Q&A: Severe TMS sufferer diagnosed as fibromyalgia
Answer by Nancy Selfridge, MD
Usually 6 months is ample time to be getting some relief from your psychotherapeutic TMS work. Don't feel bad. One of the reasons that I wrote the Freedom From Fibromyalgia book is because those of us with this pain disorder tend to not get much physical relief from talk therapy alone.
Try journaling daily about your feelings. First make a list about all of things you can think of past and present that make you feel sad, angry, fearful or shamed. Then read through your list(s) and pick out the items that seem most charged emotionally and devote several writing sessions to those items.
Be sure you are exercising--this is probably the best message you can send your brain that you don't "buy in" to what it is doing.
Also learn a meditation practice and show up to do it daily, at least 30 minutes. I like mindfulness meditation as it is simple and well studied. Read about it in FULL CATASTROPHE LIVING by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.
We have research evidence that both meditation and writing improve pain for FM patients.
As an aside, I want you to be aware that vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the U.S. and low D status, say a level below 36ng/ml, can contribute to pain. Interestingly, I have seen a couple of patients with diagnosed FM, who had ALL of their pain go away once their D deficiency was addressed. You can read more about D and appropriate testing at www.vitamindcouncil.org
Also, patients on statin drugs for cholesterol lowering can have muscle pain, purportedly from a deficiency of CoQ10 that develops on these drugs. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor if it applies to you.
Nancy Selfridge: Magazine article
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