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Fear as a symptom of TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by COgirl05, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    i think my brain is trying to give me a symptom imperative with fear! I'm becoming such a hypochondriac it's ridiculous! I think I have what is strep throat right now and I was starting to convince myself I had mono from the Epstein Barr virus and that was going to wreak havoc on my body and cause an autoimmune disease. I am catastrophizing everything right now and feel my fear is going through the roof. I always worry exceedingly about my kids and mom too... Any thoughts or advice on how to overcome this?
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    If your fear is a symptom of TMS, what is it trying to distract you from? That might be a powerful inquiry for you. Not easy to do with fear, to inquire into what it is hiding, since it feels so "big" itself. But this seems to be what is before you...
    MWsunin12 and COgirl05 like this.
  3. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    COgirl, I understand what you are saying. I experience fear when it comes to my health. Catastrophizing is another big one for me. I think I injured a pelvic muscle about a month ago and it hurts and is extremely annoying. Consequently I have been seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Since she didn't cure me in a week I see where my mind is going with this. I am horrified it will never ever go away and I will at the least be on heavy pain killers for life. Why the hell do I think like this? It's not normal.

    Also I have prickly leg skin and since I freaked out so badly over it, it is sticking with me. I think I over sensitized my system and now it will take time.

    It's a terrible way to live and like you, I have to figure out a way to stop this fear process. You aren't alone.
    COgirl05 likes this.
  4. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Cogirl - I know how you feel. I think I am in the middle of this battle myself after successfully using TMS to heal a few years back. I tend to find myself in an OCD style state where I symptom check and if I don't find myself free of the pain I get worried and the fear sets in that I will be saddled with this pain for the rest of my life. Then I start thinking about a future with the pain and it I am a mess.

    I am experiencing ball of foot pain now for around 2 months, I would say on a pain scale it is fairly low at maybe a 2 out of 10. I had it show up 2 years ago during my MS scare and it went away when my mind wandered to a new symptom. This go around, I don't have any particular fear health wise aside from it so I don't have a natural distractor coupled with it being my feet that I use all day long.

    I had a surgery back in December where i had 28 days of an antibiotic IV. I went to two foot doctors. When said it was a pinched nerve, the second said hypersensitivity or nerve damage due to the medicine. Ever since i heard those words the fear set in.

    I should have asked him why then did I feel this a few years back and it went away and also why did it wait 2 months after my medication was done to pop up?

    So I wake up each day and look for my pain friend, when i get up off the couch I look. I look all the time. Finally last week I was able to free my mind and accept TMS and the pain went away for 4 days in a row. The morning of the fifth day though it was back with a vengeance. The only change was I was back working in my home office where I am isolated without human interaction all day long.

    So now I am confused. How can nerve damage just vanish for 4 days and how can it wax and wane in severity? I should recognize the TMS right after being void of it for 4 days but it came back so intense it has me again wondering and searching for an answer.

    Like Andy says, something we need to address is being hidden by the pain.
  5. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's so insightful to read each other's stories and to realize that fear of pain produces pain. Pingman, I'm going through similar with nerve stuff, but I agree with you…a truly damaged nerve wouldn't come and go, increase or lessen. As Dr. Sarno wrote: a damaged nerve would create a LACK of feeling completely. I think it is in the constant "looking" for what's wrong today. It's the accepting it 100% that will help us all, no matter the initial cause. It's not easy when the initial cause was injury or illness. But, the human body is resilient….resilient enough to help us hide our emotional truths that we fear worse than physical pain.
    TG957 likes this.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    And our brains are so creative and skilled at hiding that something!!! I realize that my fear comes back in many of disguise, always masking itself by something else. Tracking it down to the source, which is our fear - that is a million $$ question and puzzle to solve.
  7. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    I was able to rid myself of pain two years ago using simple TMS practices. Living in the present and repeating to my subconscious it is mental and not physical. What I was unable to do was figure out what the true reason for my hypochndria/OCD/TMS really is. I think that is why it has come back.

    At the root of it, I simply have a fear of being paralyzed in some fashion. Multiple Sclerosis was a fear of mine after I had felt some pain and looked for help from Dr. Google. My mind was able to make me feel so many of the same symptoms I had read about.

    That fear was a fear of living a life unable to do the things I loved with my son like hike, camp, fish etc..

    It seems like my TMS picks conditions it knows I am most scared of. One thing it always has in common though is my fear of not being able to live my life carefree.

    What am I suppressing...is there a correlation to this fear of paralyzation? I searched for awhile to see if my mothers abandoning me at a child and her selfish ways might be a reason for the pain but I just don't really care anymore about what she did.

    I have hit on something recently that I am exploring with little luck. When I go through my pain and symptom checking OCD periods I want to talk to my wife, dad, anyone who will listen. I yearn for their telling me I am ok, it will go away which only lasts me a short time. When they ignore me I get mad internally and feel like no one wants to help me, no one cares at all and I lash out.
    tgirl and Huckleberry like this.
  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bingo! Same for me - fear of not being able to take care of myself. TMS somehow knew that I was able to overcome lower back pain and foot pain and go back to hiking and backpacking, so it picked a new target. This is how I think I ended up with super tight muscles and tendons and loss of dexterity in my hands. The only convincing argument I have for myself is that symptoms are moving all the time, from one hand to another, from one limb to another. But I keep obsessively looking for re-affirmation of my argument and end up with these endless searches on Dr. Google for MS, for Parkinson's, for any neurological disease out there. Enough! I am going to meditate for the next 20 minutes to get rid of this obsession!
  9. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the OCD/hypochondria is probably one of the common denominators for many of us.
    I keep going to loved ones to confirm that I'll be "okay" too. But, that is keeping me stuck too, to always need comfort outside myself.
    Pingman, your mother information is interesting to me because I was an unwanted 3rd child who arrived during a time of great financial stress for my parents. My mother probably shouldn't have had kids. She always talked about how she "had no life of her own." Anyway, I had little bonding with her, but tons of guilt for not feeling bonded to her or my siblings. I think there is a disconnection that still hurts us, whether we think we care about it or not, anymore.
    It kind of makes sense that we are frightened by the thought of disability because we were denied "care" as little children. Just a thought.
  10. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting thought. I was a very wanted child by my mother and an eventually loved child by my father (to the best of his abilities). But I am obsessively independent and worried about not being a burden. As a teenager, I was very heavily involved in taking care of my grand aunt who became very disabled and who did not have kids of her own. Was that the source of my fear?
  11. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Yeah, I imagine there is something to that thought. My dad use to brag on me as being so mentally tough when I was in my early teens and all through my 20's when I was single. He said my brother was weak minded because he couldn't handle my mom leaving us, couldn't deal with his girlfriends breaking up with him and always getting back together with them. I was the one who just carried on with my life. When a girl did me wrong I was done and moved on.

    Quite possibly my way of dealing with it that my dad admired was me just stuffing everything down into that little black whole until I was married and settled in my 30's. I do sometimes look at my son and how much my wife and I care about him and wonder how my mom couldnt love me like that. I did everything right. I was a 4.0 student, captain on my sports teams in school. Went to college, got a great job and a wonderful christian wife by my side.

    I think there is some baseline emotional problems setup by her and my respressed emotions.I even tried therapy for a few months where the therapist tried to get me to talk to my 'parts' to tell my protector part it was ok and let the feeling come to the surface so I could deal with it. I just couldn't make it happen.

    I would say though that now that I am grown, I feel that same denied care and maybe the root of my current issues. I feel like my wife cares but doesn't invest any time to try and help me get over my TMS. If something was bothering her as mych as this is me I would go to the doctor with her and ask questions, read on the internet about TMS/nerve damage etc... I can't talk to my dad about it and I feel let down by my doctors. One said I had nerve inflammation and gave me shots, the second said I had nerve damage without ever touching my feet.

    I feel very alone inside my head with my condition but yet I am not convinced that is causing it either.

    As I was writing this I realized something. I really just feel alone. Not alone in the sense that I am actually alone, I have my family and my wife's family and acquaintances. I can't say that I have anyone in my life who I would say invests any real energy in my feelings, wants, likes.

    And my reaction..... oh well I dont need anyone. I'm tough right?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  12. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yeah, I relate to this totally.

    I remember back about 10 years ago before my health anxiety started I was always under the impression that if any illness etc befell me then the good old NHS (UK) would swoop in and a big buxom matron would take me in her arms and tell me I was safe and that they could put me back together no problem. What you realise once you have health anxiety and frequent the medical services is that it isn't really like that and all too often you are left out to dry with your condition.

    The only person I have to talk about health anxiety and my chronic pain and other ailments to is my wife and she is pretty well past the point of listening. She has had to listen to me droning on for about 9 years now and she is sick to death of it...of course I totally understand this but it does cause a huge amount of tension and strife as when she ignores me I also get that internal mad feeling and I tend to lash out verbally as well which often generates terrible rows and arguments.
  13. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Just to mention as well regarding the fear of disability etc. It is surprising just how many people with health anxiety worry about illness such as MS and ALS. Whilst the physical symptoms of anxiety can manifest themselves are very similar to some neurological conditions I've always been somewhat convinced that the fear of these conditions is related to the fact that they always involve a loss of control over the body. From my experience the vast number of health anxiety sufferers have issues with control and having to be in control of all aspects of their life at every given moment so it is telling to fear any illness/disease that rids us of the ability to control our very body.
  14. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Adding to the control type personality, I wonder how many of us who suffer with TMS are also highly analytical. I by nature am a problem solver and it has helped me in my career as a software programmer and now a project manager. I am programmed in every area of life to seek and plan to find the best result. When I book a vacation I spend hours and hours comparing hotels and locations, second guess my choice and wonder if I could have found a better place. With my man toys (golf clubs. hunting equipment) I inspect and analyze them to find any imperfection and once found it makes me upset. I seek perfection in most things in life, and yet I don't do anything to take care of myself. I eat like crap, work to much and fluctuate weight up and down.

    When my TMS hist, I seek out an explanation which ultimately leads me to the web and the worst case scenarios......and the fear.
    TG957 likes this.
  15. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman, this attitude is what likely gotten you to where you are: TMS. Take a look at self-compassion route. See my post: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/standing-up-to-the-bully-self-compassion.12239/ (Standing up to the bully - self-compassion). It may not seem as good as having a person to talk to, but in a way, it is a real solution that allows you to handle most circumstances on your own. Not a replacement for a support network, but a major relief to your support network.
  16. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Huckleberry, I think you are onto something. My SO was telling me yesterday that he thinks I so much like to be in control of my destiny that I had a hard time dealing with illness from the very onset, so it spiraled out of control. Great minds think alike! ;)
    tgirl likes this.
  17. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yep...spot on I think.

    I'm convinced this is actually one of the defining things regarding TMS etc. We may have got through a large part of our lives problem solving in a specific logical and analytical manner and this may well have served us well. When we are then confronted by this new 'problem' TMS/OCD/Chronic Pain/Health Anxiety etc etc we see it as a problem that we need to solve asap and then attempt to do so by calling on all those problem solving skills that we believe have served us so well up to that point in our life. It is when these fail to work that we become fearful, confused and totally stuck as we have no real knowledge on how we should proceed.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
    Pingman and TG957 like this.
  18. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Good thread, has really got me out of my negative thinking today. I am curious on how my pain is so high this week after 4 days of almost no pain. Maybe it is my TMS last ditch effort.
  19. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very good insights, in my opinion Pingman.

    How does your inner child feel about being left alone? Not the "can do" tough self-image, but the child who is not seen and taken care of? When you get close to this, and you are getting closer by exploring your hurt around this, and your anger, the defenses arise that "I don't need anyone." If you can let yourself move between these places, without judgement, or the need for any of it to go away, this might be helpful: anger, hurt, aloneness, fear of not getting what you need, being tough... a great exploration!
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  20. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    I guess is short, it really sucks. I would love to have a mother who shows me love and advice when I need some. It would be nice to have someone like my wife, dad, brother, friends just sit down with me and really express a deep interest in my feelings and pain. It makes me wonder what is wrong with me at times, externally it appears that everyone else has this support system in place.

    Maybe that is misguided, my inability to have self compassion for myself and recognize others are in pain as well.

    This seems really far fetched but maybe my fear from my feat and the fear of being paralyzed relates back to my past/current feelings of feeling alone? Maybe I am in a fight to get better so quick because I fear if I don't I am going to be left behind and alone in my wheel chair or at home while everyone else goes to enjoy the things I love like hiking, beach etc....

    I know my family, if I were ever paralyzed or had issues walking they would say, "we have to live our lives, you understand don't you?" I would be forced to put on the tough face.

    I feel like I am all over the place with my thoughts. I do know I have to get back to some mindfulness and get out of the future.

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