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Alan G. When am I a success story?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Guest, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I was fairly disabled with pain in 2005. After reading Dr. Sarno's books and applying the principles, I experienced a dramatic recovery. I have also worked with a therapist on my anxiety and started a regular meditation practice.

    I still have *some* pain and flare-ups, but no more disability because I don't let the pain stop me from doing what I want. I've sat for hours, run marathons, etc. I also still have anxiety, but similarly I'm getting a lot better at not letting anxious feelings run my life and set limits on what I do. I'm generally happy with my life, but every once in a while, I get upset and frustrated that the pain isn't *completely* gone. I start researching different kinds of therapy, etc. and worrying about what deeper issues I still have that are causing continued pain. These worries - and my efforts to "fix" things - lead to overanalyzing and anxiety. I get obsessed with doing TMS recovery "right." I know I tend to be a perfectionist.

    Is it possible to become too perfectionistic about TMS recovery itself? At what point do we need to say, "You know, this is actually pretty good even if it isn't perfect," and choose to just live our lives even with some remaining pain and the possible deeper issues that are causing it? Do we need to have a perfect recovery (100% pain free) to consider ourselves a success story?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2017
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  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    That's a great question. I think what you're really asking is, is it okay to stop putting so much pressure on myself?

    Putting pressure on yourself is one of the things that can inject you into a fight or flight state and actually lead to an increase in symptoms. So even putting pressure on yourself to get rid of your symptoms can be counterproductive.

    Of course you're a success story, but it's always okay to continue working on improving, both to learn to put less pressure on yourself as well as well as to have less and less pain.

    Alan


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

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