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Treating anxiety as TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Thomas, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas New Member

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post, but I've benefited from the wiki for over a year now. I initially discovered TMS through Dr. Sarno's books because of lower back pain. Applying Dr. Sarno's method, mostly journaling and reminding myself that the pain was not attributable to a structural deformity, I have 95% recovered from the back pain. I am able to exercise again and am not afraid of the pain. So that's good and I am thankful.

    However, now that I am no longer preoccupied with my back, I have developed some pretty uncomfortable anxiety issues, including some panic attacks. Like many people with TMS, I have always had some measure of an anxiety disorder, but my anxiety usually occurred in response to or in anticipation of a stressful or scary event--like giving a presentation at work. Now, it seems that I feel anxiety most of the day to varying degrees--mostly without any specific provocation. My instincts tell me that the anxiety symptoms are really just the same thing as my back pain--TMS. So, I've decided that I should treat my anxiety in the same manner that I treated my back pain. The problem is that my approach seems less effective against the anxiety symptoms. I find that "thinking psychologically"--turning my attention from the symptoms to ask myself what anger, fear, or other emotions might be causing the symptoms--actually makes me more anxious.

    All that being said, I'd like to get some tips from other people who have successfully treated their anxiety-related symptoms as TMS. Thanks in advance.
    braden101 likes this.
  2. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter

    I am struggling with the same right. I will post you a message shortly when i get a chance. But it is TMS.
  3. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Hi Thomas,
    When I found this wonderful site, my depression, anxiety, and physical pain were all tangled up and knotted tightly together. As I went through the SEP I actually found its effects on the depression and anxiety to be much quicker and more profound than the effect on the physical pain. Your subconscious knows the "physical pain" route won't work on you now so it has to pick something else from the arsenal - hence the anxiety.

    What I have found to be most effective against my anxiety is the deep breathing and rather than asking myself what emotions might be causing the symptoms, I start with being really honest with myself about "where" my thoughts are. Anger and guilt are almost the result of thoughts that are in the past and anxiety and fear are almost always the result of thoughts that are in the future. The key is to realize that no matter where your thoughts are - YOU are in the present - make it your focus - instruct yourself (out loud if you can) to come back to the present. It helps me to really focus on the details of the present. I felt my anxiety level (and with it my physical pain) rising a bit today and as usual for me, my thoughts were in the future thinking up responses for questions I haven't even been asked. Once I realize it I started talking - demanding my thoughts return to the present - I was at home - focused on the details of the house, the room I was in, the temperature, the sounds, the fact that there was no one there but the cat and I and the reality that the cat has never once asked me a question! It sounds a little silly as I read it here, but it worked. My thoughts came back to the present and as soon as they left the future, the increased anxiety and pain left with them.
  4. Thomas

    Thomas New Member

    Thanks, Leslie. I'm starting to get a handle on it.
  5. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    Current trends in anxiety treatment says that thoughts are the energy behind anxiety. Just as repressed emotions build up dysfunctional neuropath ways, anxiety behaviors, beliefs and core issues create neurological memory channels in the brain.

    When we are wounded as children we create adverse ways of, thinking coping and seeing life that perpetuates our conditions. I have been on the anxiety journey for decades and am still learning.
  6. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I would be journaling about the anxiety issues and uncover the feelings.

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