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Unsure how to be indifferent to a specific symptom

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by potato, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. potato

    potato New Member

    Hey everyone! So, I got a bit of a weird and silly dilemma....

    Basically, I know that we should try to stay as indifferent as possible to our symptoms, due to their only role being distraction. The more attention we pay to them, the more they succeed at doing their job at diverting our attention from the emotions we’ve been repressing.

    Now, one of the symptoms that I’ve been experiencing is facial pallor.

    To be more specific, the tension in my head and facial muscles causes restriction of blood flow to the face, giving it a really pale and colorless look.

    I’m not really sure how to stay indifferent to this... Whenever I’d go outside and see that women aren’t really paying attention to me (while previously, I used to regularly lock eye contact with girls on the street), I’d get really frustrated with this symptom, which in turn makes it more successful at doing its job.

    On a rare occasion that I am not pale, girls would pay attention to me again, and I’d just start fearing the reappearance of the pallor... which again, prevents me from being indifferent.

    I was thinking of staying inside for a while (a few weeks), avoiding seeking attention while trying to get more in touch with my emotions, but then this also would mean that I wouldn’t be indifferent to the symptom—I’d stop going outside just because of it!

    I am really lost when it comes to what I should be doing and I’d appreciate any advice! I’ve just recently found out about TMS, and am still trying to figure everything out! THANK YOU!!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    My answer may sound superficial but bear with me here lol....Never underestimate the power of some makeup to give you a psychological boost! Most women wear bronzer or some blush, and even foundation to get their glow on. Not even JLo looks the same without makeup. When you feel better on the outside, it does affect your mood. If you think about acne, for ex. the more a person stresses over their acne, the worse it tends to get. Whenever I had breakouts, I noticed if I could cover it a bit with powder (the medicated type), I would stop obsessing about it, and voila, it would go away! I worked as a makeup artist many years ago and saw first hand the transformative affects of a little artistry on the psyche.

    Another thing you could do is embrace the pale porcelain princess look. Add blush and some lipstick and there you go....Nicole Kidman and many other beautiful women have alabaster skin lol. In a nutshell, my advice is to practice self acceptance and find things about yourself that you appreciate and want to highlight (both on the outside and the inside). When you lose the preoccupation and relax through acceptance, blood flow resumes and headaches dissipate. Our exterior is simply a reflection of our interior state.
  3. potato

    potato New Member

    Oh, I'm a man... :)
    miffybunny likes this.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oops sorry! Here's the thing though, men wear bronzer and self tanner all the time lol! When I worked for Guerlain, many men purchased the men's bronzer (it's all marketing). Or, try a little face self tanner and see how you like it. Trust me, I knew tons of Guidos back in the day who all self tanned lol! Also exercise and some daily sun will give anyone a better color. I'm not sure how much your "pallor" is just your skin tone or a cognitive distortion. It sounds like you may be self conscious of something that is actually not noticeable to anyone but yourself. Self acceptance and self compassion is the way out of TMS. Ask yourself what you are really afraid of....the preoccupation with the exterior or cosmetic is just a cover for something deeper. Explore if these emotions are linked to perfectionism, intimacy, self image, fear of rejection, social situations, a past breakup, your work etc. etc. Really address the underlying emotions and figure out if they stem from false beliefs you may harboring or chronic negative thought patterns. The pallor issue is simply a TMS equivalent. It serves as another layer of distraction and a way to avoid the real issues. Just as TMS hides behind the headaches, it hides behind the visual manifestations of symptoms. It sounds like your fear of possible social rejection is even greater than the headaches and physical symptoms. Your brain has latched onto to a visual preoccupation to soothe unconscious anxiety. Don't be fooled though!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021

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