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I have a problem that I'm pretty sure is psychosomatic. I

Hi I have a problem...
Hi I have a problem that I'm pretty sure is psychosomatic. I developed a strong phobia of headaches about 2 years ago (a good friend had a brain aneurysm) this developed into an anxiety problem which I've had over 20 hours of CBT to try to overcome. In the last 2-3 weeks, I've had awful headaches- sharp, violent pains rather than standard dull headache and a feeling of great pressure in my head (like the feeling of hanging upside down). I've had a clear MRI scan (jan 2011) I know there can't be anything physically wrong with me, yet despite being far more relaxed thanks to the CBT the physical symptoms still persist and are getting stronger. Have you had any similar patients in the past or any advice you can offer to stop the physical pain which I'm
Sure is due to worry and fear of headaches.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
6/1/2011
CamilleRN
CamilleRN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4,183
Experience: Experience: 20 yrs experience in ER, ICU, Neuro, OR, Chemo,Cardiology, Dermatology and MORE.
Verified
CamilleRN :

Welcome to JustAnswer Health...and thank you for your question. I am a verified Expert and am delighted to help you today.

CamilleRN :

You May have migraine headaches. ( this is diagnosed based upon symptoms) Migraines result from a combination of blood vessel enlargement and the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil around these blood vessels. During a migraine, an artery enlarges that is located on the outside of the skull just under the skin of the temple (temporal artery). it can , but doesn't always cause a release of chemicals that cause pain, numbness, tingling, dizziness, nausea, and more. A Neurologist is the one who will be able to help pinpoint the cause and determine if it is migraines, as well as come up with a plan to help you. Did you see a Neurologist? What you can do is Try resting in a dark quiet room... if you can take it, ibuprofen according to package directions is much more effective than tylenol.. also I would recommend alternating hot and cold packs to the back of your neck...as well as smelling some eucalyptus/peppermint oil.. together or individually, just for a second. As far as anxiety is concerned....

CamilleRN :

It really does sound like You could be experiencing generalized anxiety which can be a catalyst for migraine headaches. Anxiety can seem to come out of nowhere.. without a concrete cause that you can pinpoint. Anxiety can cause alterations in breathing patterns and it may be that you are holding your breath or breathing too rapidly which can cause fatigue and the headaches you are experiencing. There is something you can do right now to stop it.....initiate proper breathing. You can help alleviate the feeling of throat tightness, panic and and shortness of breath by changing your breathing pattern to abdominal breathing. To abdominal breathe ( which is a much more effective breathing technique) place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest... watch to see which rises. It should be the abdomen, NOT the chest.Practice breathing using your abdominal muscles... (to breathe with chest muscles causes fatique and more shortness of breath) by taking in a deep breath through your nose.. making sure only the hand on your abdomen moves, slowly.. and exhale slowly through the mouth.. your abdomen should flatten with exhalation. Do this three breaths at a time. Breathing correctly will immediately eliminate anxiety...., every time. If it comes back do it again.

COnsider taking extra hydration ( atleast 8 glasses of water per day), this will help as well as destressing through the use of biofeedback and relaxation techniques ,

definitely plan to get adequate sleep. Sleeping is so important for over all well being.

Here is an interesting article and video:

http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms.shtml

I will give you a list of some of the best stress management books that I am familiar with:


CamilleRN :

http://www.amazon.com/How-Manage-Stress-Robert-Reiner/dp/0394298179

http://www.amazon.com/Performance-Under-Pressure-Managing-Workplace/dp/0874257417

http://www.amazon.com/Managing-Stress-Brian-Luke-Seaward/dp/0763735329

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Getting-Things-Done/David-Allen/e/9780142000281

and http://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Manage-Stress-Easily-Strength/dp/1558481109

I hope this information helps you. If I can help further just let me know

Customer: Thank you for your answer. Yes I saw a Neurologist and was checked out thoroughly. I don't have any other of the usual physical symptoms of anxiety (tightness of chest, breathing difficulties, etc) and thankfully also don't experience panic attacks- My CBT Therapist encouraged me to look at pictures of brains and people with he'd injuries as part of my treatment and I fear this has triggered all the pains in my head- do you think this is
Customer: Possible? Is the mind so unkind that it will produce the symptoms of
Customer: Things a person is frightened of? I do get plenty of sleep (9 hours roughly a night) but will up my water intake as you suggest. I will also check out the books and video link thank you. As the head pains come randomly and daily a
Customer: Its not a laying in a dark room kind if headache nor very possible as I'd never get out of the dark room!
Customer: One last thing if I may- do you know from experience if hypnotherapy can help in this ki d of circumstance? Is it feasible to reprigramne my
Customer: Mind not to be terrified of headaches?
CamilleRN :

To Hypnotherapy I say YES! I believe that this will be very helpful to you. And yes... the mind can be so unkind as to play our our worst fears over and over ..... Because you are so determined to resolve this problem, you will resolve it. I Whole heartedly recommend that you seek a psychiatrist that uses hypnosis... so you can finally eliminate this fear. I wish you all the best and a very speedy "healing". Remember...there are two kinds of people that are always right... those that think they can, and those that think they can't. You CAN! :-))

CamilleRN
CamilleRN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4,183
Experience: Experience: 20 yrs experience in ER, ICU, Neuro, OR, Chemo,Cardiology, Dermatology and MORE.
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CamilleRN
CamilleRN
CamilleRN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4,183
4,183 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Experience: 20 yrs experience in ER, ICU, Neuro, OR, Chemo,Cardiology, Dermatology and MORE.

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