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What if my symptoms don't really move around

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by tgirl, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    I keep reading that people's symptoms usually move around with TMS. My prickly sensations are only on my legs. They move around, but only on my legs. Disheartening! Any up lifting comments??
     
  2. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    I feel you! When I first heard about the symptom imperative, I was excited for my symptoms to shift as "proof" that I had TMS. This was more fear-based thinking and needing something to show me that I did have TMS. Whenever I wanted symptoms to shift, they wouldn't, they would be exactly in the same spots that I fear the most. However, during times when I truly "get it" and don't care about the symptoms and trust the TMS diagnosis fully and completely, I find that I do have symptoms shift! It's not very often though and this is because I don't fear those locations, I'm happy about them...with the familiar, scary areas that I have focused on for so long with a fear-centered obsession, it's the fear that makes them stay and stay. When I shift into not fearing them, and really, truly not caring if they are there and reminding myself over and over and with the utmost confidence that it IS TMS...they shift or go away or don't cause me psychological pain. As they say, "The only thing to fear is fear itself." What if the worst, worst case scenario happened and something popped or really really hurt even more, well who really cares? Let it, it's not going to hurt you any worse than the abusive thoughts or scary thoughts hurt you, is it? I find that the thoughts I think cause me far more pain than the actual pain itself.

    For what it's worth, prickly sensations in the legs sounds really, really, really TMS. Feed yourself empowering thoughts and stand up for yourself, don't let fear run you! It's just fear. One thing I have been practicing lately that I have found very helpful is to change my view of success: while in the past, I felt successful or good if my symptoms were gone or significantly under control, now I feel successful and good when I stand up to the fear thoughts and don't let them run the show. Even if the pain doesn't change at all, you can focus on standing up to the negative thinking and self-abusing fearful thoughts. I believe in you!
     
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  3. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Dexy thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot. I have been battling this for a long time and have been extensively tested by the medical community. The results come back normal every time, so the medical route is over. I have had these symptoms on three separate occasions, but this time it doesn't want to leave. I really need to believe this will go away and I know this has to come from me. Thanks again!!
     
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  4. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Well, if the tests say you're normal, that is reason to really celebrate! Woo hoo! I know, I know, you want the symptoms to abate, but what about trying to work on the mental aspect of it only and not worry at all if the symptoms go or don't go...could you try shifting your thoughts from focusing on your fear of the symptoms to managing just the fear in general. That's what I've been doing very recently and it's very empowering! TMS does not like it when we get empowered...vamoose TMS!
     
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  5. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    I've been wondering about this too. Mine moves around within my pelvic region and the original pain doesn't go away when that happens. When you read about symptoms imperative it seems to be more like someone's knee pain vanishes while should pain appears which I suppose is just a more obvious version.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  6. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Dexy I like what you said about managing my fear in general rather that focussing on my fear of the pain. I will be conscious of this. Thank you.
     
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  7. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    tgirl--that's great! It's definitely something (for me, anyways) that needs constant redirecting at this point, because I have become so accustomed to fearing the symptoms and believing that "if the symptoms went away, I wouldn't have fear/anxiety". In fact, the opposite is true, "If the fear and anxiety went away, I wouldn't have the symptoms". I have been careful not to beat myself up when I notice that I am feeling fear or anxiety and not trying too hard (pushing, striving...all contributes to symptoms, thus counterproductive) to make the fear and anxiety of whatever it may be go away. Noticing it, and then using strategies to self-soothe and calm that fight or flight response down is what I am working on, with some success which is keeping me motivated to carry on walking in the same direction. What I do to self-soothe changes from day-to-day but some of my current favourites are to remind myself that there is nothing structurally wrong with my body, and that my job is to look at the fear, be the space for the fear, breathe into the fear, and then empower myself by fighting back against it, NOT as a way of getting rid of the symptoms, just as a way of not letting the fear control me anymore, ie: "I won't buy into the belief that my symptoms are the problem"; "My body is perfectly healthy"; "I am on the right track"; "My thoughts cannot hurt me, just as these symptoms cannot hurt me".

    Recently, I have had another "a-ha" moment that has helped me a great deal: I have finally realized deep down in my gut that even if the worst of the worst case scenario were to happen with my body (it fell apart or got really sick and diseased or disabled), I could deal with that. I might not like it but I could deal with that if it didn't come with fear or anxiety. It's like if your body fell apart but you weren't scared of it anymore, how would you feel? For me, I would feel better than I do when I am actually not falling apart but believe that I am and constantly live in fear and anxiety about what if. So what is actually unbearable are not the symptoms themselves at all, it is the FEAR of what might happen or how my body is holding me back, when right now in this very moment, it's not...so what if something aches a little, no big deal, it's like a tension headache. It's not hurting me and even if it is, so be it. Let it hurt me if it is, I'd rather that than the psychological pain I have been carrying around like a lead suitcase. For some reason, using worst case scenario and knowing that I could be okay even in that situation (because I've already lived it in my head for years) is helpful to me, so I figured I'd share it in case something in there resonated with you or others.

    I hope you have a great day!
     
  8. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Thanks Dexy. A lot of what you said makes sense. I am not at the point yet where I would be very accepting of disability or of the knowledge that my pain could be permanent. Working on everything!
     
  9. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    tgirl, my symptoms don't move much either.......the twitching does but not the pain. Funny thing though, all the symptoms of pain, etc that I had prior to this would stay in the same spot pretty much until I was told by the doc it was nothing and tests confirmed it, then the symptoms would disappear only to have another one reappear somewhere else to get the worry cycle started again.
     
  10. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    When you phrase it that way, I don't think I would be okay with that either. I should clarify a bit better, I don't think I conveyed what I was trying to...my point wasn't that being disabled or having permanent pain would be okay, it's just that, I think we cause ourselves (at least I do) as much psychological pain by obsessing over the symptoms, ruing their existence, wishing they would just leave so we could be okay again, as we would experience if we were to have the physical pain just on its own without any added layer of psychological suffering. Kind of a weird way of saying (that works for me, but I get it if it doesn't for you!) that the physical is not what we need to worry about or fear or focus on, it's the suffering we cause ourselves psychologically that does the most damage, and that, we do have control over, it just takes time, repetition and patience. Hope that makes better sense! In either case, what works for me, may not for you, and that's totally okay! Cheers:)
     
  11. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    I would take this a great sign! That's textbook for TMS is it not? Just more confirmation that you are completely fine structurally. This is great news!
     
  12. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    you would think so but try telling my brain that!
     
  13. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Dexy I agree, I cause myself a lot of psychological pain - pretty constantly. I really have to try for acceptance and then maybe I will improve.
     
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  14. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Tgirl. Your symptoms do not need to move around in order for you to have TMS. The possibilities for how it manifests and the pattern it takes are extensive and individual. We tend to look for similarities in how others healed for reassurance, which is understandable. I have been on this board for a while now. I am doing great and not in chronic pain anymore(after 20+ years of all kinds of things). I come here still because, well, because of Walt and all the wonderful people I have met here, but also because I see myself in how everyone tends to think. It helps me to see it as something that I do, and to know that I don't have to live in fear. As you know, many people have healed from their symptoms just from reading Dr Sarno's or another book on TMS, from the knowledge that it is possible to create pain this way. And so many of us take their success and wonder, well what is wrong with me, why won't my pain go away with this knowledge? Likewise, when others are no longer distracted by their pain, TMS starts mixing things up and moving things around to get our attention again. And then we worry that we might not have TMS because it doesn't move around like others. Or we can't find enough people with conditions precisely like our own. The common thread is that we are still focused on the pain, on the symptoms. I have had symptoms that were consistent and did not move for years. I also had symptoms move all over the place. And although you might think that would have been reassuring, it wasn't at all. Each new condition grabbed my attention all over again even though I was completely aware of the symptom imperative. I remember one time my nose and front teeth were terribly numb for days. It was scary. I couldn't find anyone else with this symptom. Believe me, I know how hard it is, but the answer truly is to focus on your life outside of the pain and to have faith that this will get better. It is the fear and distraction that perpetuate the condition. You can do this and once you stop monitoring it so much(which is very natural and the reason it is there) then one day you'll stop and suddenly realize it is gone. This is what happened to me. I spent years wondering when it would go away, and now I have no idea what day it actually got better.
     
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  15. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    Anne thanks for taking so much of your time to post this response. It really is uplifting. I hope that I am in your position some day soon. At least that is certainly my goal.
     

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