Saturday, 22 August 2015

Panic Attacks and Chronic Pain


Overwhelming sadness is threatening to engulf me every moment of every day. 

Pain is ridiculous, and it is so powerful that it literally brings me to my knees. Trigeminal Neuralgia is nasty, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. The severity of my pain is impossible to express, but I only have this condition 2 years. What will the pain be like next year? Or the years to come?

The panic takes hold and I am paralysed for a while. I have pain all the time, but when a bad "attack" comes, I can sense it. The knowledge that horrific pain is only moments away is terrifying, and I am powerless to stop it! I am trying constantly to calm down a little, and meditation is working for me. I go to my bedroom and light a candle. I sit down on the floor and try and empty my mind which is a really hard thing to do. When I am in the midst of a really bad panic attack I focus on the animals on my wall. I have put up loads of pictures of my favourite animals, because I need something positive to focus on. My family are on another wall, and even if I am alone, I don't feel it. 

The panic that the pain brings is almost as bad as the pain itself, and it is something that is commonly overlooked. We are given a cocktail of medication to try and combat the pain, but what about our mental health? I am beating it, but it's a daily battle.

With all the work that I need to do to simply function, it's a wonder that I am able to get dressed in the morning. I have also learned to give myself a break. I was so hard on myself, I need to cut myself some slack. 

Panic attacks are no joke and they can be so debilitating. There are so many reasons for them and they cannot be overlooked or ignored. You can't "snap out of it," that is the worst thing to say to someone.  I am stubborn and I choose not to go and see someone about them yet, but if they get any worse I will. There is no shame in seeking help. We all need help sometimes, and that is another lesson I have learned. There are fantastic support groups out there to reach out to. 

Dealing with chronic pain is a full time job, and if our mental health is hurting, that is overtime without any pay or benefits. 


12 comments:

  1. i am in remission after an MVD but suffered 15 months of agony and terror waiting for attacks to occur, out of my mind from side effects of medication, then they didn't work anymore and I was laid bare to the monster that is TN, I was lucky and the surgery worked - then I came off the Meds - severe depression and anxiety followed - not from addiction but from the mental trauma that accompanies TN, I was granted a phone interview with the local mental health dept, who gave me a web site address - that's the "Fantastic Support" I got .. No one cares ...

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  2. What is this support website? I'm into this disease TN for 9 months now. Nobody gets it. I have no support from anyone because it's just not talked about or really understood.
    It's changed my entire life. So many triggers, so many attacks, so much medicine. I need understanding and support. The anxiety and depression, the fear of the next attack. It's horrifying.

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    Replies
    1. Dear unknown,
      There are lots of support groups through Facebook, you simply have to search for them. If you are not using social media, you can check and see if there are any support groups for chronic pain in your area. You can go to meetings and get some support and you can learn so much. In Ireland, we have a TN support group that meets every three months, and we support each other through facebook.
      I hope you get some support and if you have any questions, please let me know.
      Sarah

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  3. You absolutely described what I'm dealing with right now. Im 3 months in to my "journey " with tn. I already had major nerve damage and then bam..one day I'm on the floor screaming...not even able to move or function...just scream. Trigeminal neuralgia. For the first 3 weeks before the meds kicked in fully i was having attacks every half hour at least. It's still not amazingly better. But the panic that comes with the mere thought of an attack coming on...its just as bad. You can't breathe. Its unreal. I'm so glad i found your blog. I'm still learning about tn. Learning the hard way thru a lot of it. I'll be reading your blog in it's entirety now lol

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  4. It seems to be the latest mental health catch phrase, used to describe anyone who’s stressed and spread too thin...!!
    how long do panic attacks last

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  5. Thanks for sharing such a valuable info.waiting for your another post..

    stressed out

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  6. Thank you for sharing, I am 24, and 14 months into this new life of daily ATN pain. I know it is important to share our stories online, because we likely will never meet another person who knows what this feels like, or what this does to our mental states. Knowing there are others out there who are struggling helps me allow myself slack on days I loose the fight with panic attacks and pain. If you want, I would love for you to see my story at maskingthepain.com

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  10. As with most other emotional symptoms, the onset of an attack or the development of a disorder can be attributed to a combination of factors.
    It is controlled by a complex set of mental and physical mechanisms that, when confronted with an imminent threat in our environment, prepares us to respond to the danger.
    Take a look: symptoms of anxiety attack

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