Help - Pain and Mental Health

I'm new here and after some advice. My story is a long one so i'll keep it as short as possible. I was diagnosed with PTSD/Depression/Agoraphobia back in 2009 for which I have been receiving treatment on and off. I had a heart attack in 2010 which I was told was stress related. So life has been a daily struggle, but then since December 2015 I started getting numbness and tingling in my hands and feet which has got steadily worse since then. I saw my GP about it in May and he referred me to a Neurologist who I saw in July. He diagnosed me with Peripheral Neuropathy and prescribed Lyrica. I've had blood tests, EMG etc to establish the cause but I'm still waiting for the results. My issue is that the pain is getting so bad that the meds are not helping at all! I should add that I also take 150mg of Amitriptyline, for the PTSD, which is supposed to also help with the pain, but doesn't! My GP has become dismissive always saying just wait for the Neurologist to get back to me and I don't know what to do. With this pain and my PTSD I am struggling to cope. My family have enough to deal with so I hide my pain as much as I can. What can I say to my GP to get him to help? Is there anything he can do? Is there anything I can do myself?

Any advice will be gratefully received.

9 Replies

  • is there any way you could be honest with one of your family at least, and get them to telephone the doctor on your behalf to tell the doctor that the family are worried about you and that your suffering a lot of pain. i dont think that you should hide your pain quite so much from your family as your' going through enough with that heart attack and the PTSD and im sure your family would be very upset if anything were to happen to you because you did not share your burden with them. think about it that way. you need them at the moment. you dont need to be telling them constantly that your in pain but you need to be honest and get their support. Did the lyrica ever help the pain at all? it sounds like your gp doesnt know what to do and it waiting on this report coming back. but i think if you;v told your gp that your not getting pain relief and you get your family to back you up by coming to the doctor with you or making a call to the doctor then that might help. maybe the doctor will change the pain relief your getting or increase the dose.i do hope so. dont try to go it alone as its not working for you. love grace xoxoxo

  • new here new with chronic pain.where is your pain at?my pain begins in my back Doctors gave me back xray and showed inflamation.specialist now says its my new xrays for my pelvis this week.i have waited on alot of tests results lately.waitting sucks.i read the book of psalms it helps me some

  • I also find comfort and even just plain good advice in Psalms.

  • I'm so sorry you are suffering like you are. I'm certain you will find some solace on this site, we may not be able to rid you of your pain but I've found that the support and advice received can help considerably. I'm disgusted yet not surprised your gp was dismissive. He/she should go to lengths to make sure you are as comfortable as you can be. Has the gp mentioned gabapentin for your pain?..zomorph and possibly oral morph for breakthrough pain. I'm just thinking maybe your doctor, with you having depression, is careful when prescribing strong meds. Has a pain clinic even been raised with you? helped me fantastically. I also suppose with you having a heart attack they don't want to prescribe anything that depress your respiratory system therefore putting more stress on your heart. I suffered for 7 years from agoraphobia so I know....I know. I was very fortunate that I had an understanding gp who would visit me at home. It did take going thro a number of visits to different gps and eventually changing surgeries to achieve this. Your comfort is important and to dismiss it is downright unforgiveable. Please don't wait, if you can, go see another gp who may not be as dismissive. I'm sorry I can't help more. J

  • Thanks for all your kind comments and suggestions.

  • Hi, Sorty to hear of this. I live with a different long term condition/s but it is a nerve pain/ damage / radiculapathy. I find Tens machine daily with heat pad very helpful. the tens machine sometimes helps my mental state triggered by pain as it feels similar to some good exercise. I also use another non - drug option- capsicaine cream which makes me feel like I'm on a heat pad and gives me a bit of a break. Amytriptyline did nothing for pain for me and I could not tolerate Lyrica. Medication is so hit and miss sometimes. I have read several times that uncontrolled pain itself can also impact heart health. So something to consider? I have just swapped out my low level medicines (not increased dose) and having pain back to manageable levels is humane and helps my motivation levels. If you can access mindfulness therapy in any way I am also having some good experiences with that and trying not to label pain as 'pain' as funny as that sounds. Good luck.

  • In US there is a prescription "medical food supplement," Metanx, which is a special formulation of B vitamins and folate, has been shown to reduce peripheral neuropathy pain. Non-addictive and basically no side effects. It takes several weeks to begin working. While I still have a variety of disabling pains, it does make the terrible burning/freezing/tingling nerve pain in my feet more tolerable. You can Google it to check for a UK version.

  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet (neurological pains) can be down to either vitamin B12 Deficiency (which Doctors often miss) and also Low Thyroid (which Doctors are not good at spotting either, down to blood ranges not being wide enough. ) Or you can have both B12 Def. and Low thyroid together as many do.

    Also there is a PTSD link to low thyroid. (Hypothyroidism)

    Bi polar, babyblues, Tourettes, depression, even autism etc., have been found to link to low thyroid. Try Googling PTSD and Low Thyroid. (Low FreeT3 and FreeT4 bloods.)

    I can give you a list of bloods to get checked if you wish ? You might also be low in vitamins, minerals and irons too, most are easy to test.

    Also consider brain/gut issues too, all can link together with low thyroid and B12 Deficiency.

    Always get a printout of any bloods done and their ranges too, to see where in the ranges your blood results sit. Doctors usually look to see if your blood results are 'out' of range to spot a problem, but often don't look for problems 'within range', many patients are missed in this way.

    Idea to post up your story on both 'Thyroid Uk' and PAS forum (Pernicious Anemia society, also for B12 Deficiency) forum here on Health Unlocked.

    You can always do private blood testing if needed. If found to be low Ft4/3 or B12 Def both are treatable.

    Ps., If you have low thyroid, being on depression pills can make you worse.

  • You can try the upfront approach w your Dr. You know best what does and doesn't work for your pain . With that said alot of Drs are too afraid to prescribe opiates due to pressure from DEA, and the like. If your Dr doesn't help you then find one that will.They are out there.

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