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Increased face pain (mental exertion, Lyrica)?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by swingline77, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. swingline77

    swingline77 New Member

    I started suffering from a psychosomatic illness (muscle pain, etc.) several years before taking Lyrica for the "problem". I was on Lyrica for only one month. After being on it for two weeks, I became markedly impaired cognitively. When I stopped "cold turkey" I was fine for about a week at which point developed muscle twitching and facial neuralgia. It was later found that during this period I had a VERY low level of Vitamin D.

    The cognitive problems started to resolve after about six months, and largely resolved after about a year and a half. However, I am not entirely over them. Today, I was given a battery of I.Q. questions in a cognitive/behavioral test. There were some questions that, to my surprise, I couldn't answer. My mind was being worked very hard, and I started to "burn out" toward the end of the test. I've felt mentally fatigued all day since.

    What's most strange about all of this is that after the test, and for several hours, my facial neuralgia was far worse than normal.

    Regarding the neuralgia and thinking difficulty, the prescribing doctor didn't know what had happened to me, and I've encountered others with averse reactions to Lyrica. I've thought of myself as "damaged" ever since. I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the case. Could all of this too, be part of the TMS continuum? Does anyone else have any similar experiences?

  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    There's quite a bit in this post to respond to.

    First, many doctors have given up trying when they throw things like Lyrica at the patient. I realize that sometimes we do need chemistry if we're under times of great trauma, but to prescribe drugs for common things is a cop-out. They're just poisons to the cells, but it goes far beyond that with TMS. They shift the form of TMS into other areas and systems. They don't solve anything, they mask it. By masking it they force the problem somewhere else, such as confusion, and cognitive impairment. But there's also confusion because one symptom of TMS is confusion.

    I've had people tell me that while reading GPD, during specific paragraphs, that they lost cognitive ability. They could no longer understand what the words were saying. I hoped it wasn't just from poor writing. But they tried to read other books after that and couldn't understand them either. Something in what I wrote created a brainstorm of confusion almost seizure-like. I liken it to the time my hands swelled while reading MOBP. The truth being uncovered was trying to be hidden by the brain in order to continue TMSing. IOW, it was changing form because it was being observed. The observer in us was altering it through the observer effect.

    Second, your facial neuralgia got worse after the test because of Phase 4 TMS.

    Third, Vitamin D has nothing to do with your symptom, but it does show a deficiency somewhere, maybe in your diet, or perhaps not enough sunlight. Do you get out in the sun?

    I don't believe you were on Lyrica long enough to cause any damage. But I like the use of your words, "TMS continuum." You're either a Trekkie or a right brained thinker. I've would use the phrase "TMS conundrum" to describe what you're experiencing.

    Here's what Lyrica has recently showed for pain: Remember the placebo. Some folks love Lyrica and swear by it, but it only works because they believed it was working. I shall please.
    Tennis Tom and mike2014 like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wish my family doctor had given me some suggestions on how to relieve my anxiety two years ago.
    He just gave me a tranquilizer which didn't help at all. I stopped taking it and discovered TMS.
    I learned a lot of natural ways to relax, such as deep breathing, living in the present, visualizing
    myself in a peaceful place or situation, and discovering repressed emotions and my perfectionist
    and goodist personality. I haven't taken any medication since then. A cup of hot milk relaxes me
    more than anything, even more than a glass of red wine.
  4. The Fool

    The Fool Peer Supporter

    Hi - I suffer from facial neuralgia, along with a whole host of other TMS symptoms, but the facial neuralgia is the most prevalent. It worsens when I type on the computer, use my phone, and read. My conscious mind wanted me to believe that it was a physical thing - the position I was in when involved in these occupations, but I can sit in the same position to sew a tapestry and it's almost soothing. I did then begin to think it was the mental exertion worsening the pain, but have a suspicion that it's subliminal fear when occupied in certain activities.

    I'm also hooked on Neurontin - and have very mixed feelings about this drug. On the one hand it does afford me relief when the pain is off the scale, but I also recognise that it's screwing up my chances of recovery. It really messes with the brain. I've been trying to come off it for two years now, and this year I did drop my dose considerably. Next year, I will drop the dose again, and the year after again, until I'm drug free.

    I recognise totally that my pain is anxiety-based, and have been trying to get on with life regardless - trying to become "outcome independent". For me, it's a long process, maybe because of the drug, or maybe just my own stubborn brain.
  5. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi, I would like to address the "low vitamin D" issue.

    First of all, I totally agree with Steve's assessment of the drug issues. While I realize that I sometimes need to take something to sort of "take the edge off the pain", even if it's origin is psychological, I don't think these expensive, over-hyped, side effect-ridden drugs are a good thing to let your doctor talk you into. Very likely, an Advil or Tylenol would have just as much effect. Indeed, as Steve says, your doctor is at his/her wit's end and is just trying to get rid of you (as well as considerably helping the drug company bottom line). My husband is a physician and has described this scenario to me many times.

    That said, there is also something physical to be checked out with your symptoms, that your doctor had probably not thought about. Low vitamin D is a major symptom of a disorder called "hyperparathyroidism". I can almost bet that your doctor doesn't know anything about it and, even with proper blood testing, will tell you you don't have it. This is a disorder of the parathyroid glands, the 4 tiny glands that control calcium in the body. When one or more malfunctions and becomes large, excess parathyroid hormone causes elevated serum calcium and inappropriately high PTH. Some common symptoms are joint stiffness and muscle pain, unexplained acid-reflux, bone pain, unexplained low vitamin D level, allergies, mental fog, unexplained fatigue. Many of the symptoms are psychological because of the effect this disease has on the brain. I bring this up because I had it. About half of my symptoms I attributed to TMS, such as gastric reflex, sleeplessness, mental fog and allergies went away after I had the problem corrected. In fact, I believe that ruling out this disorder should be high on anyone's list of medical issues to check for because the symptoms so closely resemble those of TMS. The tests you need are ionized calcium and PTH hormone, taken in the same draw. Because it is very doubtful that your doctor will know how to correctly interpret the results, I recommend you use the website Parathyroid.com to assess the results. You probably don't have it, but I would get checked.
  6. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    I also was Neurotin dependent….I was taking it for food pain but I realized that it was not working anymore or after countless times of telling my brain it was just a placebo it believed it, so anytime I started to take it my pain got worse. It took me awhile to get off it ( make sure you consult your doctor). But I now know that my healing will begin.
  7. The Fool

    The Fool Peer Supporter

    Hi Boston - I too have a suspicion that the Neurontin is losing it's efficacy, but if I miss a tablet without realising it my pain a few hours later is unmanageable. It's as though my brain is tuned to expecting a certain dose, and anything less makes the nerves scream at me.

    I am trying to reduce my dose with the advice of my docs, but it's a very slow process for me. If I could see just a small improvement in my pain levels I would be encouraged to progress more quickly, but there's no let up as yet. Normal pain killers just don't touch neurological pain at all, well, not mine anyway. I've been on this drug for five years now. What I could do with is a very large dose of hope.
  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    How much are u taking at the moment?
  9. The Fool

    The Fool Peer Supporter

    I'm taking 1600mgs per day - 4x400mgs, which I consider to be a good step down from the 2,400mgs - 4x600mgs, I was on earlier this year. I know there's a painful withdrawal symptom to start with, but I've been on the 1600mg dose for a good 7 months now, so don't expect to still have any withdrawal symptoms. I did try to come down further, but it was a step too far, and life became miserable.

    I have read some posts on here from experts about coming off drugs, and the advice is to come off them when the pain starts to diminish. Well, for me, life has improved, in that I have a different attitude, and outlook on the pain, but it hasn't diminished enough to come off them entirely, no matter how fearless I try to be.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Fool, easy does it and steady as she goes. No one is rushing you to get completely off Neurontin but yourself. Tell your subconscious or Inner Bully
    that you know best and that gradually reducing its use is helpful to you. It's never a good idea to stop taking a drug cold turkey. Follow your instincts and best judgment. And have a very Merry Christmas.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  11. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Like Walt said take your time, I was on a fraction of what you are on…so a totally different scenario…don't push the river we will heal when you heal.

    God Bless You
  12. The Fool

    The Fool Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your kind words Walt and Boston. As Steve says, the docs didn't know what to do with me when they couldn't find a cause for my pain, so they pushed the neurontin on me. I resisted taking it for a few months, and then in desperation, I caved in. When I went back to them saying it wasn't making a lot of difference to my pain levels, they simply said I wasn't taking enough, so they kept on increasing my dose. Basically, at a high dose, it numbs the pain, but I can still feel the pressure of it, and all the other weird sensations of neurological pain, and typically by the end of a day, the pain has broken through.

    I am trying not to try so hard at coming off the drug, along with everything else in my life. Basically, I try too hard at everything.

    Merry Christmas and God Bless.
  13. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Like I said I came off it and am dealing with the pain , I try not to give it power over me ( not easy), I meditate every day and keep busy, I excersice and do yoga. I don't challenge my pain maybe I should ....when I have a bad day I give myself extreme self care wether its a bath self massage or just curl up with a book what ever it takes to get threw. The meds are just a placebo anyway. But believe me I know what it feels like to cave to the pain.
  14. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ahh, yes! I can relate to this. One of the many paradoxes of TMS healing. ;)

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