'Not Another Headache'
Do you say this to yourself on a regular basis?
Do you take painkillers? Often?
For many people their headaches is diagnosed as chronic daily headache. For others it is episodic migraine.
Yet medication does not always provide a complete solution, relief, or 'cure'. Frequent use of pain-killing medications can lead to medication overuse headache (rebound headache) in some cases. You might also wonder whether your migraine can be 'fixed' with just medication
Migraine as Emotional Distress
In fact, it has been known for hundreds of years that emotional distress triggers headaches. Being angry or sad, excited or happy can trigger a headache.
In 1743, Junkerius talked of migraine being caused by suppressed anger. Other less common reactions linked to emotion have also been identified as root causes of headaches, such as resentments, dissatisfaction and anxiety.
These may be some of the triggers for your migraine. So not just neurobiological, but psychological as well. Your pain may have an emotional component, and this might be outside your awareness, especially if your focus is on removing physical pain.
How Psychotherapy Can Help Migraine
Psychotherapy can help bring into awareness, and work through, emotional difficulties that underlie migraine pain.
There are many psychological factors which can contribute to migraine persisting:
- Feeling hopeless
- Loss - losing some important aspect of your life (for example a job)
- Feeling that migraine has changed who you are - changed your identity
- Having feelings that may be conflicted, or not allowed
- You try to control feelings in order to manage your pain
- Disappointment that life is not developing the way you want
These factors, or others, may be keeping you stuck and be something else to have to cope with as well as the many and varied physical symptoms of migraine.
The good news is that psychotherapy can help to unravel the complex of physical symptoms and psychological distress that shape your experience of migraine. It can also help you to find ways to live fully again.
If you have all the medication support you need to manage your migraines and also want to resolve some of the psychological aspects of migraine listed above do contact me.
We can then have an initial conversation about how psychotherapy can help with some of the psychological difficulties you may be experiencing.