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URGENT: Breast/Chest Pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by RootedinNature, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. RootedinNature

    RootedinNature New Member

    URGENT: Has anyone ever heard of TMS pain in the left breast/chest area? It is intense and CONSTANT. Extremely sensitive to touch with slight pressure. Aching, throbbing, burning, gnawing and.... constant pain for 9 months now. Cause is unknown (had extensive testing and seen every specialist). I have been reading the books about TMS and am having a hard time connecting because I haven’t come across anyone saying that their pain is in the breast/chest area with my symptoms. It has taken over my life, leaving me unable to drive or work. I’m frozen. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rooted,

    It's good you've had testing done and they've ruled out a medical cause to your pain, so you can safely conclude it is TMS. TMS can occur in literally any area of the body and can take so many different forms. Although back pain and others are more common, there is no reason why TMS couldn't be in the chest area. I think a common TMS symptom is chest pain mimicking heart attack pain- i've personally seen this as a clinician (not even treating TMS specifically, just patients who go to the ER thinking they're having a heart attack and all tests are negative, doctors tell them it's panic/stress). I'm sorry you are in so much pain, but you're on the right track! What books are you reading? Have you tried any structure programs yet?
    Lainey and RootedinNature like this.
  3. Marytabby

    Marytabby Peer Supporter

    Not quite the same, but I had palpitations in that area and after an EKG and overnight heart halter test I was told I was perfectly fine. I ended up chalking it up to TMS and it never returned.
  4. sam908

    sam908 Peer Supporter

    I've had it - and still get it - but, after examination, my TMS doctor diagnosed it as costochondritis, a TMS symptom. As a result, I don't worry about it.
    RootedinNature likes this.
  5. Marytabby

    Marytabby Peer Supporter

    PS: I do you believe that mine was my pectoral muscle in the end. I think it was just spazzing. TMS
    RootedinNature likes this.
  6. RootedinNature

    RootedinNature New Member

    The pain is too much. It is a CONSTANT INTENSE burning throbbing pain where my heart is and spreads to the side of the rib cage. Costochondritis has been completely ruled out. Has anyone ever felt “end of the world” pain constantly? Without a break? I have been practicing mindfulness and trying to remain calm but I am at my precipice.
  7. RootedinNature

    RootedinNature New Member

    I’m in desperate need of help. The pain does not stop for one second. It is horrifying.
  8. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I've dealt with end-of-the-world pain 24/7; in fact, my profile will show you a status update from a very low point in my life during June 2017. I couldn't take it anymore. It was a complete nightmare and too much for me to handle. But I ended up coming out of it better than ever and living my happiest life without pain or other bizarre symptoms. You can get there, too.

    I know it's scary, but I promise you're going to be OK. It's great that your tests were all negative! As Steve Ozanich and many others say, the brain can and will create any symptom it pleases - even breast/chest pain. You can absolutely come out of this better than ever. One thing that helped me during my darkest days was understanding that even cancer, diabetic neuropathy, neck injury, etc. patients can train their brains to beat pain, so why couldn't I?: https://sslcam.news.com.au/cam/authorise?channel=pc&url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2fnews%2fhealth-science%2ftraining-the-brain-to-beat-pain%2fnews-story%2f45ad7b7daaaf3c4bbbab6c76b0190ac7 (Nocookies)

    We're all here for you. I know it's not easy, but the first steps are learning to accept the mind-body symptoms/TMS diagnosis, overcoming fear and obsession over the symptoms, and then getting back to fully living life again. Sometimes trying to heal prevents us from healing.

    Your sympathetic nervous system is clearly in overdrive right now. I totally understand what it feels like to be devastated and lost over the incredibly painful symptoms, but that fear is only making your sympathetic nerves more overactive. However, the good news is that it's not permanent! This will not be your life forever.

    You are not alone. One of the reasons I took so long to accept the mind-body/TMS diagnosis is because I didn't see anyone with the same exact set of symptoms as me. I had SO many symptoms, and some of them were visible (e.g., skin mottling, muscle twitching, purple feet, etc.). It was terrifying! But then I healed, and suddenly I found myself helping lots of other people who were dealing with those symptoms. Please stick with us.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
    plum, Lainey, HattieNC and 2 others like this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your symptoms sound really scary, but I echo everything said by our other members here. The reason I quoted this particular sentence of yours is because we see here on the forum, over and over and over again, people trying desperately to find someone who will tell them they had the same symptoms. And they are never successful. Because look: our brains are in charge of every single physiological process in our bodies, which means that they are capable of creating any symptom at all - including a symptom that is custom-designed to freak you out precisely because you are unable to compare it to anyone else!

    You have learned about Dr. Sarno's theory of distraction, right? This search for confirmation is a HUGE distraction. SO: if you can take control of your thoughts and banish this distractive obsessing for a moment, please ask yourself the following:

    How likely is it, given the extensive tests and exams that you've had, that you actually have something wrong that no one else has ever seen or had? ​

    OR, is it possible, given what you have so far learned about TMS (and believe me, there is a LOT more), and given what others here are telling you, that your brain is capable of creating this pain, these sensations and symptoms, without a physiological reason - just as everyone here in this community has experienced for themselves? ​

    You have GOT to fight back against your fearful brain. For reasons that make no sense in today's world, (perhaps having to do with the duress of living in today's world), your brain has taken a primitive survival mechanism designed to keep you worried and alert for danger, and it has gone into overdrive. This is what we here call TMS (and @Dorado and I both like associating "overdrive" with TMS). And I have to say, having been here since 2011, I think that TMS is getting worse and more widespread as our unconscious brains react to what's going on around us.

    The good news is that we can control that reaction and find recovery. It's really important for you to understand that what you are going through is NOT you - this is your primitive unconscious brain taking control, and it is not serving you well. But in order to deal with it, you have to find a way to calm yourself, nurture yourself, and be able to talk back to your fearful brain.

    Our two programs are designed to help you do that, and they are free! I think that the easiest one to start with is the SEP - the Structured Educational Program. It's really easy to just get started with Day 1, and see how it goes.

    Also, I highly recommend that you read at least one Success Story (in the Success Stories subforum) every day - and pay attention to what they tell us. Every story is different because every person is unique, and their paths to recovery are just as unique. Recovery is not linear, and it's certainly not black&white - but it has been experienced many times by people who started out with the same level of disbelief as yourself.

    Please let us know how it goes.
  10. RootedinNature

    RootedinNature New Member

    So much I want to type, but have no strength. The pain has not given me one second of a break and has continued to intenesly throb in the same spot on my breast. It is absolute agony.

    I also haven’t slept in about a week. I wake up after an hour of sleep and remain FROZEN for many hours. Any suggestions on how to get sleep when dealing with excrutiating pain. I have a hard time with the meditations, etc. It feels near impossible to get into that parasympathetic state.
  11. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rooted,

    I'm sorry you're suffering. There is great advice above on how to get through these times, such as using a program like the SEP...it sounds like you are having trouble telling your brain that you are safe. Have you worked with a TMS (or other) therapist at all? It might be beneficial given the difficulty you've been having, and give you someone to help guide you through the pain recovery process. Sending healing vibes your way during a difficult time.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  12. RootedinNature

    RootedinNature New Member

    I do not have a TMS doctor in my state. What do you think of an online consultation?

    I did see an psychoanalyst the other day but I did not click with her at all. She did not fully agree with Sarno’s theories.

    I’ve surrendered to the acceptance of TMS, but you are right. I do not feel safe. This level of CONSTANT nerve pain is unbelievable. Since I don’t know the physical cause I can logically accept TMS... but it does feel like nerve pain. Has anyone ever beat permanent nerve damage like neuralgia? The books mention neuropathy, but not neuralgia.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Any therapist today who does not believe in the mindbody connection has no business in this line of work.

    HOWEVER: there are many competent therapists who DO believe in the mindbody connection without subscribing specifically to Dr. Sarno's particular mechanism that he called TMS.

    Do not make the mistake of rejecting someone who does not adhere to Dr. Sarno 100%. If you look for perfection, you will never find it. That's your fearful brain, holding you back, and of course you are not alone - perfectionism is one of the key issues at the heart of TMS, after all. I deal with it every day.

    You need therapeutic intervention, because you are stuck in a fear cycle and your primitive fearful brain is totally in control. You described your pain multiple times above, without responding to the advice and shared information that a number of people offered.

    I'm not trying to blame you for that, because I don't believe for a second that you are aware of it. Take a deep breath, look back over this thread, read every post, yours and others, then ask yourself: what is this doing for you? What are you hoping for? Is this useful?

    We want to be here for you - but that only works if you are hearing what people are trying to tell you. And I will repeat what I said in my first response: THIS IS NOT YOU - THIS IS YOUR FEARFUL BRAIN THAT IS IN CONTROL.

    I recently came across this article which explains the negative consequences of rumination: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhowes/how-to-stop-ruminating (How To Stop Overthinking Everything, According To Therapists)

    In any case, the fact is that although we want to be here for you, we are not mental or physical health professionals - we are just people addressing our own TMS by sharing advice and resources.

    The Bottom Line: if the docs can't find anything physically wrong, and if self-help through this forum is not going to do it, then you do need one-on-one therapy, and you might have to force yourself to take the plunge, because your brain is working REALLY hard to hold you back.

    For remote therapists (typically via Skype) check out the Pain Psychology Center, founded by longtime friend-of-the-forum, Alan Gordon, LCSW and developer of the Pain Recovery Program that he generously donated to the forum.
    Lainey and Dorado like this.
  14. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    If your pain is constant and relentless like that, I would suggest you get a scan for a blood clot. Did they test for that?
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetheart, I’m hoping that this issue has resolved for you but in case it hasn’t I wanted to post a reply. I’ve been taking a break from the forum (much, much needed), but I remember seeing your post before I signed off. Forgive me for not responding before now but my life has been a ring of hell and I needed to focus on myself for a while. The truth is at that time I was experiencing awful, terrible breast pain (my left breast, coincidentally) and like you, I was scared out of my mind. Me, a TMS veteran and yet there I was, as terrified as someone with no mind~body knowledge at all.

    A part of me really believed it was TMS, yet another part could not shake the fear. I had the pain intermittently for around 9-12 months before it ramped into an all consuming obsession. There were so many triggers, the seatbelt in the car, yoga poses, clothes, any touch at all. It sounds pretty much like the pain you describe.

    I was going through some epic stress and this really made me think it was TMS but I couldn’t shake it. Then came the day when something flipped me over the edge. I was reading a news story on tinternet and a huge, f’ing petrifying article on the big C caught my eye, and snared my mind. I completely lost the plot. I decided I was done with the terror and the worry and I went to see my doctor.

    *Incredibly Important Disclaimer*
    I really, really, really do know and understand TMS and for this reason alone, was really sure this was stress-induced and was targeting my breast because it was a place TMS “knew” would freak me out. Fellow old timers will, I hope, appreciate this. To anyone new to TMS, please see your doctor. Unless and until you know TMS like the back of your hand, do not be reckless. If nothing else it’s not worth the stress.

    Back to business.
    I’m literate in the symbology of why pain manifests where. The breasts symbolise nurturing, care, looking after others. It’s mothering. The emotional causes of breast problems are putting others first, neglecting the self, not tending to your own needs.

    Yes, this was me. Even after all this time my body was still teaching me an invaluable lesson.

    I needed some help over the hump of doubt. Cue my wonderful doctor. We chatted. I told him my symptoms and fears. He explained that my symptoms were not those of the big C. He examined my breasts and declared them healthy. I explicitly asked him if stress can cause boob pain and he said most emphatically, it can cause any problem, anywhere. He said if he could, he’d give me a prescription for no stress (ring any bells?). My TMS began to dissolve the moment I left the surgery.

    That was in March. Since then I’ve had the odd twinge here and there but nothing much and nothing that has caused me an ounce of fear. Because I’ve done a LOT of TMS healing and know the ropes the confirmation of all being well was sufficient to kick TMS into the long grass. If you’re new to all this then be kind to yourself and give yourself the time you need to learn about mind~body healing and more specifically what you need to do in order to soothe yourself, feel safe and feel loved. This is all about self-love. Not some navel-gazing, self-indulgent bullshit but actual healthy self-regard, self-respect and self-esteem.

    Yes, I have. Read my story.

    Much love,

    Plum xxx
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  16. grapefruit

    grapefruit Peer Supporter

    Have you ever read about precordial catch syndrome? A stabbing pain in the chest that even the medical community diagnoses as harmless, and which is undoubtedly TMS. It is incredibly painful.
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    And even if not new to TMS, do as @plum did, and go see your doctor if you have a new and distressing symptom that causes the fear messages in your brain to overtake your sincere desire to think psychologically instead of physically. Sometimes, you just need a little "laying on of hands" and a professional look-see to help calm your naturally fearful brain.

    That being said, take note of the outcome for plum. She ACCEPTED the diagnosis that there was nothing wrong. One and done. She is back on track and in control of her thoughts.

    THIS is what an ongoing success story looks like.
    plum likes this.
  18. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    I’ve had a rough month and everything seemed to ramp up including a new and very unpleasant breast issue. I woke up this morning to get ready for the hospital visit for mammogram, ultra sound and biopsy. AND opened up wiki and here’s this thread. My gut said straight away “it’s TMS” and 4 hours later the hospital gave me the all clear. Pays to get the creepy stuff checked and the celebratory drink tonight will be extra special.
    JanAtheCPA and plum like this.
  19. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Marls, this is fantastic news!

    The relief of the all clear is sublime. Tonight I’ll raise my glass in your honour.

    (I’m so glad I posted.)

    Plum x
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  20. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    I’m glad too Plum. Slainte

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