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Would Really Appreciate Some Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by DWhite44, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. DWhite44

    DWhite44 Newcomer

    Hello All,

    I would really appreciate some advice/feedback for anyone that has the time. I will try to keep this as short as possible. For the past three to four years I have developed a very bad preoccupation with focusing on bodily symptoms. The starting point was forearm pain and a pinky twitch that has continued up until now (my pinky twitches all day rhythmically). However, I will say that there are weeks here and there that the twitch will disappear, only for it to return and the cycle to restart.

    Most recently I have been unable to sneeze for the past three or four weeks. I specifically remember feeling like I was about to sneeze a few weeks ago, and suddenly it disappeared at the last second. After doing some googling I found a few old articles that referenced how being unable to sneeze can be an indicator of a very deadly brain tumor. Since that point I have not been able to complete a sneeze. Each time I am about to sneeze I think "please let me sneeze this time" and it goes away. Should I be concerned about this?

    A few other symptoms I have experienced:
    -Thoracic Outlet (this was a big one; completed months of physical therapy)
    -Fumbling my words (due to my stresses I get worried that foggy thinking will be an additional symptom of something bad going on)
    -Twitches throughout my body
    -Facial pressure especially on bridge of nose (recent symptom)
    -Sinus Issues

    A bit about myself:
    -Very focused individual and definitely a perfectionist
    -Working a very stressful job and simultaneously working on my masters degree
    -Job does not operate on normal hours/I often work at night
    -Definitely a bit OCD (I can tell you how much money I have at any given time basically down to the cent, other similar things, etc.)
    -I am what Sarno would consider a "goodist" or someone who really tries to be a good person

    Reading the above kind of makes me sound like a mess, and as bad as it is I am able to bury everything and enjoy my life. (that's another thing...I am excellent at burying things). I put a lot of pressure on myself to provide for those around me. However, I literally find myself thinking about how to fix each of my symptoms CONSTANTLY. When I just sit and observe my thoughts I even catch myself doing it multiple times per minute. "How can I fix this pain, or that twitch, or that symptom", "Is this the first symptom of something bad". It's quite tiring. I would also like to say that I don't feel depressed. Just tired of the constant symptoms. If someone would be so kind as to give me their opinion I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance for your time!

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi DWhite44 and Welcome!

    Your description of monitoring and trying to fix symptoms is very typical of a "TMSer," yes. So if you want to apply this method, then you begin to notice the fixations and see them as fixations, and this mindfulness will help. What is not helpful is to focus on symptoms, nor to focus on the fact you're focusing on symptoms (don't make yourself wrong for this). Just notice your "repetitive thought/worry," acknowledge it, and move your attention to something which is not it, preferably neutral or positive. Examples are your feet on the floor, your hands touching your face, your breath.

    Another impactful response when you notice these thoughts is to reassure yourself. Find some go-to phrases which are believable to you, refine them.

    Ultimately we see this repetitive mind/emotional activity as a defense or as a distraction, or as a misguided survival response. In any case the move here is to contemplate what it is emotionally that is not easy to be fully conscious of.

    Highly recommend the Structured Education Program or other resources at the Wiki to turn your system toward more ease.

    Ellen likes this.
  3. DWhite44

    DWhite44 Newcomer


    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. If you don’t mind me asking, do you think TMS could cause someone to lose the ability to sneeze? I’ve read about the possibility of a tumor on the medulla causing such symptoms. I am always paying attention to bodily symptoms, and will make sure to follow your advice above!

  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Devin,

    I seem to have lost the ability for a full yawn, about 2 decades ago. So I suppose the same could be true of a sneeze, that you could loose it from something in your mind/body/tension/release. They both, the sneeze and yawn feel like a sort of release, so they might be similar on a mind-body level...

    About a tumor, I could not answer that question. Most folks trying to "heal" themselves with TMS have to eliminate the physical/pathological possible causes in order to make progress. We have to put our minds at ease as best we can about the fears. Plus it is the wise, safe thing to do. So if this is bothering you, I suggest an exam or consult with physician. Then, if you're cleared, you can have confidence with a TMS approach.


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