Stress as a trigger

Before Red points me to resources on the site, can I ask if many of you find that stress is a trigger or can indeed make an attack worse?

I'm quite a highly strung person naturally and have always taken my stress and pumped it into my work during time constrained periods but I have also noticed that it seems to exacerbate my pain.

Is this a common complaint? If so does anyone have any suggestions for stress control? I've started going to the gym during work twice a week to try and release the stress elsewhere. It's completely of my own making I know. I've found in the past that during stressful periods in my life I will pump myself up to deal with the goal in front of me but then often suffer with painful migraines when the stress has subsided.

Anyone else a dedicated "stresser" like me?


Nicky x

That sounds great Jackie. For me I sometimes don't realise that I am stressed until after the event which is a problem. I'm interested in everyone’s personal experience as that always seems a great place to start. Being a newbie I’ve got a lot of research to do so you will see me popping up and boring the pants off everyone quite a bit.

As much as I love to read (I've downloaded Medifocus Guidebook on: Trigeminal Neuralgia for the Kindle at the lovely Red's suggestion) it’s great to get a one to one perspective. That, to me, is invaluable.

Red is always an amazing help to anyone on this site and I for one will always be indebted to the help he has given me during my membership

Without a doubt he seems amazing and exceptionally knowledgeable and I feel a tad daft asking questions (blush) with everyone thinking "Oh not again, surely you should know that"

Nicky x


This is a link to the discussion on stress as a trigger I started a year ago. I have had few TN attacks this year with the exception of two weeks in March and short attacks here and there that always seem to be triggered by a stressful event at work. Being overtired or overwhelmed doesn't help any either. The best thing I can do for myself is to massage the base of my skull. All of the stress in my body seems to congregate there. I hope you find the answers you seek. This is a great site!

"I've mentioned here before that periods of stress can usually trigger an attack of T…"

Thank you so much for that Karen, got to say I'm finding this site a bit weird to navigate, I'm used to a well known parenting site so have to change my search habits I think!

I'll take a look at your previous post and the suggestions. Thanks again

Nicky x

Thanks for the compliment, Jackie (and Nicky). However, as I've said to Jackie in the past, "this isn't about me". Another variant on that which I've found helpful is "You can get almost anything done if you don't care who takes the credit".

Nicky if I have a serious failing in the context of this site, it is a tendency to weigh in too often before waiting to see what others may contribute of their own experience. That reflex probably comes from the 21 years of my first career as an Air Force officer. And it can be read as a tendency to hog the podium. I don't mind being corrected on that from time to time, so you needn't feel that my feelings will get hurt. I have the hide of a rhinocerous anyway...


Regards all,


Lol at "hide of rhinocerous"

I am the sort of person that likes to be clued up 100% about a given subject before adding to a discussion and am loathe to add on here for the fear of appearing clueless. A novelty I am certainly not keen on! Finance, Parenting Politics and IT etc then I'm your gal!

Your input is greatly appreciated Red and all the others that have tried to make me feel welcome. I'll fumble around a bit more and appreciate being "pointed in the right direction" as well as comments regarding personal experiences.

Thanks All

N x

Xanax and Zoloft and Music and Meditation and Pain meds and working less hours with a less stressful job. I think that’s about it… Min

NickyD said:

I am the sort of person that likes to be clued up 100% about a given subject before adding to a discussion and am loathe to add on here for the fear of appearing clueless. A novelty I am certainly not keen on! Finance, Parenting Politics and IT etc then I'm your gal!

N x

Hey! none of this “appearing clueless” Malarky - we are all still finding our footing - yeah some know more than other, and other’s have specialised areas. BUT - we are all 100% experts on us, therefore we should all speak up about US!

And in other news.

Yes Stress is a huge trigger. I left my job in telesales because it was getting to be a major issue with me.

I find that meditation and basically focusing on my breathing (how it feels to breath, the air coming in, going to lungs etc) and also the idea of consciously relaxing my muscles from my toes up, tends to help. I also play Ludivico Einaudi (classical piano composer) I find myself relaxed listening to his music - the point of putting myself asleep. Other than that, if you like Star Trek and liked the reboot, the guy who now plays Spock, Zachary Quinto has done an audio book of the novelisation of the movie, He has such a calming voice I have never gotten through the first CD and there are 7 others to listen to!

I stress about being stressed. It's a vicious cycle.

Stress is definitely a trigger for me as well. These last two weeks have been horrible with my ATN. When I thought about it, I realized “well, duh Laura, your in the middle of finals for your first unit of residency. Of course your pain is worse”! The only thing I find that helps is trying to take as much time to relax in a quiet, perfectly temperatured room as possible. Not easy to do to say the least!

Crystal and Laura: If you are so stressed that you can't take 20 minutes per day to meditate and center your consciousness away from stressors, then might it be time to take a life inventory and consider some changes? Nothing in our lives is "inherently" important -- not even the expectations or demands of others whom we care and who care for us. Things have the importance that we give them in our acts and habits. Maybe it's time to give yourselves some importance... for YOU is where your life starts and from which it proceeds in any worthwhile endeavor you do for or with others.

Go in Peace and Power


Go RED!!! Very well Said. Min

I talked to my doctor yesterday about it and he's referred me to do some behavioral counseling to help me find a way to eliminate stress. Unfortunately I can't meditate -- I try, but I'm such a Type A personality that while trying, I stress about how I can't clear my mind and obsess over it, etc. Fortunately my doctor said he's the same way, and that he doesn't think meditation is the answer for me, but there are things I can do to help. So I'll see what they have in store.

I have been talking long walks in the evening, and that has helped some. I also promised my mother I would do light cardio too, even if it's just for five minutes.

I tried to go back to work this week, and it wasn't good. My pain flared up really bad. On top of that, it's become apparent that I have a severe case of PTSD and I'm pretty screwed up over the events of the last year, getting this condition and trying to find help, etc. So I'm going to work on that, because you're right, I need to start with me in order to heal properly.

I'll keep everyone posted if I have any big revelations are find some useful tools.

Two thoughts: Yogas are good, but they aren't the only way into stress control. Another which also combines the benefits of light cardio exercise is Tai Chi Chuan. It is practiced by millions of Asians for short periods in the morning before work. You may be able to find an evening class at a local Y.

Plan B for PTSD may be exposure to a course in Rational Cognitive Therapy. Courses are normally taught by a psychologist and the contract is for a few weeks to learn techniques that you can then apply for yourself and on your own. You shouldn't expect to be in this therapy even as long as a year. But it helps many people get constructive control of their anxiety and mental "busyness".

I wish you well with the process, Crystal

Go in Peace and Power


You gotta put YOU first. That is the key. Don’t feel guilty either. It’s YOU time now. Peace, Min

I take a lot of time during the morning, evenings, and on my days off to really focus on just "me". During the day at work is where I have more trouble finding time to relax, simply due to the nature of my work. If the pager goes off, i'm on the run!

What I do during the day that can really help is to practice deep breathing. My supervisor was actually the one to really point out my lack of doing this (she is a Buddhist minister who is great at this). I have found this is something I can do at any point during the day and it really does help me. I have started integrating this into my visits with my patients and it can really help them.

I also think what I need to start doing during the day to alleviate stress is if I have time during my lunch, I need to go up to the sleep room and lay down even if it is only for 10 minutes. I'm hoping it will help, as I do need something more to help with the pain and stress.

We never "have" time, Laura. We "make" time. Ask your Buddhist minister supervisor about how she makes time for her own contemplations on days when there is a lot happening. It's entirely possible she's been where you are in a different sense, and can help guide you toward a better head space on the subject.

Many ministers seem to feel they are -- or ought to be -- indispensable to their parishes or churches. They aren't and shouldn't be, if their ministries are to be empowering rather than disabling to those they serve. The ones who don't learn this early in career rather frequently burn out before age 50 and leave their churches. At least this is the testimony of one of my brothers who resigned from Ministry.

Go in Peace and Power