Patient Comments: Bell's Palsy - Emotional Experience

Question:

If you've suffered from Bell's palsy or other facial nerve problems, please share how you managed the psychological aspects of having the disease? Did you become depressed or anxious? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: BP, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 11

I developed Bell's palsy (BP) on a Thursday morning after I woke up, my whole right face was completely gone. While facial nerve pain and numbness started on the Wednesday afternoon, I had never encountered this illness before so reckoned it was only tiredness caused by stress thus lack of sleep. Currently I'm on the 20th day (3rd week) of recovery, the psychological impact of this disease is as follows. From day 1 to 6/7, medication was on strong dose, however no improvement or tiny change on my right face at all. It was absolutely the most depressing illness I've ever encountered, which is unlike a broken arm or leg that the damage is visible and physical treatment seems promising. The whole world seemed dark. Additionally, the frightening about BP is the uncertainty of recovery time, I was very worried for how long these symptoms will last. From day 8 to 14, I was reviewed by my general physician and eye specialist regularly. I also took brain MRI and saw a neurologist, kind of getting confidence that I will recover gradually. I also googled a lot about BP, realizing the first week is usually the worst period, and people started to get better on the second week. So was my case, though not a lot but 1mm wrinkle on my right forehead could make my day. Day 15, current, I continued seeing my GP and got my eye reviewed. Neurologist suggested even in 1 more week, I would be able to see much better improvement. Personally I do feel 35 to 40 percent improvement up till today, but still see asymmetry without expressing any emotion. First week is always the worst week! I was depressed, anxious and crying all the time. Every time I went out I wore a mask. My whole life style changed, comfort eating made my case worse. Another depression comes from every morning when I woke up, nothing changed, still with un-shut right eye and right face not feeling anything. Nonetheless, don't let this disease disrupt your usual life pattern. Take leave from work or study if you can and get enough rest, but don't change your life style because of this sudden disease. Still eat as normal and exercise as normal. Stress attributes to BP and eliminates full recovery. Emotional health is vital to your recovery process. Avoid all stressful factors, work, exam, study etc., eat healthy, and exercise daily to boost blood circulation.

Comment from: Devangp, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

Problems with Bell's palsy started at 7 years old. I am helpless. Looking for a solution to my problem.

Comment from: Móni, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I have Bell's palsy and I feel so bad. I have had it 3 times, I feel so bad, and my life changed a lot.

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