Pune: Rare condition causes woman to have suicidal thoughts

Trigeminal neuralgia is sudden, severe facial pain. It's often described as a sharp shooting pain or like having an electric shock in the jaw, teeth or gums. It usually occurs in short, unpredictable attacks that can last from a few seconds to about two minutes. The attacks stop as suddenly as they start. People with the condition may experience attacks of pain regularly for days, weeks or months at a time

Suicide disease: Pune docs treat woman who suffers unbearable pain

Shruti Subramanaim, a working professional from Pune, has been suffering from ‘suicide disease’ since the last four yours. Last month, she underwent a surgery in Pune. “I have had many suicidal thoughts as the cause of disease was not known for almost one year and I was suffering from severe pain. The condition had worsened to such an extent, that even a breeze used to trigger a jolt of severe pain,” she said.

She added “I first went to my dentist, as the right side of my jaw was in pain. Then I went to a psychologist, as I experienced sudden attacks of pain and I was told that it might be some underlying psychological problem. I consulted more than 10 doctors, but no one gave me a correct diagnosis. With time, the condition worsened.”

Trigeminal neuralgia it is a chronic condition which affects the trigeminal nerve in the face. Even a mild stimulation to your face, such as brushing your teeth or putting on make-up, may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain.

Hemifacial spasms occur and one side of the face twitches repeatedly and uncontrollably, this can happen at any time, causing severe pain to the patient.

Post-surgery, Subramanaim is pain free. “Now, I like the idea of normal life, after the surgery, the pain has gone. The pain that I used to feel earlier was akin to someone stabbing me with a hammer on my face. In India, people are still unaware about this condition and severe pain pushes one to have suicidal thoughts,” she explained.

Pune doctors informed that patients suffering from these rare conditions do not get diagnosed at early stage. Because of lack of awareness they reach the correct diagnosis after six to eight years of suffering. But the unbearable pain is still causing many to have suicidal thoughts.

Suicide disease: Pune docs treat woman who suffers unbearable pain
Dr Jaydev Panchwagh

Dr Jaydev Panchwagh, is a Pune based neurosurgeon, he runs a foundation called Synapse Brian and Spine foundation, which caters to patients suffering from this disease.

He further said, “The first case which I had seen 10 years back, was of patient who suffering from this disease. He had carried a bottle of pesticide along with him. He told me that if I do not operate on him within the next few hours, he will end his life. Such patients who come to me want immediate treatment, because the pain is unbearable.”

Dr Panchwagh concluded by saying, “If not treated at an early stage, these patients suffer from weight gain, forgetfulness, loss of balance and so on. It needs to be diagnosed early, to avoid the pain.”