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Voice and throat problems for many months, TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by thecomputer, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Hi everyone

    I have just read the Mindbody syndrome and am now questioning if the problem I have is TMS related.

    I have had quite intense chronic anxiety and everything that goes along with it for about 13 years. For the last 5 years I would occasionally get a lump in the throat feeling for weeks or even months at a time, and coudl never tell why, I just attributed it to anxiety. Then 6 months ago I began getting a very sore throat when speaking or singing (I have sung for 17 years, with bad technique!). Since then my voice got worse, and it goes very raspy when speaking and hurts a lot. I can feel muscles tightening and tensing, and it feels like burning, like someone has rubbed sandpaper on the inside of my throat. At the same time as this started, I noticed little red bumps over my throat in the mirror. Apparently its chronic granular pharyngitis, and not related to my voice problems, although it really feels related!

    I have been for 3 endoscopes with ENT's and a strobe endsocopy. They said my vocal cords look healthy, and they can see some muscle tension. Reflux has been rules out, and I have ben on various diets and been tested for that. The strobe endoscopy showed that one of my vocal cords is not in sync with the other, apparently due to muscle tension.

    I had my tonsils out as they have been enlarged since I was a teenager. This did not change the voice problem, but did offer some relief as they always felt like they were causing pressure. Since that though my nervous system has calmed right now, and I feel much calmer than ever, and sleep well every night which is crazy after the last few years of insomnia.

    I have been in speech therapy, had osteopaths, massage, chiropractors, acupuncture, diets, silent retreats, you name it! There is some occasional progress, but i seem to end up back in the same place often.

    It's been incredibly isolating and I know that stress makes it worse, but when I get a sore throat from speaking I get very stressed, so its a vicious cycle!

    I know that anxiety has played a huge role in causing this problem, possibly the whole role! But what is confusing to me now, is that if I dont speak for days, I can be relatively painless. So I only suffer when I speak or sing or use my voice.....so it seems to me a mechanical thing. It is not there unless I do these things, which seems a bit different to most of the conditions mentioned in the book...bad backs etc.

    If anyone has any info on this I would love to hear. I read a couple of other threads about similar conditions, but every one is unique

  2. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Hi Robodelfy:

    I have what you are talking about. Mine started 10 years ago, more so with swallowing at that time. The first 3 months I never burped, there was a lot of tension in the throat. It has slowly improved over time. Then 2 years ago I got a cold and lot the voice for 2 or 3 months. Now I feel I still have voice weakness. Although, I must admit, at this point in time it is selective. I can talk to my kids all day long, but if you put me in a social setting it can get sore. Also, the tightness seems to change sides, which is congruent with tms theory. My history with tms is with a sore back that started in 2012 for 2 years, then I found tms info and got better. I think perhaps the throat issues may be the mother of my tms. I also have anxiety, so I consider that to be tightly interwoven in the sore throat.

    My treatment these days is to treat it all like tms. I have been involved with a meditation group in my city and that helps. They put on classes which involve emotional participation, as well as a lot of practice of what I would call going into the body, gently. And there is group discussion on how you feel. It is very good therapy. There are times I feel the clamp coming off. When I say that I mean it feels like there was a clamp on my throat, and when I feel certain emotions, or when I go into my body and gently spend time in that area, and I may feel an emotion, it feels like a clamp coming off. I feel I am on the right path.

    One ENT told me it's not cancer, because if it was, I would be dead by now, as I have had this for 10 years. It was a strange remark, but it is actually comforting. One less thing to worry about. Ha, ha!

    When I look at your story, I see long term anxiety, like myself. Maybe this is anxieties way of presenting itself in a way that we we will listen and do something about it. The anxiety is the tool to making us aware. Dr. Sarno's teachings fall into this awareness, being aware of what is happening, what you are feeling emotionally and physically, and talking to yourself to get through it.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  3. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Sorry to hear you are suffering with a similar problem. It sounds like we do not have the same thing though as I feel pain when using my voice in any capacity, even alone for tiny periods of time. You say that you can speak to your kids all day which makes it seem more likely the problem is psychosomatic.

    This is where I am so confused. Do I just have a bad breathing/talking/singing technique that has resulted in this along with the tension from anxiety. I can feel fine when I am silent for long enough, it is only using my voice that causes me a lot of pain.

    if anyone has any more insight into whether this could be TMS I would love to hear :)
  4. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Maybe I need to clarify a little. I lost my voice completely for 2 or 3 months and never spoke at all. Through healing (time) and tms healing over 2 years I have gotten to the stage I am at now, where I have voice weakness, my voice gets sore when I speak too much, but is not as much of a problem around my family. I do understand your frustration, there was a point where I decided, screw it, I am going out and doing things voice or no voice. I may not talk to people, and that's ok. I can learn to listen for a while. I decided to be gentle on my voice and not use it for a while. When I started using it more I constantly referred back to the daily reminders in my head.

    I noticed that you are new to the forum, welcome! Have you read any of the tms book yet? Also there are some programs you can follow on this wiki that are helpful in understanding tms. The Structured Education Program is wonderful and the tms Recovery Program, these are great places to start and understand the program on a deeper level.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  5. cloudswimmer

    cloudswimmer New Member

    I know this thread is two years old now, but I have the EXACT same thing, and thought I'd share for any other lurkers sufferning the same thing. It started in about 1995 after I was served divorce papers. After seeing a bunch of different doctors, the last doctor back then said I had 'Globus Hystericus', and that I should try doing some kind of vigorous exercise like weight lifting. Its waxed and waned over the years, and I've had 4 major episodes of this now since 1995. The last episode before this current 2018 episode I saw 3 ENT's .. and got 3 different 'opinions' from each of them with no real diagnosis or remedy, also did allergy testing, and had a Neurologist give me a CT Scan .. same thing. It finally calmed down after many months and I could talk again, but I've had a constant lump in my throst ever since. This current 2018 episode I'm now going through I'm not talking at all as even a little talking makes the throat much worse. I've read Sarno's books and think there could be something to this regarding my condition, but I have a hard time with Sarno's evolution theory being hard science .. its a theory .. not empirical .. and goes against my biblical world view, but most of the mind/body syndroms like TMS can co-exist with a biblical world view .. which says we live in a fallen creation full of disease, death, and finally resurection .. but I don't want to go into theological debate, just want to share I'm going through and have been going through this for a long time! I was also diagnosed via DSM IV and several psych doctors decades ago as having pretty severe OCD and anxiety disorder, so it just all kind of makes sense .. I think TMS is a strong possibility of a true diagnosis, and I'm thankful for the books available on the subject and this wiki group.

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