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  • Writer's pictureShannon Green

Mental anguish converted to physical pain

"The brain automatically uses physical symptoms as a way to involuntarily express distress or discomfort." These automatic brain responses may develop due to an accumulation of stressful factors and or learned behavior, or troubling experiences over time. It's like water bursting through a dam during a flood where it was held back for years. #PTSD

Historically, these types of episodes where referred to as "hysterical". For example, the musician, Ray Charles, experienced hysterical blindness due to a childhood trauma. His sight never returned. #trauma

There are so many names for this can be very confusing. They are: conversion disorder, pseudo seizures, non-epileptic attack disorder (NEADS), psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), and functional neurological disorder (FND). #FND #PNES #NEADS

Many of us know that stress can make us sick especially if it continues for years. However, I don't think we understand the extent of it. #stress

The cumulative effect of thirty-five years of unresolved stress, anxiety, and PTSD, presented itself as PNES seizures in my body. My body converted mental anguish into physical pain. My symptoms were intense pain, convulsions, twitching, muscle spasms, fatigue, vocal spasms and moaning, severe teeth grinding, and temporary paralysis. #pain

Over the years since my diagnosis in 2015, I have learned some tools for managing my mind, which I call "maintenance of the mind". This means being intentional on a daily basis with my habits such as mindfulness, talk therapy, EMDR, brainspotting, spending time in nature, adult coloring books, avoiding multitasking, breath work and meditation. Using these tools, I can reduce my stress and stay at a baseline of anxiety. For example, prior to this, I used to have daily seizures and now I only have a few per month. However, it does require consistent use of these tools. Without these tools, the seizures come back. #therapy #meditation #EMDR

Human spend a lot of time on the outside of our bodies but neglect the inside. For example, we perform maintenance on our cars such as oil changes, tire rotation, etc. I think covid-19 has shown us how important it is to maintain our mind and reduce stress. #mindfulness

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