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Alex B. trauma and tms

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Paloma P, May 2, 2016.

  1. Paloma P

    Paloma P Newcomer




    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hello,

    My question is related to trauma-induced TMS and if knowledge of the condition has been shown to reverse the pain syndrome in itself or if psychotherapy has proved necessary in trauma-induced TMS cases.

    I had a lumbar puncture several weeks ago and have been experiencing severe pain and tension in my lower back which has spread to my buttocks, legs, neck, shoulders and upper arms - much as Dr. Sarno outlines in his books - since the procedure.

    When I had the LP I had been dealing with a chronic unresolved health issue for two years and was (in hindsight) under considerable stress and experiencing chronic anxiety and fear. I believe the lumbar puncture served as a traumatic triggering event that unleashed all of the pent-up emotions that I had been suppressing, leading them to manifest as TMS.

    I have been reading both 'Healing Back Pain' and 'The Mindbody Prescription' for the past two weeks and am quite comfortable with the diagnosis as it seems to fit to a tee. I have noticed that the pain has subsided considerably but will then flare up again and manifest in a new location. I also feel that, though I am open to the idea of TMS causing my symptoms, I am still experiencing considerable fear surrounding the procedure. I am wondering if trauma cases have shown to benefit from therapy, or if there have been cases of the pain resolving simply from acceptance of the diagnosis and dedicated daily personal reflection/psychological work.

    Thank you very much for any insight.
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer

    Hi Paloma, thanks for the question.


    There are many cases of people who have experienced trauma, weather emotional or physical, who have then been able to resolve symptoms without participating in therapy. There are also many cases of people who have not been able to resolve their symptoms without therapy. TMS manifests and expresses itself in so many different ways on a diverse group of people, and each person has a somewhat unique experience.


    So naturally the question to follow is: how do I know which I am? This is a more difficult question to answer. You seem to have a good understanding of the concepts encompassed in the “TMS Perspective”, what to be aware, some of the potential pitfalls and difficulties. For some this can enough to click things in to place and set them on the road to relief. But for many, many others this is not the case. Sometimes the patterns that we have in place in our lives are very entrenched and difficult to get perspective on. In these cases it can be very helpful to have an extra set of eyes on the problem.


    There is nothing inherently wrong with either of these approaches. Addressing symptoms with the aid of therapy is no more valid or legitimate that getting relief on your own, it’s simply about what works and what doesn’t. Some people who find relief with books may relapse later on and find that therapy helps them, just as people who were initially unable to get relief on their own find that, if pain returns, the toolkit they developed previously is enough for them to face it.


    The symptoms you are describing and the approach you have taken certainly sound like fit the diagnosis. Remember, getting through TMS is a process, not an event. Sometimes you will feel like you have it all figured out and the fear around the pain seems like it can’t touch you. At other times, something you thought you had “gotten over” will seem overwhelming. This is not a failure but rather a natural step along path. The course of progress is not linear.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     

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