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Young and in pain...But is is really TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by nancy96, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Hi, I am very new to TMS and have only started reading his book "healing Back pain". but already I am questioning whether my case is really TMS and even using curable. So i am unsure whether I should continue the book and do the work required. I am much younger than most people here. Hence my impatience ;)

    My "story". I will keep it brief but with include some important details that may help.

    I started getting jaw aches during stressful times when I was about 18, but I have always had poor posture and weak muscles. I also had clicking and crunching sounds. Along with tinnitus and had sound sensitivity issues for a short while. My jaw scans says I have "mild flattening", and a jaw specialist also said that my scans look much better than most tmj patients.

    But heres the thing that confuses me. Long story short, the dentist gave me a splint and messed up my bite alignment. BUT that somehow stopped the frequent clicking and aches. But still LOTS of TENSION till this day, no aches. The tinnitus was greatly reduced by getting wax removed. But it's definitely still there.

    Since then I have a BAD HABIT of catastrophising, so theres the FEAR element. I fixated on all my health symptoms. Everyday. I have also never experienced an onset of pain while being in a stressful moment though? My body just feels more tense and tense as time goes on.

    I am 23 now. The tension has spread to the from the Jaw to all the way down my body (isn't this just the knots and fascia affecting the surrounding areas and NOT the pain "moving"?) There is no place in my body that doesn't have a lot of tension, and the tension is worse in my right side (dominant side). I have no stabbing, sharp or burning pains. Only tension and tenderness. I noticed constipation maybe 1-2 years ago, I am unsure of whether i had this growing up, since I have always had a poor diet. I have "fibromyalgia" and "myofascial syndrome" type symptoms.

    Things that were going on in my life. I had found out something about my dad around 19-20, I did not about to anyone until a year later. I am the type of person to NOT talk about my problems. I also was anxious about my future plans such as studying and work. At the same time I was motivated in learning about side hustles and financial freedom at a young age.

    At 18 I was diagnosed with hair loss. I was depressed for a little while, but "got over it". Again more catastrophising with all my health issues that were affecting the way I felt and looked, as I was already very insecure about the way I looked.

    During this whole time, including till this day, I have not been able to really share much at all about my health symptoms. My parents just know that I have a tight body and hair loss and eye issues. That's about all I've every shared. I have no close friends at all. And I tend to use my health symptoms as an "excuse' to not go out to date and make new friends. As I feel like I need to "get better first".

    When it comes to exercising, I went from it being my hobby to completely withdrawing from it, because of the tension and limited movement also sad about the symptoms I was getting, I also take longer to recover from muscle soreness compared to "normal" people. I have never been bed ridden though.

    Is this actually TMS? Can you "partially" have TMS?
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    Coming from the standpoint of reading posts on this forum and reading several books, and Not A Doctor, your post absolutely sounds like TMS. Maybe not every single symptom you have, but every single thing about your life and how you handle (stuff) things and thoughts. The tone of your post is TMSy. I think you could do the emotional work and educate yourself about TMS and equivalents and find yourself in the process. You might be amazed.
  3. codoe

    codoe New Member

    Hey Nancy,

    I’m not here to tell you whether this is TMS or not, I can’t.. I just have started with this recently too.

    I feel the same as you though. Constant tension in jaw and head and neck, which will not go away! Although I’m not a very anxious person anymore I know how it feels like. Been there, done that.

    I’m also someone who doesn’t like to talk about my health problems and I think I’m a bit disconnected to my emotions as well.

    i think you would benefit from meditation or even some cognitive behavior therapy. It can really help for those anxious thoughts you have and give you a brighter outlook.

    Happy to share and exchange the progress and experiences along the way if you are here to stay.
  4. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Hey if it's okay, would you mind sharing your experiences? And the steps you took? and maybe some tips that you think may help after you look back on your experience? Thanks!
  5. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Thanks, this sounds reassuring, I will continue to read and use the curable app.
  6. codoe

    codoe New Member

    Hey Nancy,

    from reading your post above I think a good start could be to reduce your fear. You probably have some kind of health anxiety.
    There is a session in the curable app about it (somewhere in the roadmap). You might find the book DARE by Barry McDonagh worth a read.

    I also had health anxiety and also some vertigo. I did cognitive behavioural therapy for more than a year and that helped a lot. Meditation is also a good thing, you probably tried that already in the curable app. I also like Headspace, Andy has some courses about anxiety and pain.

    I also started to implement expressive writing, because I'm internalizing most of my emotions and thoughts. Maybe this is something you can try, especially for the thing which happened with your dad. It's a small vent, but even a small vent can blow off some steam ;)

    After your fear and anxiety goes down a little bit, maybe your fibromyalgia goes down a bit too and you can start to move again, doing some light exercise, which should help with the tension.

    In the end, what I still struggle with, is to let go of the thought, that something is wrong with me. I still find myself over analyzing myself. But I'm not doing it with that much fear anymore. But I'm still searching for a solution, which is not psychogenic, so I'm not there either. But what helps once in a while, to just let go. Let go of all the thoughts and tension to find a solution. It helps to calm down, at least for a few days.
  7. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member


    What if I try these things (at least a few times) of course, does it mean it isn't tms after all? I always have trouble trying new methods to reduce pain, because once I do and it doesn't work, that means it's justt one more thing that's out there that won't help with the tension :(

    or maybe I'm doing the meditation, espressive journalling "wrong.
  8. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Also another thing that gies me anxiety is other - actual physical symptoms I have that inpact my quality of lige and gives me anxiety/stress. i will never be able to get rid of these - due to porr genetics
  9. codoe

    codoe New Member

    I'm exactly the same. I need results pretty fast, otherwise I drop it.

    But what I learned from the things so far, especially CBT and meditation. Those a skills and insights you will benefit from 100%, although it might not reduce your pain. CBT increased my overall happiness and outlook of life and reduced my life and work related stress hugely. Meditation not as much, but still... It made me more calm in every day life. It didn't help to get rid of my nocturnal jaw clenching, which I think is the reason for my tension headache and jaw pain, but it helps me to put my focus elsewhere, so the pain is not as bad and my thoughts are not as bad.

    For expressive writing, I gained some insights about myself and my past, which I wouldn't have without doing the exercise. Did it help to ease my pain? No. Did it help to learn more about myself, yes absolutely.

    So try to approach it from a different perspective, that's what helped me at least. I'm not doing it for the pain, I'm doing it to improve myself. And compared to some drugs, you really have nothing to loose, except the time spent. And money if CBT isn't covered by you health care system :(...

    For the genetics things. What do you mean by that? Who says that you have poor genetics? Did you do a DNA test?
  10. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Poor genetics thing is just bad eyesight with floaters. Im past 18 (23) and my sight is still getting worse. So yes, BAD genes.

    I will try and do the journalling and maybe in the future CBT with a professional. Agreed, theses are the type of exercises that will at least improve your life and thought patterns and pain if you're lucky ;)
  11. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    @codoe What has helped with your pain anyways? When it comes to emotional type healing work?
  12. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi nancy86,

    Take this as a positive thing ....every line of you post screams TMS lol. The numerous different types of health and physical ailments , the personality traits, the tension you are constantly generating with your thoughts and in your body, the muscle tension, the internal pressures, the emotional stuff you are repressing, the depression and anxiety and thought habits of catastrophizing. TMS is simply anxiety somatized through the body and everything physical you describe is quite common as well. Our bodies are extensions of our thoughts and emotions. Fearful thoughts, life stressors and internal pressures all activate danger centers in the brain. This in turn triggers pain signals and other sensations. It's a fear-pain-fear-pain loop. Age has nothing to do with TMS and everything to do with being human. Humans have emotions and thoughts and brains that are designed to "protect" us and to survive. I highly recommend you read the book "Unlearn Your Pain" by Dr. Schubiner and also watch a recent talk he did that is posted in the forum. You can also YT it. It was for the Commonwealth Club in California. It's a valuable lecture and he does a brilliant job of explaining the way our brains work and the nature of chronic pain that is coming from neural circuits. This type of pain is reversible but it's a psychological issue so you have to commit to that diagnosis (TMS) and do the work. It also means deciding to stop looking for medical/physical explanations.
  13. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Thank you! But can you have "partial tms"??? Since some of my symptoms were able to be somewhat relieved from physical interventions e.g. my ringing ears and jaw clicking and aches.....

    Once of my other things that I do is when things I am looking at don't aligned 100%, I always need reassurance. In this case my symptoms don't align 100% to what Dr. Sarno says in TMS.

    But anyways, you comment (and others above) gives me more BELIEF that my problems are emotional. Thanks again.
  14. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Partial TMS, the way you are defining it, is like saying "partial pregnancy". It's either a structural (physical) issue or it's not. If it's not, it's a psychogenic situation where symptoms are triggered by signals in the brain. The physical interventions you used that alleviated were placebos. They created a feeling of safety and calmed down the danger center in your brain. Less fear = less symptoms. Further proof to me that this is TMS and psychological. Tinnitus and jaw aches are super common and mentioned often in tms literature. When doctors cannot find a cause or a cure and symptoms persist in a chronic way, it's reasonable to rule out structural problems (or infections or tumors etc) and rule IN neural circuit pain (stemming from the brain and caused by anxiety and stress).

    Belief is a DECISION. Until you decide to get off the fence, you will stay stuck in the doubt phase....seeking reassurance, chasing "therapies" and magic bullet "cures" and going round and round on the practitioner merry go round. One cannot resolve a psychological issue with physical treatments. If you work off an incorrect premise, you are just spinning your wheels. When you search for things that fit the negative narrative in your head about why you are "different" and not "100 % aligned" what you are doing is self sabotage. Finding reasons as to why you can't get better (your age, your precise symptoms, your horoscope sign and every nonsensical thing your brain can conjure, etc etc etc etc) will only keep you in the pain strategy. The work involves overcoming your own false beliefs about yours body, yourself and your life. Once you have the knowledge, it's time to get off the fence and start living your life. Put the knowledge into practice, shift focus and lose the fear.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    Lizzy likes this.
  15. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    This seems to be a common initial reaction to learning about TMS. Our brains are such tricksters. :phantom:
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    nancy96 and miffybunny like this.
  16. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    What if there are some structural things wrong with the jaw - like normal abnormalities? Would it still be TMS?

    About the structural stuff with my jaw, i saw some shitty Tmj dentist that made me have some scans and I dont remember them saying anything was structured wrong with it and the they have me a splint which misaligned my bite, which alleviated some of the symptoms. Got the jaw alignemnt with surgery done.

    I’ve only been told there is “mild flattening” in my joint (so nothing serious) and another Tmj SURGEON told me my joints are fine compared to other Tmj patients he typically sees. Again, I don’t get aches anymore. Just tension, which my whole body has developed.

    It would be hard for me to go back to those very first dentist I saw for the clicking and aches (to confirm if there was structural damage in the first place) They’ve kind of “traumatised” me for causing more issues for me.

    Another ACTUAL Tmj specialist told me that the repositioning splint the shotty dentist gave me was at most a “placebo” affect.

    I’ve had a ew
  17. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    I’ve also been seeing physios that believe persistent pain is caused from the brain.

    I told them what I have written here (not shown them scans though) and they seem to also believe that at least what caused my pain to b be chronic is my brain.
  18. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    I highly recommend the book "Unlearn Your Pain" by Dr. Schubiner. It will give you all the knowledge and explanations of the brain and neural circuit pain. This is reversible. It's not some kind of chronic brain damage, for lack of a better term. It's simply false alarms signals stemming from the brain. It's very common and totally reversible. The problem with the vast majority of medical doctors and physical therapists is that they have not been trained in this . They know that there is a psychological overlay and that stress affects the brain, but most are not trained in chronic pain. In fact Dr. Schubiner is in the process of working on apps for medical doctors so that they can obtain more training in this subject. It sounds like you are on the fence and have a lot of doubts right now, so absorbing this knowledge on how the brain works, will really help you. Dr. Schubiner also did a brilliant lecture recently (commonwealth of California) and it's posted here in the forum.
  19. nancy96

    nancy96 New Member

    Thanks Will check this out. I’m
    Definitely more on the tms side, even the commenters here think so!

    First time I felt aches in my jaw was during exam time.And analysing my life my main emotions would be fear and catastrophising of pain. And anger.
  20. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    Well isn't that basically an 'essence' of TMS? Dr Sarno discovered that structural abnormalities have nothing to do with pain. Many studies confirmed it. Most people after some age have structural abnormalities in their back - I would suspect the same is with jaw. It's normal thing, it's called 'life'. Now, there are people with structural abnormalities having pain yes... but some of the worst pains are experienced by people who have no abnormalities at all!
    If you have abnormalities it's possible that it makes weird sounds, or it's clenching(which will not help with pain) and those are physical stuff. Sound is not generated by brain... but pain is. So I would say that this is very probable that you have TMS problem.
    miffybunny likes this.

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