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When pain is away, depression comes to play

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by StarCluster, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. StarCluster

    StarCluster New Member

    Hello everyone!

    Background: I've had chronic migraines since I was 14 years old. I discovered this website and Dr. Sarno's book a little over a year ago. It took a while for the TMS ideas to sink in, and I haven't really seen much improvement with the pain of migraines... until recently. Usually I have 15-25 migraine attacks per month, but the last couple months I dropped under that.

    My question: Although the pain hasn't been as bad, my depression has been HORRIBLE. Probably worse than ever. Has anyone else noticed that trend? What do you recommend ? I thought I would be so happy to not be in pain.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Gah, this is more than just frustrating, StarCluster - depression is EVIL.

    Unfortunately, TMS hits some people much worse than others - and in ways that make no sense at all if you start with the premise that TMS is a primitive survival mechanism. I believe that depression is a form of TMS (along with anxiety and OCD) but honestly, I have NO idea how depression can possibly help us to survive - or debilitating migraines, for that matter. I think these must be TMS run amok, and most likely affecting individuals with some kind of trauma in their history.

    Nonetheless, your experience is still most likely to be the symptom imperative, as I think you probably are also thinking. Your brain, not happy with your migraine success, has turned up the depression volume instead.

    I have a personal story about overcoming depression, but I have to say that the depression I experienced at the worst of my TMS crisis in 2011 was short-lived and not clinically severe. I only got a taste of it, and was able to banish it. Still, just in case it's of any help: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/bookmarks/608/view-item (Bookmark | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome))

    I also have to ask: Have you done either of the programs we have available? Reading the books and absorbing TMS knowledge is an essential start - but you've got to do the emotional work in order to achieve real progress against your symptoms. If there is severe trauma in your past, you may need more help than our free programs can provide - but they are a good place to start.

    All the best,

    StarCluster likes this.
  3. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Hi StarCluster,

    While I'm new to TMS, I can speak from professional experience in mental health that the idea of shifting symptoms like this (or as Jan said, the symptom imperative) is so, so common, to the point of being expected. It doesn't make sense from the outside - You're in less pain, you should be happy! - but I think there are a lot of reasons that it does make sense. Here are some possible reasons (most of which have applied to me):
    - You're coming out of this awful situation, and there might be a buildup of sadness, resentment, hopelessness, grief for time and opportunities lost, etc.
    - Your nervous system has been worked so hard that it must be exhausted. There may be no 'normal' baseline to immediately return to, and you may need to build it again through self-care and whatnot (see Claire Weekes on recovery).
    - Once we become less fearful of our physical symptoms, we start to notice other undesirable things in our lives, things that we didn't have the time or bandwidth to process because the pain had so captured our attention.
    - If you're doing the TMS process, you're doing a lot of emotional work! Sometimes our moods get worse before they get better.

    All this being said, you deserve to be happy, and there are many ways to recover from depression. Let us know if you're interested in recommendations.

    Wishing you well
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had pain because I NEEDED it. When it left as a result of doing Tms work, the stuff it had been protecting me from came roaring back. For me it was Rage, but it doesn't matter what the feeling was. The operative 'problem' if you will, was that I was living a perfectly reasonable life..... that was rage inducing to the eenth degree.
    I sought out a professional to deal with the rage and he actually helped me dig out a lot of stuff and explained a lot of the machinations of the human mind.
    Their are things we do and relationships we participate in that we would NOT have anything to do with if we stood at some clear thinking point of reference with an omnipotent designer...
    As we recover from the physical, it is like waking up in the middle of a bad dream. The dream ends, but if we don't want another one to come back it behooves us to find out why we had it.
    WHY am I depressed? How did I get this way? What would my life look and feel and smell like if I wasn't depressed? Is there something I can do about it? What benefit am I getting from being depressed?

    Always the questions
  5. StarCluster

    StarCluster New Member

    Thank you so much for everyone's responses so far. These comments have been *incredibly* helpful. For a few weeks, I hadn't been eating or sleeping much, and I was overwhelmed with negative thoughts. It's been quite a downward spiral. I think I'm starting to come out of it, a little, at times.

    Everything you say makes sense... this TMS work is definitely emotional and hard to come to terms with.

    I think I've been in denial about how bad the depression is, because of the focus on chronic migraines. Ugh. I'm tired.

    I've read through the free programs but haven't done the actual writing work. I'll add it to my To Do list. I hate talking about my past traumas, but there are too many stacked up to ignore. I've been bottling my emotions and trying to fake my way through life. Le sigh. It's catching up with me.

    So much work to do, but I'm feeling optimistic that I will feel better eventually. I love all the advice and recommendations.
    Sita, JanAtheCPA and Free of Fear like this.

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