Stress and Burning Mouth Syndrome

Stress. We know it makes our chronic neuropathic pain worse. Our pain increases as stress rises, which increases pain, which increases stress…and well, you know the rest.

It’s an automated answering system from Hell, with no readily visible pound sign to hit to get a live person on the line. Or is it?

Stress is coming at us from all sides now, from the worries and complications of the pandemic to the feelings and actions we are experiencing about racial equality and equity. We are not alone in our stress by any means, but chronic pain sufferers can be triggered in more than one way by it.

I admit that I resisted counseling at the beginning of my Burning Mouth Syndrome journey. I had an instinctively negative reaction to the assumption that this pain was “all in my head,” or that therapy could or would help. It also felt suspiciously like I was getting shuffled off into the “menopausal female” box where any aches or pains or issues were part of the incredibly mysterious malady that seemed to be menopause. As a strong and independent female, I rejected this categorization and marginalization and started fighting back.

How? Continue reading