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Wondering if chronic pain from since I was a child is TMS. Any Advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by lpd11, May 14, 2020.

  1. lpd11

    lpd11 Newcomer

    Hi everyone! Sorry for the long read but I have just struggled with this issue my whole life so there is a lot to explain!

    I've dealt with a pretty debilitating chronic pain since I was about ten years old. Incidentally, that is sort of when my whole life got flipped upside down.
    I was playing baseball and somehow caught a ball with my face. It didn't hurt bad at the time but the next day I woke up and had what I would later find out to be a herpes infection on my lips. I guess my damaged lips from the hit weakened my immune system - I'm not exactly sure.

    To spare some details, it was pretty bad at first. It was gross. It was incredibly sensitive; if I were to touch my lower chest I would feel a shiver of discomfort that would make my whole body quake. For about three weeks I could barely open my mouth. I hid from people. I all of a sudden felt like an ugly monster of sorts and just different I suppose.
    The virus came back every couple months for a few months lessening in severity and occurrence each time until eventually I just seized to have any infections after several years.

    However, since that day I have had unremitting chronic pain. It feels like sort of a severe discomfort and at times a burning feeling. It is always there it just varies day to day in pain. If I don't get enough sleep it is just incredibly painful and it is all I can think about - I can't smile without much discomfort and certain foods are hard to eat.

    What I find compelling, after reading some of Sarno's books and after having a shoulder pain lessened from believing it was TMS, is that my chronic pain has just been the constant thing in my life that I have paid attention to. It has been the thing that I have always believed held me back. The whole start of it was also the change in my life that made me into a carefree calm person to someone who is just stressed out all the time, more turned inward, more anxious and depressed.

    What I noticed about my shoulder pain is how much it stressed me out - questions like: "I work a physical job... if I can't use my shoulder what will I do?"and so on. Just constantly thinking about the issue. In the time that I have stopped thinking about it and more or less ignoring it, it has felt so much better. This obsession I felt is just like the one I've had with my lips.

    Anyway, if you've read this far I appreciate it - do you think TMS could be a potential cause?
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi lpd11 and Welcome,

    Congratulations on your successful self-treatment for the shoulder pain. Indeed, the more we worry about the pain, the more it tends to stay around.

    For your other pain, yes, it is likely that it is TMS. In order to move forward from here, it would be helpful to list what supports a TMS self--diagnosis and what does not.

    I wonder what physicians have told you over the years?

    So far, supporting the TMS diagnosis I have:
    --long term pain
    --no physical explanation (about this I am not sure)?
    --a connection with your identity that this makes you unlovable
    --pain in another part of your body which responded to a TMS-type approach

    How about your personality?
    What was going on with you at the time of the original accident emotionally, like in your family?

    Does the pain vary ever, and can you connect this with particular inner or outer events/emotions/triggers?

    This list of inquiry above is not complete, but gives you a start. Nor do you have to "tick all the boxes."

    You might look at the Wiki resources and read more, looking to see how you do or do not fit the known patterns of TMS.

    You might also dig right into the Structured Education Program at the Wiki, and begin to treat this as TMS, and see if it responds, learning more how you might fit this diagnosis as you go.

    I hope this helps, and please continue to post/ask questions.

  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    There's more than a couple of statements in your post that would lead me to believe that YES, your pain is serving as psychological distraction.

    What age were you when that ball thing happened? What else was going on in your life at that time that would have been a rage , shame, guilt inducer that might have necessitated a symptom?

    When I read "Healing Back Pain" and finally got 'cured' of TMS, I looked back over my life and realized I'd been having attacks since I was 6.... They came and went according to the usual reasons... Anger, Fear, Shame that I couldn't express, though with the 20/20 hindsight I got from reading Sarno, they all make sense.

    It was interesting too, that none of them responded to 'treatment' they just sort of faded away.

    One feature of TMS that is always prominent is it's DIS-connection from the alleged trigger incident. According to the Mythology whiplash takes a 'few days' to kick in? That's straight up crazy... usually what happens is the person sleeps a few nights , the unconscious welcomes the new prisoners of FEAR, ANGER and SHAME about the car accident and chooses a likely, believable symptom.

    Also, the amount of attention and fear involved usually implies TMS.

    Real injuries aren't like that. I severed my thumb in '13. The pain was IMMEDIATE and began lessening the very next day. I didn't pay much attention to it , and I was at work in a month....using that hand in my construction job (the body is amazing at healing things)

    However, in '99 I just felt a little 'bing' twinge in my but, and in a few weeks was a complete cripple and OBSESSED with the symptoms, and remained that way for more than a year. TMS is characterized by obsession, fear and lack of finding a solution. It's there to distract us and it does it's job well UNLESS we start an investigation into it's veracity.... that's when we see it's just there to bug us like an annoying little sister.

    People who are more susceptible to TMS tend to get it in a variety of functions... not just musculo-skeletal... rashes, itches, needing to pee all the time, stomach stuff, and even chronic colds.

    Yes, I believe you have been suffering from a long term something or other. I have been hit with countless baseballs, but I never got a virus from it??????

    I think the answer might be found in your emotional/spiritual/psychological state at the onset of symptoms.


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