UA-63899747-1 Headaches and Anxiety – Nzinga Harrison, MD
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August 7, 2011

Anxiety disorders are so common in individuals with chronic headaches that the recommendation is for all headache patients to be screened for psychiatric disorders.  The fact that the two illnesses--headaches and anxiety are often found in the same person, makes sense, considering the neurotransmitter, Serotonin, is intimately involved in anxiety, pain, and migraine headaches specifically.  While Serotonin abnormalities seem to be involved in the development of migraine headaches, and serotonin medications are used to abort migraine headaches (i.e. Maxalt, Imitrex), tension headaches are also related to anxiety.  The reason is likely different--anxiety causes muscle tension and constant worry, which can lead to tension headaches usually involving the back of the neck and head.

Regardless of the type of headache, if you want optimal controls, anxiety disorders must be treated simultaneously and vice versa.

I unfortunately was struck down by terrible migraines at the end of 2016.  While they ultimately turned out to have a nose-related cause, my Facebook friends gave me a myriad of headache hacks they were using.  One that helped me the most, and continues to help me was Peppermint Essential Oil.  I could not believe how effective it was -- and even after a year of using it, it continues to surprise me!  I am trying to get myself together to write a whole blog on it, but in the meantime, you can check out the blog I wrote about My Migraine Saga which has the complete list of tricks.

I want to emphasize here, and this is also on the list of tricks, if you have headaches that are getting worse, or just not getting better, please head to your primary care physicians for a full evaluation.




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