and index finger.

    Using the thumb and index finger of one hand, massage back and forth and/or in a
    circular motion, between the thumb and index finger on the other hand.
    Massage about 25 times while deep breathing, then repeat on the other hand.

    Breathe deeply through your nose to the count of six, inflating your stomach like a balloon.
    Hold the breath a few seconds. Let out the breath slowly (through your mouth) to the count of about four,
    deflating the balloon in your stomach. On letting out the breath, say "Peace."

    It's very relaxing and you've taken your mind off your nail-biting or ear-pulling.
    Massaging the "valley point" is a healthier thing to do.

    Let me know if this helps.
  4. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    My question is....is OCD another symptom of TMS? I don't recall the Sarno books going into that much detail but it would appear that most with TMS might have OCD tendencies. If perfectionism is a characteristic of TMS then surely the two have some relation.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve Ozanich writes in The Great Pain Deception that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of TMS.
    He's not a doctor, nor am I, but he is a TMS practitioner and advocate of Dr. Sarno's TMS theories.

    He says OCD is linked to perfectionism and can border on neurotic behavior. Don't let that throw you.
    A lot of neurotic behavior is socially acceptable. Steve cites an example in Tiger Woods devoting so much
    of his life to winning every golf tournament, and to a housewife cleaning her kitchen floor 100 times a day.
    Woods is not considered to be neurotic, but the housewife would.

    He says "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is the need to repetitively perform certain acts or ritualistic
    behaviors in order to alleviate anxieties. It is a copying strategy, repetitive behavior utilized as an avoidance mechanism."

    "TMS-prone people often bounce their legs in the air when sitting down, or check and recheck locks and windows
    (Alfred Hitchcock did this), or clean repetitively in order to cope through the moment. Steve recalled a man in]
    New York City who walked backwards and even talked backwards as he walked by. (I'm not sure how anyone can
    talk backwards, but he said this man did.) I had an aunt who got down on her knees and scrubbed her kitchen floor
    at least twice a day. It may have been more often, because as I remember, whenever I went to her house,
    that was what she was doing.

    Steve asks what OCD has to do with pain and illness, and answers this way: "There are first traumas that set life
    in motion and keep it in motion, starting before, or with, birth, as anxiety and motivation are born simultaneously.
    Subsequent traumas or major changes reflect us back to each earlier separation. But hat initial perceived trauma
    sets the stage for how we deal with emotional problems later in life -- depending on when it occurred in our
    brain's development. With each new fear of rejection or separation, intellect comes along, as a way of coping,
    to save us from dealing with overpowering emotions that threaten to trap us because we aren't very good at
    expressing feelings -- so -- we use 'facts' to communicate, avoiding that which we fear most -- that our emotions
    may erupt and pull the mask off our persona."

    In my own experience, I believe I experienced back pain from recent "triggers" of previous TMS repressed emotions
    regarding divorce. My parents divorced when I was about six years old and I believe now it left me with anger and
    feelings of rejection and separation. I kept those emotions well-hidden until about two years ago when my closest
    friends divorced. I had felt like part of their family, an older "uncle" whom they had to their house every holiday
    and almost every Saturday for dinners and margaritas. Losing the feeling of being part of their family triggered
    the same feelings of loss I had felt when I was six.

    Those who divorce today may have similar feelings of rejection and separation if their parents had divorced years

    So Steve says OCD and TMS are linked together, and I believe him. The thing is to forgive, your parents, your friends,
    yourself, and not rely on other people to make you feel wanted and never be separated from. I've begun to learn
    (finally, after 83 years!) that I will rely on my friendship with God. Only He will never divorce me and I will never
    be separated from Him, nor He from me.

    Too religious a final thought on the subject of OCD? I hope not. Give it some thought. I remember reading that
    my favorite author, F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "After 40, you learn that even friends can't save you."

    Save us from what? From ourselves and our mortality? Probably.
  6. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    OCD is not just another symptom of TMS: OCD is TMS. If Dr. Sarno didn't explicitly state it in his books, it was clearly evident through implication. I stated directly in my book. OCD = TMS.

    It's the obsessive thoughts that generate symptoms. As CG Jung had stated, thinking and feeling are polar opposites. If you're constantly thinking, aka, obsessing, then you can't feel any more and your brain has successfully protected you, aka TMS.

    TMS inhibits feeling and emotions like OCD, so; OCDing is TMSing, they are methods of distraction, ways to avoid emotional pain.

    OCD is a protective mechanism by the brain to help the individual cope with extreme anxiety and phobias. The repetitive acts allow the person to avoid all feelings or emotions that are too frightening, by "thinking (about the act)" instead of feeling; since the two cannot be done in isolation at the same time. Jung stated, "nothing inhibits feeling like thinking."

    The people with the most obsessive thoughts are the ones that have the most trouble healing, which makes sense on many levels. First, they need the distraction from the emotions more, eg, checking and rechecking ovens and doors, and cleaning and re-cleaning toilets and floors, hitting and re-hitting golf balls galore, reading and re-reading the TMS books, for more.

    The act of "doing over" is an act of avoidance. It is the practicing of life over and over, always afraid to jump in and try to avoid our greatest fear~~>rejection. If we only practice then we can't be rejected. This is why I keep telling people to stop reading the TMS stuff after they have it understood. But they often go right back to reading it all again. This is a form of OCD, in that, they're not ready to heal yet, they're thinking about healing, which is not healing.

    They are hiding behind the "act of gathering information" which enables them to avoid healing. They avoid the healing because the symptom is still serving its purpose in them like it's intended. So by continually asking the same questions about TMS, it alerts me to the fact that the sufferer is not yet ready to heal. I have people email me every day with the same question, rearranged to appear new. They need me to build their confidence. I tell them when they ask for a consult, "Are you sure you want to pay me to be your cheerleader?" They often know what to do, but they/we all need help with confidence.

    For ex., people will read the TMS info and return with the question, "is knee pain TMS?" They know that it's certainly TMS, but they're looking to have their confidence built-up, they need a little more reassurance. The repetitious act of asking the same information is OCDing and is the fear of healing. Remember, the person has the TMS for a reason, to avoid something, or some things. So healing would cause that culprit to become realized, which can never be allowed to occur. So people come back with more questions as a means to sneak up on TMS, as they heal at their own pace. There's nothing wrong with it, I see that it's a normal way of healing. But they must eventually jump to Dr. Sarno's second pillar and "act on that information." The second pillar is the one people are most afraid of reaching, and so they avoid the jump.

    I realized this when I noticed I was always listening to Dr. Sarno's voice for reassurance. I was putting off the healing because I couldn't yet face the demons.

    OCD is anxiety run-amuk, and since tension is a driver of anxiety, it only makes sense that the most compulsive people would have higher tension and would have more trouble healing. Most everything that drives our health problems stems from fear. And fear comes from darkness of being alone, either through rejection, or the most common, from the deepest desire to be united and connected in wholeness. I can see loneliness in every person I work with. When they reconnect they heal. Tracordifying is the word I used to try to convey this need and this fear that results in obsessive thoughts, the fear of isolation that we spend our entire lives trying to avoid....the great pull of the others to us, through violence, or artistry, or goodism, or forums. We need others to become whole and to heal, and a large part of that is seeing that others have similar problems and fears. And as Jung also stated, "there's no coming to wholeness without imperfection." We need to see others also fail and then also rise to guide us through by showing us that we can too. Jesus said in John, "None of you will believe unless you see miracles and wonders." To most of us, healing from debilitating pain is indeed a miracle.

    But we can be alone and not feel lonely, and can be surrounded by others and still feel alone. It's a matter of perception. As C. Everett Coop said, "you can live alone without being alone." LifeAlert

    Hey Walt, as I was typing this post out the mailman knocked on my door and guess what he handed me? Christmas With the Famous. I'm excited to sit down and read it.

    575 likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Steve. Looks like you and I answered Pigman at the same time.
    I quoted from your book but you did it much better.

    I'm glad the Christmas book arrived. It was a labor of love to research and write.
    I wrote to many famous people about their best-remembered Christmas and got many replies,
    even from Nancy Reagan, George Burns, Lillian Gish, James Roosevelt,
    but got others from old magazine articles and books.

    Is touching objects as you walk by a form or OCS? I don't do it, but my sister does and she
    has never learned how to relax or about TMS.

    Steve, meeting you through your book and TMSWiki has been one of the best things that has
    happened to me in 2013. As Humphrey Bogart said to Claude Rains at the end of "Casablanca,"
    I hope "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

    I agree with Coop that we can live alone without being alone." Of course, I don't live alone.
    I have Annie. And God.
  8. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Steve - Thank you so much for your reply. I do seek reassurance often from my wife, maybe I am not ready to heal myself but I feel like I want to. I have been journaling, talking to my mind and stressing its only mental. I have seen some improvements but my anxiety has spiked somewhat each morning.

    I have such a long list of past trauma and current day stressors I am finding it difficult to pinpoint the cause for my TMS/OCD.

    When my leg was hurting badly for weeks the fix was so easy....it was to start running and show myself that there was no physcial flaw. The obssessive thoughts are not so easy though. Should I stop looking at the MS trigger and trying to tie in a past event and simply move off that and figure out what the issue is now or is looking at the MS scare worth it still.

    Maybe my fear is the fear of abandonment....my mom all but abandoned me and I saw how my fathers dad abandoned him. Maybe the MS scare started out as a legit reaction to my health but as the stress grew and grew my fear of abandonment by my wife, family and friends grew.. I was terrified of how my wife felt and my dad, afraid they would write me off if I didn't get better quick.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  9. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Walt you made me laugh when you said "Pigman." We have a friend we call Pigman, and I'm sure we make his day when we call him that. But we have our reasons. He's earned the honor.

    Pin(g)man I didn't mean that no one wants to heal, or that everyone asking questions does not want to heal. As in all of life, it's the degree that heats up the topic. People by and large are trying to heal, learning, gathering, thinking, and reflecting. That's all good stuff, and part of healing.

    It's after that point, when people ask the same questions in different ways, the procrastination. Or if they keep trying to argue points that have been proven to be true, repeatedly. That's the time that it becomes clear they need their pain.

    So rest easy and keep gathering, you're doing ok. You will heal when you're ready,


Share This Page