BOSTON (CBS) – Atara Schimmel is in the prime of her life and she almost ended it. For two years, Schimmel felt a tearing type of pain in her body.
At other times, she says her body felt like it was on fire with no way to put it out.
“I was suicidal because the nerve pain was so excruciating. It was terrifying, terrorizing,” she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
Schimmel is referring to pain caused by the pudendal nerve, which runs through the pelvic region. Doctos told Schimmel the problem was all in her head.
But after her suicide attempt, she was finally given a type of anti-depressant that’s used to treat pain and it’s been a life-saver.
“I don’t cry every night wishing that I could just die or just disappear from the face of the earth. I live,” she said.
A creative arts therapist, Schimmel is eager to raise awareness about pudendal neuralgia and other pelvic pain conditions, which are believed to plague up to 20-percent of American women. She says she’s also on a mission to bring attention to chronic pain in general.
“People that do not experience nerve pain have no concept of what we are living through and what we are surviving. I think it’s very difficult for people, it’s impossible to imagine,” she said.
Not only is it impossible to imagine the degree of pain, Schimmel says all too often those who suffer from chronic pain aren’t even believed.
“Please be a support to them. Please do not judge them. Please understand that they are experiencing something that you, thank God, cannot understand. But believe them and extend your hand out to them!”
Coming up in part four, the medical mystery of migraine.
Listen: Part 3 – Chronic Pain – Stories Of Struggle And Hope