During Saturday's drop in chat we had a group discussion of the first two chapters in the book the Great Pain Deception, by Steve Ozanich. We had a vibrant discussion and I really enjoyed reading what people had to say about the first two chapters. Anyways, we decided to post the relevant segments of the chat in the forum so everyone else will be able to read over it. I am always interested in seeing how other people interpret TMS books and different approaches. Since it is an excerpt from the drop-in chat it sort of jumps around a bit and kind of ends abruptly. I would love to hear what other people think of this. Drop in Chat Log from Saturday June 23 Forest: I've prepared a bunch of questions and even some notes about the books and if there are pauses in the conversation or we get off topic, I can jump in and guide our attention to the book. Melanie: Got so involved in the book that I just finished chapter 3 MorComm: Hi Veronica and Pranav and Forest et alia. I just got the Great Pain Deception yesterday and have looked at the first 10 pages or so. Sort of a Sarno summary? Melanie: Yeah, lots of Sarno quotes Forest: He LOVES Sarno Veronica: me too Forest: Me three Forest: So you really liked the book, Melanie? Melanie: I am so tempted to read ahead to see if he stays with his wife. Melanie: Chapter 3 is depressing....soooo much pain. Forest: All I'll say is that it's a heck of a read. Morcomm: But I notice too, that Steve also sort of de-Freudizes Sarno. He says for example, "loss of awareness of negative emotions" without going into the Freudian mechanism of repressed emotions. He steps away from Sarno and synthesizes new material: Like Candace Pert's discoveries in neuroscience. Forest: I totally agree! SteveO strikes me as a synthesis of different approaches, much like you'd see on the forum. There are lots of Freudian notes, but to my mind it looks like they are integrated with other approaches Jan: He makes a really good case for anxiety being a TMS symptom If two TMS’ers have a child would they have TMS? Melanie: Steven Ray Ozanich says that two TMS'ers having a child would produce a TMS person, never read this before. Do you believe it's true It did make me LOL! MorComm: Melanie, Likely. Veronica: I think if you were raised by two TMS parents you'll probably have TMS but I don't think it's biological JanA: I'd love to hear what others thought of that - he seems so serious, otherwise Melanie: JanA, LOL, my Mom was the oldest of 13 so was a Mom from 4 or 5 years old. JanA: Veronica - yup Forest: Melanie, I think whether the children of TMSers had TMS would depend on how much work they had done. If they had achieved insight, I think they could be terrific parents. But I do think he was joking. On using sleeping aides Melanie: I like his reference that if you are normal, don't have to sleep with all kinds of pillows, etc. on a perfect mattress. Doesn't matter where or how you sleep. MorComm: Melanie, that's way different than me. I was the only kid and my parents channeled their conflicts through me in a pure undiluted form. A real battle royale. My mom had lost her first baby in a failed marriage years before, so was very obsessed about me. Forest: That sounds like a real setup for TMS. MorComm: Melanie, I've slept on the ground out in the wilderness while working trail crew with Outward Bound. Slept just fine. No aches and pains other than from hard work moving boulders all day. Soft mattress is a bunch of BS. Is abandonment the root cause of TMS? Forest: One thing I thought was super interesting from the book was the contention that The root of the cause of TMS is abandonment issues, either physical or emotional, that happened when we were young. Melanie: Forest, do you believe the abandonment issue as being a Key issue? Pranav: Well I had a superb childhood, no abandonment but I still have tms. MorComm: Forest, I noticed that too. With my parents always trying to break up, abandonment was a perennial theme during my childhood. My mother running off to Seattle when I was 6. Taking me and moving in with her sis up in Sacto when I was 11. Unstable. Jan: Forest, I did have a reaction to that concept Melanie: Forest, I was hoping for abandonment. We were always hoping Dad wouldn't come home. JanA: I had a very secure childhood, but I wondered how much my mother's anxiety actually left me feeling abandoned MorComm: Pranav, Well, there's always narcissistic scarring, even in perfect family setups Veronica: I think "abandonment" can happen when someone is physically there but is abusive or not able to take care of you. Melanie: Veronica, very good point. Veronica: doesn't have to be they literally left you the way I see it Forests: Melanie, I'm still mulling that over. I haven't finished the book yet. I'm naturally wary of broad sweeping statements like that, but I think there may be some important insight in it. My hunch is that it may mirror some broad, sweeping themes in psychotherapeutic theory. Perhaps the "relational psychoanalysis" school of psychotherapy is what Steve was echoing when he wrote that. MorComm: Melanie, Yes. When my mother ran away to her sisters and left my dad, I had a perfect summer in the country. Hated it when they got back together because I knew the conflict would continue with me at the center of it. Veronica: Kind of like Dr. Z's theory on the 4 core existential problems--one is isolation which is connected to abandonment to me JanA: Veronica, That's what occurred to me, I suddenly felt it when I was reading that Pranav: Welcome guest 620. We are discussing the Great Pain Deception but feel free to ask for help or take the discussion somewhere else. Veronica: felt abandoned, Jan? Forest: excellent point, Veronica regarding other forms of abandonment. JanA: Veronica, it's certainly true that neither of my parents dealt with my anxiety (I think we talked about this on the forum). JanA: Also, they started having more kids - ended up with four, so no time or energy. Melanie: Forest, we went to my Uncle's for one week a year and got to see how an actual family should/could be - and then went back to the battlefield. MorComm: Forest, Yes, as a little kid, I found myself hoping both my parents would die in a head-on wreck so I could be placed in foster care away from them! Don't wish for anything too much or you might get it and find out just how bad foster care is. Veronica: MorComm I'm sorry. Sounds like it was really hard for you growing up MorComm: Melanie, exactly. my aunt's place in the Gold Country was such a distinct contrast from the battleground of my parents' house, I loved to go up there. Such a relief! Forest: And probably a great experience for both of you, to see that it didn't have to be that way. Forest: The examples that parents set are so important... MorComm: Veronica, When my mother put me in the Alpine Club at Carlmont High School, I finally had something of my own apart from my parents' conflict. Climbing saved me! Forest: thank goodness. Like a boxing club for an inner city kid. Need to get out of the house! Melanie: It's so very interesting to see how your own child looks to you for everything and then you look back and see what you didn't have as a child The Two Pillars of Sarno’s Cure Forest: Okay, another question: Steve mentions that Sarno's Cure rests on two pillars: Acquire knowledge into TMS and Act on the knowledge and change the brain's behavior. Steve also suggests here that resuming physical activity is the most important thing to recovery. Is this oversimplifying Sarno or is it the right way to go about things? How does this compare to your own recovery? Veronica: Forest, most of my symptoms had nothing to do with physical activity... MorComm: Melanie, No it didn't. They didn't die in a headon. But my childish fantasy sure demonstrates the level of rage a kid can have at his parents for being so involved with their fight that they ignore his psychological needs as a separate person. Veronica: I actually felt better headache-wise when I was active even before I knew about TMS Veronica: For me two main things that have helped are 1) knowing about TMS 2) working on repressed emotions MorComm: Forest, yes, change your brain and its biochemistry. then deprogam the nerve pathways by engaging in physical activity. i concur with Steve. Melanie: Veronica, Bingo, me also: The knowledge and figuring out the repressed emotions. Still having trouble finding the Rage. Veronica: Melanie, yes, anger/rage are hard for me too. Morcomm: Veronica, those unsent letters in Schubiner seem to be highly effective in my own case. stops the pain dead in its tracks Forest: As time has passed, I've been paying more attention to Dr. Sarno's approach. It's very interesting to me that he doesn't advocate deep emotional work as much as, for example, Schubiner or Schechter do. It has me intrigued. He encourages people to write essays, but for most people, education and resumption of activities are very important. Something to think about..... but for Veronica and Lori, the deep emotional work seemed super important. Everyone is different Veronica: I don't think everyone needs to do deep emotional work but I think a lot of it helped me...and I feel like getting to work on the emotions is "the gift" in TMS MorComm: Forest, I find that riding my road bike and just concentrating on feeling good about myself at the same time I push my limits seems to counteract the TMS. Stops the dialog with the internal enemy as Alan would have it. Just focus on expanding my range of motion and coordination. No time for neurotic games. The Jungian Shadow? Forest: I was a little confused when Steve started talking about the Jungian "Shadow." What were other's takes on this? Melanie: Isn't the Shadow just the area where all our anger/rage, etc. is stored? Forest: Do you see a difference between it and the unconscious? Or is it just another name for the same thing? MorComm: Forest, haven't got that far either. isn't the Jungian shadow like the animus is the shadow of the male anima. I read the Mysterium Conjunctionis years ago. Thought I understood C.G. Jung, but I was young and arrogant! JanA: MorComm, I hope he doesn't get into that, LOL! Forest: Why the different term? I imagine that Freud and Jung argued a lot and had differing opinions. JanA: It's beyond me MorComm: JanA, I think Jung said that the male anima is a counterpart to the female animus. Mirrors and mirrors! Like Jacob Boehme! Forest: Who's Jacob Boehme?! MorComm: Forest, He was a 17th century mystic in Prague who borrowed a lot from the Cabala and Jewish mysticism. Wild stuff! MorComm: Forest, very much "can't". Changing the biochemistry of your brain doesn't involve being clever. It's more practical than that. The intellectual stuff can be an evasion too. Forest: I think that that is why I hesitate to learn more about Jung. It sounds like that was part of the tension between him and Freud. Freud wanted psychology to be a science, whereas Jung drew inspiration from mysticism. Did I get that right, MC? JanA: Chapter 2 looks like all of that Freud and Jung stuff though - Morcomm's territory! MorComm: JanA, Steve is going to be a long read for me. I'm already annotating everything and writing comments in the margins! rach: Do you find it helps you though, reading so much on TMS? MorComm: JanA, Freud and Jung were during my mis-spent youth! MorComm: rach, Only if your reading really helps you do something about your TMS. Reading so much can be a distraction too.