What is suicide disease? Even a simple yawn can trigger 'the worst pain known to man'

The condition known as trigeminal neuralgia causes high rates of suicidal ideation in the patients and on an average, 27 percent of sufferers kill themselves.

Heard of suicide disease? It can provoke the 'worst pain known to man' even if you yawn
Suicide disease: It can provoke the 'worst pain known to man' even if you yawn

A 30-year-old woman was recently reported to have a rare nerve condition which has been dubbed as the 'suicide disease'. The woman, Emily Clarke, has now explained how overhauling her diet helped her ease the symptoms.

The condition known as trigeminal neuralgia can trigger the worst pain known to man as simply yawning or swallowing can lead to a paralysis attack. The condition also causes high rates of suicidal ideation in the patients suffering from it. It also causes severe migraines and is linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. According to a Daily Mail report, on an average, 27 per cent of sufferers kill themselves because they can't bear the pain.

Clarke was perfectly healthy before and started experiencing this in April 2014 after eating a raspberry. She admitted that she'd 'never felt anything like it'. It didn't last long and she thought that it's over but it was just the beginning of her battle with trigeminal neuralgia. The condition is described as sharp shooting pain in the face, or like an electric shock in the jaw, gums or teeth.

Clarke now sticks to an almost entirely plant-based diet which consists of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables, like cherries, berries, artichokes, apples, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, oily fish, sweet potatoes and nuts.

"Food is much more than just for nourishing our bodies - it is also medicine and everyone could learn so much from it," she said. "This is where my wellness company, Busy Bee Well, was formed in December 2017. Learning about all things anti-inflammatory gave me the skills to eat myself well."

Reportedly, she avoids inflammatory foods such as margarine, dairy products, and sugar. Though she still has the pain, her diet has helped her to eliminate all the medicinally-induced side effects.

Emily advises that anyone who is suffering from such symptoms should seek medical advice. "As a patient, the best starting point is finding a doctor, likely a GP, whom you trust and can help you to not only formulate a plan but really coordinate care," she said.

"I don't feel ashamed to say I've sought help," she said. "Living with trigeminal neuralgia requires learning to live a life entirely different to what you are used to, not only physically but psychologically."

This article was first published on October 12, 2019