1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (now US Daylight Time) . It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with BruceMC as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

Young female, eye problems and TMS :(

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by yoyo12, May 19, 2017.

  1. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and glad I found this community. I'm a 23 yr old female and recently got really depressed over eye issues I'm experiencing. After multiple consultations with doctors I started looking some things up online and I believe I might have TMS.

    About a year ago I started experiencing minor eye problems (dryness, light inflammation, but not anything too serious). I was studying abroad in Jordan at that time, so I figured this Arab country's desert climate and dry air were causing it. I went to an ophtalmologist and he told me I had some dry spots on my eyes and prescribed me some steroid drops. The pain and discomfort subsided, so I was happy.
    Fast forward 9 months later: I went on a backpacking trip to Iran, and for some reason I wasn't feeling all too well mentally while doing so. I had looked forward to this trip so hard so I didn't understand why I was not enjoying it at all. Suddenly my eyes started hurting again. This time it wasn't just mild discomfort but a burning sensation. Once again, I found myself in a Middle Eastern country so I figured it would be because of the country's dry and hot climate that I was experiencing this pain in my eyes. I went to get some eyedrops at a local pharmacy, but it didn't really help all that much. The same day I started to experience the burning pain in my eyes, I woke up in the middle of the night because of extreme cramps and pain in my stomache/abdomen. I rushed to the bathroom and 'did my business'. It wasn't
    diarrhea so I ruled out having eaten something off would have caused this (+ I've lived in the Middle East for quite a while so my stomache was used to a lot, I had never gotten sick in my stomache at any point). When I left the bathroom to wash my hands and looked into the mirror though, I noticed a bulging, thick, red vein in the white of my eye. It kind of scared me, but I thought it might have been fatigue from travelling and figured it would go away on its own.

    However, it didn't and it even started to become worse (more bloodvessels appearing and more dry eye discomfort) after I returned back home.

    The longer the vein in the white of my eye stayed, the more anxious I started to get. My appearance had always been important to me, and especially my eyes. People would always compliment me on my bright, brown eyes and I was so proud of my beautiful eyes. A few months after returning from vacation I went back to an ophtalmologist and he prescribed me the same steroid drops I had taken earlier that year for my mild discomfort. I was excited, because I thought the drops would make the bloodvessels go away. However, for some inexplicable reason my eyes decided to have a major allergic reaction to these drops this time. It was so weird, as they had given me relief earlier. I didn't understand how this was possible. The allergic reaction caused my eyes to be bloodshot and even more painful. At this point, I fell into depression. I was so self-conscious over the way my eyes looked, and they didn't seem to improve either. I grew extremely anxious and could barely sleep because my mind kept obsessing over my eyes. I stopped getting out of the house and doing any of the activities I used to do. I went to many other ophtalmologists but they told me nothing was wrong with my eyes, and that I just have a few dry spots every other person would have.

    My eyes are still veiny, bloodshot and dry today though. It really prevents me from having a normal life. My self-esteem is extremely low and I have no social life anymore because of it. (I used to be super outgoing and confident). I get minor (and sometimes major) panic attacks everytime I look into the mirror and see my eyes.

    Then I started reading more about mind-body healing and TMS. And things kind of hit me.

    When I was 6 yrs old I was diagnosed with premature puberty syndrome. This meant I hit puberty at age 6. I started to develop pubic hair, hair under my armpits and breast development. My parents were quick to notice something was off and went to an endocrinologist for treatment. For 6 years I was treated with hormones and several types of medication. Luckily, by the time I started middle school I was considered 'cured'. However, soon after I started to develop hair in other places e.g. my chest, belly, lower back, upper lip etc. Basically in all places that were not normal for a female to develop hair in. My endocrinologist said that it was hirsutism (excessive body hair), a normal side effect of years of hormone treatment and that I could get the hairs under control with laser hair removal.

    You'd think this would all be very hard on a young teenage girl. But I didn't really bother all that much at the time. Okay, I struggled with keeping the hairs under control when we'd go swimming with friends or had PE in school, but I figured everything would be ok in the end. I had the laser hair removal done all over my body over the next few years of high school and by the time I went to university my body looked like any other healthy young female's.

    Even though I wasn't consciously suffering from my battle with premature puberty and hirsutism, I think deep down I was. I never engaged in any relationships with boys or dated a lot. I had many friends and guys would ask me out all the time but I was always extremely reluctant to go out with them. Even after having laser hair removal done, dating guys scared me.

    After discovering TMS I realized I had actually always felt ugly and unworthy because of the excessive body hair I have had. I realized I coped with this subconscious feeling of ugliness by focussing on my eyes a lot. I considered them my main physical asset: big, bright and brown and mostly: not hairy as the rest of my body.
    From the moment my mom allowed me to wear make up, I started to enhance their appearance with lots of mascara and eyeliner all the time and people would always compliment me on them.

    I feel like because of this focus on my eyes, my body might have signalled me that it's time to address all of the repressed emotions of having dealt with premature puberty and excessive body hair. Could it be possible my eyes (my 'pride' and the physical feature I was always most focussed on) started to get bloodshot, veiny and dry because my body wants me to deal with my emotional baggage? Could this be TMS? And mostly, could I get my bright, white and healthy eyes back if I deal with my emotional problems?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, really happy to have found this community :)


  2. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Hi yoyo,
    During the height of my back pain last year, I developed extremely dry eyes. I've never had this issue before even though I've been a contact lens wearer for over 25 years. My eyes were very red, dry, itching, and I would occasionally have a piercing pain in the corner of my right eye. My eyes were so dry that it would take five painful minutes for me to pull the contacts away from my eyeballs at night. Ouch!

    The ophthalmologist told me that my eyes were tearing normally (confirmed by a tear test) and prescribed steroid eye drops. I too had a reaction to the drops, and developed a horrible rash that lasted for three weeks. Since finding out about TMS in December, my eyes are returning to normal. I still use lubricant eye drops at night, but I don't do anything else. I sympathize with how troublesome this is. When your eyes are bothering you it's hard to focus on anything (literally and figuratively) else. I believe that my dry eyes were part of the perfect storm of TMS symptoms I was experiencing at the time: back pain, clogged ear, TMJ, ocular migraines, sciatica, neuropathy, anxiety, etc.. Suffice it to say, my physical and mental health was a MESS. I'm working the SEP, journaling, reading, acknowledging my emotions, spending time on this Wiki, and attending the chat sessions on Saturdays, when my schedule allows. I don't have any great words of wisdom, but I wanted you to know that someone has experienced eye issues, and has recovered completely from them. Now, if my darn back pain would just go away too! PS, I wear mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow every day. I'm quite vain about my eyes.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  3. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Hattie!

    Thank you so so much for sharing your story! This has given me so much hope for the future as I was afraid I would have to learn how to live with the way my eyes are now. So happy to hear that bloodshot, veiny, dry eyes can also be TMS and can resolve when the underlying emotional causes are addressed (before learning about mind-body healing and TMS, most information I found online stated that dry eyes and consequential redness and veiny-ness cannot be cured, only managed to make the symptoms look/feel less bad, so I was losing hope). I would like to ask you, side from the techniques Sarno describes like journaling etc., what did you do to get rid of your eye issues specifically? As I mentioned in my post, I get really upset when I look into mirrors. It's hard to ignore the way your eyes look when you are confronted with mirrors and reflecting surfaces everywhere in daily life. When I see myself now, I just try to tell myself it's only a physical manifestation of my psychological problem and that there's no need anymore for my body to make my eyes look and feel this way as I'm dealing with my emotional baggage. What would you suggest?

    Again, thank you so much! Your reply made me really hopeful and happy :)

  4. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Yasmine,

    Quite a story you have there. Amazing how you managed through your teen years. I am impressed by your sense of adventure and travels. You are a brace woman. This can really help beat TMS. Just as you fearlessly hiked in distant places, beating TMD is similar to hiking to the top but it is more of a mental hike to the top to conquer TMS.

    I had severe TMS all over and was disabled for a few months. Before that I had dryness in my eyes for many years. At the height of my pain and disability, practically every part of my body hurt including my eyes.

    Once I learned about TMS, I developed a Nine-Step Rapid Recovery Plan to get well quickly. Quite unexpectedly, not only I recovered completely and my eyes did not hurt anymore, my new ophthalmologist told me that I no longer needed to wear reading glasses.

    For fourteen years if I did not wear my glasses I experienced eye strain and headaches. I was so surprised by this development after so many optometrists and ophthalmologist for fourteen years never telling me this, I went to another ophthalmologist for a second opinion. He confirmed the diagnosis.

    So I started reading and no eye strain or headaches. You can read about it in more detail in Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain.

    Glad doctors have not found anything serious. So, focus on treating it as TMS and hope that will cure it.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  5. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Hi Fred,

    Thank you very much for your reply and kind words. I was indeed very adventurous, but since the eye issues my confidence hit an all time low and now I'm even afraid to leave my home.
    So you do think this could be TMS right? I'm about to order your book online for inspiration. The thing is that I can't find any specific tips on how to treat my veiny eyes as TMS. Most resources online and in books offer information about healing back pain, RSI, etc. I find it difficult to find an approach for my eyes. Do you happen to have any tips or suggestions? Like I mentioned in my post, I get really upset when looking into mirrors. Should I talk to myself everytime I look at myself and see my eyes? Should I tell myself it's only a physical manifestation of my psychological problem and that there's no need anymore for my body to make my eyes look and feel this way as I'm dealing with my emotional baggage? I'm not sure what to do. I just really want to be happy again.


  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Our eyes are extensions of our brains. So, as you counter tension and have less tension in your brain (mind), you should see improvement in the health of your eye.

    You will find specific steps in my book how to counter TMS and conditioned response on the subconscious level that goes beyond the conscious self-talk.

    Just as improvement to my eyes came as a side benefit of countering TMS without doing anything specific for them, I hope you will also have the same experience.

    Certainly, being in social situations or public is hard for you at this time. Yet, here is an opportunity to focus on your inner beauty and value yourself for the brave adventurous woman you really are, regardless of what others may think of your eye or how they react to it.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  7. Benjiro

    Benjiro Peer Supporter

    Marhaban -- Speaking from experience, Jordan is a beautiful country and an awesome place to study abroad. Your case reads like classic TMS to me, having ruled out a serious condition, which is good news because that would mean it's completely reversible. In my experience, all kinds of eye/face issues are TMS equivalents, meant to distract from unresolved issues. When I had mine, the areas I tended to focus on the most were the areas it found a home. I would proceed with the usual treatment (SEP, mindfulness, etc.) I tend to think of the process as a journey toward emotional healing rather than a physical quick fix which helps keep the attention off the body and on the underlying problem areas. Remember that once TMS can no longer capture your mind's attention it serves no purpose.
    yoyo12 likes this.
  8. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Mar7abten, Jordan is indeed a very beautiful country. I used to live in Amman though, so life would get a bit boring sometimes (Amman isn't really the Middle East's most exciting metropole hehe). But it def was the most brilliant time of my life so far. I felt very much at home in the Arab world. Where are you from originally if I may ask?

    I guess all I can do is keep reading and try to move on with my life regardless of how my eyes are looking right now, knowing it's only a psychological issue that will resolve when I get to the underlying causes. I have to convince myself it's only temporary, like maybe I can try to act as if it's a broken bone. I'd never be worried over a broken bone as I'm conditioned to know it will heal after a period of time.

    As I'm pretty desperate, I recently went to a practitioner of Chinese Medicine. He works by releasing energy blockages in your body's meridians. Interestingly he told me my eyes are trying to tell me something. He pointed out I have a major emotional blockage in my belly that should be released. My mom went to him for her migraines a while ago and he told her that migraines are always a manifestation of emotional blockages. What he says really alligns with the TMS theories!
  9. Benjiro

    Benjiro Peer Supporter

    The subconscious mind has gotten a lot of play in Jordanian media lately as I've seen several experts discuss it on RoyaTV. Emotional blockage definitely sounds consistent. The good news is there are loads of outlets for all that pent up tension. Have you read Sarno's books? His books, as well as a number of other resources, were instrumental in me accepting the diagnosis. P.s. I have roots in Amman but grew up here
    yoyo12 likes this.
  10. yoyo12

    yoyo12 Peer Supporter

    Yes I'm currently reading the divided mind and just ordered SteveO's book. I hope this will already help me a bit (not expecting a book cure or anything, but it's always easier to stay positive and keep working once you see some improvement). I really want to get better and live my life to the fullest.

    I think it's very interesting it's getting attention on Jordanian television. I told my Jordanian friend about my eye issues and depression over it and she was convinced it was just 'al 3ayn' and other people's jealousy that cursed me. I honestly feel like most Arabs believe the issues and inexplicable pains one faces are caused by the evil eye. Good to hear the subconscious mind is getting attention in the media though. Are you Jordanian or Palestinian or a bit of both? I used to live in Jabal Weibdeh in Amman, really love that area!
    Benjiro likes this.
  11. nick99

    nick99 Newcomer


    I know this is a while back but thought I would add something in case. I am dealing with some other TMS issues but ages ago I had terribly dry and irritated eyes. They seemed to clear up once I started using a heat eye mask daily and doing blinking exercises. Regardless of how it started, in this case a physical solution seemed to help. Might be worth a try if you’re still struggling:)
    HattieNC likes this.
  12. Amina.84

    Amina.84 Peer Supporter

    Hi. How are your eyes now please? I have some eyes symptoms too since the last year. Hope to have an aswer it will be really appreciable. Thank you

Share This Page