Of all of the pain conditions that chronic pain patients experience, there are arguably none worse than the pain of trigeminal neuralgia. Often called the “suicide disease” because of the intense pain, higher rates of suicidal ideation in patients with severe migraines, and links to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, trigeminal neuralgia is pain that spreads over the face and down the neck, triggered by even the slightest breath of wind across the face.
Imagine a condition where brushing a stray hair off of your cheek causes excruciating and debilitating pain, pain that is unresponsive to pain medication and lasts long after the light touch has stopped. This is a brief glimpse into the mysterious pain of trigeminal neuralgia. Understanding what causes trigeminal neuralgia can lead to a proper diagnosis and successful treatment of pain. Here’s what you need to know.