Dealing with the Anxiety of Facial Pain Associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia
Anxiety affects most people, but living with a chronic painful condition can produce insurmountable anxiety that can be just as debilitating as the original prognosis. One such malady is trigeminal neuralgia. It disrupts sufferers’ lives, and creates a sense of instability due to the threat of a painful attack. Becoming mindful of your reactions, and developing a plan that allows you to take control over your life, can help you overcome the associated anxiety, even if it doesn’t cure the underlying cause.
Trigeminal neuralgia can strike at any time, and can cause a deep stabbing pain to a specific area of the face. It usually lasts only moments, up to a few minutes, but that can feel like a lifetime to the sufferer. It’s no wonder that people with the condition worry an attack could come at any moment.
To lessen your worry, first make an appointment with your doctor. When you take control over an aspect of your health, especially one causing so much distress, it can help validate your own power. This is not to say the act of making an appointment, or even attending the appointment, will reduce your frequency of attacks (although the treatments you discuss at your appointment should). Rather, it’s like crossing an item of your to-do list. Your quest for answers starts with your doctor, and you may lessen your anxiety by simply knowing you are on a path towards managing your painful trigeminal neuralgia attacks.
Your doctor may discuss treatments, like nerve block therapies, which can help you achieve remission. Your treatment may take months to complete, but you can help soothe your anxiety, and perhaps overcome the pain in the meantime.
One way to manage your anxiety is to manage your pain. Your doctor can prescribe an anticonvulsant, a muscle relaxer, or a specific type of antidepressant to help you control the intensity of the pain you experience during your episodes. When you know that you have medication available to you that can help you through a bout of trigeminal neuralgia pain, you don’t have to worry as much about an attack. You have the ability to control your pain, and that gives you power over your condition.
In addition to the medication and therapies recommended by your doctor, you can practice self-care and mindfulness. Take notice of your surroundings when an attack happens. Keep a journal, and write down any triggers. Then, you can be very gentle with yourself when including those triggers in your life. For example, if your pain is often premeditated by the touch of a specific area, be extra careful until you and your doctor have reached the conclusion that you’ve attained remission.
Meditation has been proven to reduce pain. It’s very easy to introduce meditation into your life, and it can help reduce generalized anxiety in addition to the anxiety that arises from your condition. There are plenty of apps that can help you get started in the comfort of your own home, and it only takes a few minutes a day to feel the benefits.
Make an appointment with your doctor today, and you can reduce your anxiety just by crossing the phone call of your to-do list.