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Catch 22 / I'm new here!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hanna, May 12, 2015.

  1. Hanna

    Hanna Newcomer

    Hello fellow soldiers :) I am new here and wanted to say hi and get a bit of feedback if possible.

    I titled this "catch 22" because that's what it feels like I am in; my health problems are preventing me from living independently from my family, yet I think that being dependent on and living with my family is making my health worse and worse. I'll give a wee bit of background info…

    I'm 22 and live with my parents. I had been going to community college part time until taking an involuntary medical withdrawal due to light sensitivity so severe that I had to shut myself in my room and use red-tinted lightbulbs.

    My first experience with PPD/TMS/MBS/whatever you would like to call it was in elementary school when I stood up from bed one morning and collapsed. I had lost all control over my knees, and spent days crawling.

    Throughout high school, I experienced back pain, neck pain, migraines, chronic fatigue, stomach problems, insomnia, and light/sress-induced vertigo. I was also spending as little time at home as possible, abusing alcohol, and taking adderall and an SSRIs.

    Two years ago things started getting bad. Looking back, I realized I swapped one set of external means for emotional regulation for another. I went from being out all the time, not caring about classes, and surrounding myself with friends to spending most of my time alone, studying, or trying to build relationships with my family. I quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and instead adopted obsessive bike riding and an eating disorder.

    I soon sustained a knee injury from biking that was so severe that I could barely walk. An exam and an MRI found nothing but swelling. The diagnosis? a "kneecap issue" due to overuse. This injury was devastating for me, and set off a cascade of health problems.

    These problems include: constant migraine, urinary frequency, concussion symptoms every time I bump my head, joint pain (mostly the knee that I injured) severe gastro problems (bloating, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, nausea), all-body stiffness/tenderness/pain, chest pain, heart palpitations, and lack of a menstrual period.

    I have normal MRI and CT scans. I've also had extensive blood work done and am in perfect health aside from high cortisol, slightly low anti-dihuretic hormone, and no detectable estrogen in my blood (despite it being produced by my brain just fine). The latter two abnormalities are common for people who have eating disorders, but since mine lasted only 3 months and I have been at a healthy weight for 18 months now, you'd think they don't need to exist anymore.

    Over the course of these two years, I have attributed my symptoms to a variety of things, from concussions to past drug and alcohol abuse to getting myself off SSRIs. I now see that these things were merely opportunities for PPD to manifest, and that my obsession, fear, and devastation regarding my spiraling health exacerbated the symptoms.

    I now realize that the root of my problems is my mind. I've had Stockholm Syndrome essentially my whole life. I sustained many injuries before the age of 5 in the hands of people that were supposed to protect me. My childhood was neglectful and emotionally abusive, and subsequently I've been in nothing but abusive relationships. I also have PTSD from being trapped for 7 weeks in a jeuvinile correction program that utilized relentless physical abuse and psychological torture. I have also been sexually attacked twice.

    The most recent changes (likely due to realizations about my life and my askew world view) have been a decrease in my neurological, urinary, and musculoskeletal symptoms (so long, chiropractor!), and an increase in nausea, reflux, panic attacks, nightmares, depression, and anger. I also have a new symptom: nerve pain and dysfunction (numbness, burning, tingling, stabbing) of my feet, lower legs, wrists, and hands, along with stiffness and decreased dexterity of my hands and feet. This is the scariest one yet, as it seems less "TMS-y," so to speak. I've also been quick to blame the Cipro (antibiotic) that I took a few months ago. I've had a sensation of terror and claustrophobia within my own body for a while now, and this new symptom is really feeding that fear and making it hard for me to walk and play the guitar.

    I have read The Divided Mind and have just received Unlearn Your Pain. I've also just started therapy with a dude who isn't a TMS specialist but is very holistic and open-minded. I'm also journalling, recording dreams, and learning everything I can about the workings of abuse and how to rewire your brain after a lifelong experience of it. In general I feel extremely alone and damaged beyond repair (and super frustrated that I am living in a triggering environment), but lucky to have the resources and drive to heal (psychologically and physically) as much as I can.

    Sorry for the length--I totally wasn't expecting it to be that long when I started it. I really appreciate having the opportunity to write it all out. If you read it, thank you :) Any feedback would be lovely. I am curious to hear if any of you have similarities or insight.

    Much love to all of you!
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Hannah. Well, you certainly have been in the emotional and pain mill. You've been abused or misused in many ways.
    That seems to me to be the cause of your pain. The Structured Educational Program will help you to better understand your
    repressed emotions and that will lead to being free of pain.

    Your subconscious is doing what TMS does... it is giving you pain so that you discover the emotional causes of it.
    Stick with this web site and read how others healed. Read the books recommended in various subforums.

    You are in the right place at the right time. Everyone here will help with healing advice and encouragement.
    Hanna and JenV like this.
  3. JenV

    JenV New Member

    Thank you for sharing. I saw lots of similarities in our stories. I also had an abusive childhood. Also had anorexia. I still have to remind myself to eat. That it is good for me to do so... That I need to nurture and take care of myself. I've also gone from rebelling with drugs, alcohol, and generally not caring about anything, to the other extreme- trying to be "perfect". It is a lot of pressure to put on yourself! Right now, I'm trying to find a healthy balance. Just reading comments on this site have been so helpful in my journey.
    David88 and Hanna like this.
  4. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Hanna,

    Welcome to the site. You've been through so much, yet you show great courage and amazing insight. I wish that I'd had the understanding of PPDs at age 22 that you have (I'm sixty now, and still figuring it out).

    You're not alone -- the people here are great, and through this site you can find others to help you. You don't say what part of the country you are in, but you may find someone near you in the practitioner directory.

    According to Sarno, nerves are one of the most frequent things to be affected by the mild and harmless oxygen deprivation caused by TMS. So despite the scariness of the symptoms, be confident that TMS is the cause and your nerves are not damaged.

    You're on the right path. Let us know how things go for you.

    Hanna likes this.
  5. Hanna

    Hanna Newcomer

    Thank you, Walt. I will check out the structured education program, and the affirmation that I'm in the "right place at the right time" is so nice to hear :)
  6. Hanna

    Hanna Newcomer

    JenV that's interesting that our histories are similar and I give you my respect for what you have been through. Nurturing the self and finding a "healthy balance" is tricky for most anyone, but is totally unnatural for those of us who were raised to identify as worthless/evil/invisible/what have you. I think it's definitely something we have to put conscious effort into day in and day out, until our psyches have been rewired.

    I'm curious…did the onset of your symptoms coincide with this flip?
  7. Hanna

    Hanna Newcomer

    David, thank you so much for your kind words :) I feel very encouraged. From what I've gathered, understanding PPD at any age puts one a step ahead of the majority.

    I will check out the practitioner dictionary--great idea. As much as I can try to convince myself that all of this is PPD, having it confirmed by a pro would make me more confident in the diagnosis.

    That is SO reassuring. Perhaps the cipro was merely an opportunity for PPD to attack my nerves, or perhaps there was no correlation.

    Thank you loads for the welcome.
    David88 likes this.
  8. JenV

    JenV New Member

    YES. Shortly after becoming a wife and mother. I wanted better for my daughter. I grew up watching "The Brady Bunch". I thought that was how normal people must live.
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hanna,

    At a young age you have begun a huge journey in self discovery. This takes courage, self-compassion, steadfastness, and will. Probably a bunch of other stuff too including a willingness to deal with your truth. It seems you have them all. It is the brave way, and you could say it is the only real way. Welcome!

    You may like to read and listen to this resource at the Wiki. It might be something that would be good to come back to every few months, and listen to work with clients...I think you will find it both challenging and supportive.


    Good luck, and keep checking in for support.

    Andy B.
    Hanna and Mala like this.
  10. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Hanna you have endured so much at such a young age but its clear to me that you are very intelligent & appear to have a very good grasp on what is going on & a clear understanding of how TMS may be causing your pain.

    Since you have already ordered Unlearn yr Pain you can begin the 28 day program for healing immediately & post here for any queries you may have or even tell us about your progress if you wish to do so of course. There is so much info here at the wiki that you can go thru at yr own pace or use in conjunction with your 28 day program.

    The fact that you are doing therapy with someone you like & who is receptive to the ideas of TMS is also a plus.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Last edited: May 14, 2015
    David88 and Hanna like this.
  11. Hanna

    Hanna Newcomer

    That makes LOTS of sense.

    Self-discovery definitely has a false identity as something that is fluffy, pompous, relaxing...what have you. But it is quite the opposite and my experience knowing it as such was affirmed in your words, which I am so very grateful for.
    Thank you for the encouragement, link, and luck! I send it back to you (minus the link, as that would be unnecessary) :)

    Mala, thank you for your feedback! It's very appreciated. I feel so fortunate to have found this resource--it's making all the difference. Wishing you the best as well :)
  12. MKPKdozer

    MKPKdozer New Member

    Hanna I'm new as well to the site, I've been relentlessly reading Healing Back Pain (10x) since March 9 this year. It is the best I've been in more than 5yrs. I've had some relapses, but I keep Dr. Sarnos' mantra of "Think psychological not physical," in the forefront as much as possible. Just being aware of the possibilities of keeping TMS at bay is all any of us can ask..... Day to Day, moment to moment. I will share my whole story soon, I am so pleased to have found this site as well. Be well Hanna,
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm in the Chicago suburbs and feeling a headache and stuffed head.
    The weather guy on tv says we're having one of the worst springs for pollution, and I believe him.
    So many people are having their precious lawns sprayed with chemicals, besides tree pollen being
    the highest in years.

    So I suffer, with no relief from an allergy pill. I also know that Dr. Sarno says allergies are among
    the symptoms of TMS, and my TMS is, to a great extent, from financial worries, as most of us are.
    That increases the allergy symptoms.

    So like Hannah, I keep thinking psychological more than structural or physical. It does make the allergy
    stuff easier to take. I'll take a break in a while and use my Netti pot to clear and cleanse my sinuses
    with a little salt water. It really helps.
  14. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    MKPKdozer I can relate like everyone here. I try to explain to family and I'm met with a blank stare. The pain I experience was always difficult to describe and pin down fully but I suspected it was muscular and due to poor mechanics. Not the case.
    I ran 2 miles the other day with some pain but I have to rid myself of the fear I am damaging discs by running. My docs told me running causes downward pressure on discs and will wear them out faster. Its infuriating that I went back to the same Doctors and tried my best to explain and of course it was met with a puzzled look. If Drs didn't have to deal with tonnes of back pain cases (85% of which receive no definitive diagnosis) you would think they would be receptive to the personal testimony of someone(Bachelors Medical Engineering) like me who carefully recorded all treatments and at the last resort tried Sarno's theory.
    its not their fault as medical schools only acknowledge stress as a contributing factor rather than a causative one. Add that to the fact Pharmaceutical industry has nestled itself nicely into areas of influence ensuring the biochemical model reigns supreme.
    Lizzy likes this.

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