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Visual migraine help- TMS wins again

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by readytoheal, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    I’ve been having visual migraines. Ive been doing much better and feeling optimistic the last few days just to be hit with one today. I handled it SO well- was positive and fairly calm, reassured myself it was harmless and only TMS- well an hour later the visual disturbance hit again!!! Twice in a day. Now I’m scared and devastated. Did tms just up the anti because I wasn’t scared by the first one? Why does tms always bring me to my knees? I try so hard to be strong but feel like it always wins. Please help.
     
  2. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    I've gotten to know my visual migraines very well in over half a year of TMS knowledge. It was unheard of for me to get one right after the other before I knew about TMS, but have had it happen a few times since (although I haven't had one in quite a while). It doesn't seem like it, but it's some kind of progress. Try to remember that it's ultimately harmless. Even the big bad WebMD will say that it puts you at no greater risk for stroke or any such things. I don't fear it so much now, but it can feel like a failure if one is coming on. Now I just have to admit I'm stressed out and I'm repressing something and I need to lie down and relax, breathe and think about it for a bit. This is a symptom Dr. Sarno describes getting himself and handled it similarly. I believe he said that it was the constriction of a single blood vessel that caused the symptom. Whenever I see some kind of weird activity in my vision, I always notice my neck is super tight. I've staved off probably many potential migraines by spotting this first. Good luck. It's a process!
     
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  3. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    Thank you, AnonymousNick. But why after TMS knowledge do you think your migraines have increased? This is the same for me. I swear knowing about TMS has made me worse with all tms symptoms and I can’t figure out why! Maybe because I know I’m causing it which just puts more stress and pressure on me to not cause the thing I want so desperately to avoid. The symptoms do scare me and I thought they did have an increased risk for stroke.. but I really haven’t researched it much because I’ve been afraid to. I’ll take your word for it! ;) Thanks for your insights. Now to just calm myself and practice indifference.
     
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  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Remember, rth, this is your brain doing its best to distract you. When you learn about TMS and stop fearing the old symptoms, you brain fights back with new and more alarming ones.

    Nick's advice is right on. Stop. Relax. Assure yourself that you are FINE. Breathe. And THINK.

    I wrote a Success Story about a really frightening headache, unlike any that I had ever had in my entire life - which occurred three years after I had my initial recovery and got my life back from TMS. It was a small, one-time incident (and not long to read) but to me, it was very significant, and PROOF of the mechanism of TMS.

    Pay particular attention to the fact that it was HARD to fight against my brain in order to get past the repression that it wanted to maintain. And also note the fact that the repressed emotions were not even earth-shattering - in fact, they were blindingly obvious and to be expected! And yet, my stupid primitive brain felt it had to hide these things from me.

    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/bookmarks/137/view-item (Bookmark | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome))
     
  5. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    There's going to be some resistance because this is a coping pattern we've developed for most of our lives. It does seem strange that we would become even more aware of the symptoms or that they would increase, but I think it's because we're also becoming more aware of our stress and emotions too. I used to get hit with this stuff and not have a clue what was going on. Now I can look for an answer and actually find it. Sometimes. I'm getting better at it. :)
     
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  6. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter


    I can imagine how difficult that was to do! I cannot figure out what my brain is wanting to repress. I kind of wonder if it’s simply the news of a celebrity dying of a stroke at a young age that triggered my fear of migraine being connected. I’m betting fear of the symptom is the culprit- does it always have to do with repression too? I guess I still struggle with the why but maybe it’s more about neutralizing the fear at this point. I going through a very stressful time. I guess I attribute it to that and move on? I feel like I just go around and around with this and make no progress. Maybe I’m overthinking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2019
  7. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    I think you are right but in some ways ignorance was bliss. I’d have a visual migraine, attribute it to stress, forget about it and it would be gone for a year. Now that I know about tms, I fear that my brain can and will do anything!! I’m terrified of tms. It holds me hostage in my own body. I’m always afraid of it’s next move because I’m not feeling enough or am too stressed. It’s awful. I want to go back to being ignorant- I think I was less afraid.
     
  8. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    Also isn’t my brain trying to keep me safe by constantly finding things to fear? I just had a health scare last month that had me terrified I had breast cancer. I get through that after receiving good news to find myself overly terrified over a damn migraine. Why am I so scared? I know my stressors and a trip on the horizon to my mom’s which always triggers my tms but I’m certain my mind is keeping me in fight-or-flight. Can someone remind me what to do now. I’m trying to remind myself I’m safe. I’m processing my feelings about visiting my mom. I’m keenly aware of my feelings over our current financial situation. What do I do?? I was managing everything so well. Had the thought I didn’t need to wear sunglasses yesterday (I always do to prevent visual migraine), was optimistic about the future and then wham! Visual migraine. Did my brain not like that I wasn’t fearful. My bladder is the opposite- the better I feel and more confident I am, the better symptoms are. But this is like if I’m not afraid of it, I’ll get symptoms to make me afraid.
     
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, why not? This is exactly the kind of stupid thing that your primitive brain DOES.

    Oh, you absolutely ARE overthinking. And ruminating.

    Again, this is your primitive brain, totally distracting you. It is in control. You need to take back control.

    But look, you also need to do this with love. Your poor subconscious primitive brain really does want to protect you, but the way it does so is simply outdated in today's world. Don't make the mistake of ignoring it as unimportant. You have to take the thing it's trying to repress, examine it, acknowledge the fear, accept the fear as normal, and soothe yourself with love. This doesn't have to take long, but it does need to be done so you can move on.
     
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  10. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    Thank you, Jan. And you are right. Just the words I needed to hear. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
     
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  11. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    That's the whole deal. Your focus on the symptom is distracting you from your emotional and life issues. We all fear death on a certain level, but this process hijacks that fear and turns it into an obsession. Prey animals anticipate death all day long and they don't get migraines and eczema and watering eyes and back pain. These are emotional issues. Even if fear is your issue, it's probably about something very different from just mere survival.
     
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  12. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    @AnonymousNick Yes, I think you’re right. Maybe lack of control. Inability to keep bad things from happening. The powerlessness Im anticipating feeling being in my mother’s presence. Financial stress. Could be so many things. I feel like my emotions are always SO big and running wild- how can I NOT be feeling them. I think my hangup is not knowing which camp to approach this from. Sarno- look for the repressed emotions. Or the neural pathways camp- it is from learned triggers that can be unlearned. I guess both deal with the underlying emotions so I should start there. That feels like wading into an abyss. I’ve started re-listening to Claire Weekes- she always makes me feel better. Makes we wonder if physical symptoms/pain are just extensions of or exaggerated panic attacks. Are they one and the same, not two separate tms issues? Is migraine just nervous illness essentially? Why does it feel so much scarier- maybe that’s the point? Anyway- thanks for letting me ramble. There is a lot on my mind today.
     
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The whole point of this work is that you SHOULD feel your emotions - and, by feeling them, acknowledge them. Acknowledge them openly, without fear or guilt. You acknowledge your emotions and accept that they are legitimate and normal. Then you practice self-acceptance and self-love, by soothing the fearful emotions, and forgiving the negative ones.

    It's always going to be a combination, because your brain loves to use the memory of fearful symptoms in order to distract you from repressed emotions. And when you learn to not care about the old memorized symptoms, it will create new ones, so there's a whole 'nother aspect to throw you off. That's the name of the game - throwing you off balance, and keeping you distracted, worried, and alert for danger :nailbiting:

    Here's a good article about ruminating(aka overthinking) which could have been written for you :rolleyes:
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhowes/how-to-stop-ruminating (How To Stop Overthinking Everything, According To Therapists)
     
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  14. readytoheal

    readytoheal Peer Supporter

    I meant “how could I not be feeling them” as in my feelings are always so big and present and flooding that I feel like I am very aware of them. But maybe because they are so big I’m trying to reel them in and I’m frightened by them so I must not be allowing them fully. I’ve been labeled as overly sensitive for having such big feelings so I struggle letting myself feel like they are valid. I like that you mentioned to do this with self-acceptance and love. Thank you for the article on ruminating! Yes, I do this!! I thought it was productive- like my mind at work solving a problem but I understand now that it is not! This feels like a good place to start. Thanks again!
     
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