Why Trigeminal Neuralgia Is Considered The “Suicide Disease”

Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms

According to some people, the pain of this condition is the worst pain that can be felt, worse even than limb amputation or childbirth.  The Facial Pain Association reports that:

“People with TN avoid social contact and daily activities such as eating and talking because they fear an attack. Many have been known to lose their jobs because of the debilitating nature of the pain. Marriages have dissolved due to the difficulty of providing care and support to persons with TN.”

Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms vary and can include:

  • T1 or TN1 pain: Short, sporadic, and extreme pain that may only last a few seconds or a few minutes, and that may also include a burning feeling
  • T2 or TN2 pain: Constant pain that is similar to T1 pain but is ongoing with no relief
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea and vomiting

Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms may disappear for a period of time and then reappear. As the condition progresses, periods of remission may shorten, and medication may become less effective.

Pain can be triggered by applying makeup, washing the face, brushing the teeth, or even the slightest touch. While not considered a fatal disease, many who suffer from this condition attempt or complete suicide, with a suicide completion rate of approximately 25% (double that of the general population).

However, Mayo Clinic notes the following. We’ll be discussing these specific trigeminal neuralgia treatments later in this post:

“Because of the variety of treatment options available, having trigeminal neuralgia doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to a life of pain. Doctors usually can effectively manage trigeminal neuralgia with medications, injections or surgery.”

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