My TMJ Story
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, so technically what I struggle with is TMJD.
For those unaware what that may include, the symptoms are off to the side.
My story began when I was 11, and my family was moving to a new town – for me, this meant starting a new school in the fall. I was going from a tiny private school – where each grade only consisted of about 25-30 students – to a public school with 300 students in each grade. And at least 1/3 of the grade new each-other from before, so even in a large school I was still noticeably the new kid.
Due to the stress of the move, combined with the anxiety about school, I started developing jaw difficulties a week before the first day. By the time school actually started I had to walk into a new school with a giant plastic mouth-guard on my face because I could no longer open my mouth to talk. Of course, this did not help my anxiety, because now the new girl was also a freak for wearing a mouth-guard.
Within a couple of weeks I had managed to relax enough to go to school without the mouth-guard, although the lockjaw flares up whenever my anxiety spikes. And, to this day, my jaw still clicks and dentists still suggest surgery to fix my jaw.