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Headaches = Healing?

Discussion in 'General' started by goodguy, Feb 20, 2007.

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  1. goodguy

    goodguy New Member

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    Hi - I'm writing this in hopes that someone else may have experienced this and can provide feedback.

    2 1/2 years ago I had a nervous breakdown and had a partial memory of abuse. During that memory I felt as if I tapped into the most extreme emotional pain imaginable. I immediately pulled myself out of the memory as it was too much to bear.

    During the breakdown started headaches that move from the left side of my head to the right side of my head and then fall away. I have had these headaches since then daily for 2 1/2 years. My general impression of these headaches is that they are part of the healing process for me. My instinct tells me that my mind is filtering out the immense emotional pain in small doses and the headaches are the physical manifestation of this. Slowly I am becoming more connected to my feelings and body. I used to be very uptight and now am becoming more and more relaxed.

    All of this would be fine except the headaches everyday and all day are a struggle to deal with. I do see a therapist and he agrees that it is part of the healing process, however he has never heard of anyone having these symptoms. I'm willing to put up with it because I keep telling myself that there is an end to these headaches and I am feeling better (albeit slowly). I'm just wondering if anyone else has had this or has heard of this happening. I trust my instinct, however I need some reassurance that someday it will be over.

    -Thanks
     
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  3. PtsdSpokane

    PtsdSpokane Member

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    I dont know about the cause behind your headaches, but I wanted to say that I DO understand how painful and disruptive daily headaches can be. I have had weekly (sometimes up to 3 times a week) migraines since I was 15, and dealing with them has been..well..a struggle for lack of a better word. Sometimes it is unbearable..and I am very sorry you are going through this :(
     
  4. vcc123

    vcc123 Active Member

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    I wish I knew the answer to this one.. I too have had daily headaches. I've had migraines since my teens, but then I get these daily things too. I've never thought to connect it to healing.. I just always thought it was due to the stress. I'll have to ask the Doc about that when I see her again. :think:
     
  5. goodguy

    goodguy New Member

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    Thanks for everyone's response. I just wish I knew the answer to this. I don't think there is any medication I can take for it. I could be wrong however. Maybe tapping into the trauma again will help. I can't do it since my breakdown even though I have tried. Anyone try Extasy (MDMA) to help with that? I was reading several studies that involve this and they sound promising. Although maybe not knowing is better than knowing.
     
  6. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    Goodguy, could these headaches be body memories? Where you hit in the head repeatedly? I don't know what your abuse was, but when my memories started to surface, I experienced the physical pain of the abuse like it was happening again. The only way I made them go away is to tackle the memory head on and very intensive therapy. Keep hacking away at that emotional memory a little bit at a time.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

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    Headaches, migraines, etc... all common and caused by stress more often than not. PTSD = stress on the body.
     
  8. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    Hi Goodguy,

    I have just responded to a similar post about headaches further up. I'm so sorry that you suffer with this. I also suffer with migraine and headaches at times of stress, that have been diagnosed as stress-related. I do believe that physical pain can be triggered by emotional pain and memories. It could well be because of the intensity of the emotion. I have also had a similar experience to you, in remembering a partial memory of abuse. When the memory gets too close to me and starts swallowing me I am overcome with nausea, and that progresses into a migraine. So you are not alone. It doesn't happen every time, and I get migraines when I am generally stressed also. But I am sure that with me it is emotional stress.

    Have you ever held in tears, and found that brings on a headache and pressure in the head? It is another example of physical pain through tension at blocking emotionally, and psychologically.

    I mentioned in the other post deep relaxation and imagery techniques to try to reduce the intensity of the pain at the time, physically anyway. Have you tried these?

    Good luck

    Lisa.
     
  9. goodguy

    goodguy New Member

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    Its 3 months later, the headaches still persist although they are weakening. They are a daily occurance. Sometimes I will get a break and think that they are over with, but a few hours later or the next day more of the headache will come.

    Its been 2 1/2 years having them every day all day for the most part. I want to keep writing updates about them so if someone else has similar headaches they can see that there is hope. I've looked everywhere and no one I can find has these symptoms and at times I lost hope. I really do think an end is near to them. Maybe in six months they will stop.

    The best way for me to think about these things is that there is this "trapped energy" in my head. My nervous system is letting it out very slowly, but I can feel myself becomming more connected to my body and emotions about every 2 weeks. I feel subtle changes in my thought patterns, body movements ect... I used to be uptight and uncoordinated and now I am much more relaxed and even starting to feel athletic. I feel like once these headaches are gone life will be really good for me.

    Anyways signing off for now. Maybe will update in another 2 months or so- maybe next time they will be gone (wishfull thinking:).
     
  10. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

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    You need to learn how to lower your stress in order to rid the headaches... trust me, I know all to well as you are experiencing now, and when stressed even today, I get a headache that no pain killer can cure, only reducing the stress and the headache goes away. Simple as that... don't try and treat the symptom, treat the cause.
     
  11. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I have a few illnesses diagnosed by specialists as stress related - all were pretty much totally resistent to medication. I had headaches, daily, for years and years in my childhood an adolescence. I still suffer, but it is better than it used to be. Instead, I seem to have swapped one health problem for another, with severe IBS through late teens up until I was 20. Again, diagnosed as stress related, and treatment only helped a little. This is now under better control, though I still suffer... literally as that became less severe, my sleep problems (which have been around for years too) have become severe. Again, a stress related problem. Currently, I'm trying to work on my PTSD to rid myself of physical stress as well as mental. I think until I do that... I will move from one to another severe health problem, or end up with multiple.

    It's awful. But your body is telling you something. It may be that the trauma is coming out in the headaches, I agree.... but I'm not sure I agree that the headaches are filtering out the problem in their own way, as some sort of pressure release...I think it is more that it is pressure overload. Finding solace and peace from your trauma whatever way you need to will probably solve the problem. Easier said than done... my god I know...! But a fact.
     
  12. goodguy

    goodguy New Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys- its good to know that there are a few listening ears.

    As odd as it sounds I think the headaches are filtering out at least some of the emotional and physical aspects of the trauma. When this started and throughout the last 2 1/2 years I literally feel this emotional/physical reservoir on the left side of my head with pressure to come out. I can feel a bit of this resesvoir release and travel from my left side of my head to the right. It stays on the right side for a while then falls away. Then more of the reservoir is released and the cycle repeats. The pressure I feel from the left is becomming weaker and weaker. As it becomes weaker I become more physically and emotionally more in touch with myself. I am literally 1000% better than before the headaches began (I was a real mess before, coudn't relate to others at all, anger and confidence issues, the whole nine yards... ).

    I don't know how to explain it except I did read Peter Levine's book called Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma and what he says seems to fit. He describes trauma as trapped energy- as the body's fight or flight response that has been trapped and needs to be released. Don't know if thats what is going on here but it sure feels like it is.

    When the headache end I'm not sure what I will have to deal with- my wishful thinking hopes I will be healed but we we see. Maybe you guys are right, maybe they will not end until I work on stuff. I tried therapy, EMDR, other stuff and the only thing that seems to help is the passage of time. I think that they are slowing down however and there will be an end though. I would like to post again in a few months to record progress for myself and for others that may be experiencing this.
     
  13. dljwhitewolf

    dljwhitewolf Active Member

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    When I was a preteen I had migraines all the time, the only thing that helped was a towel full of ice, a dark quiet place, and a half hour alone. I would still have the headache hang over but it would relieve it tremendously.
    My mother had a knack for finding whack job doctors, and was put on epilespy medicines that only made things worse, and sleeping pills that would last about two weeks and stop working when I built up a tolerance, hence I stopped all med.s and pasted out alot for a few days but used the tests given to understand it was from stress.
    I am also a medic, and suggest that you seek an eeg, electrodes on the head to measure brain activity, just to be on the safe side and rule everything else out. I'm sure today it would be a cat scan or an mri, this was back in the seventies.
    I just underwent surgery to fuse to discs in my neck due to lack of bone in the front, from torture forty years ago, it was giving me headaches and I knew that one was physical.
    Just relax, you sound like your moving mountains to be uptight to relaxed is excellent, good work.
    Hope you get to the bottom of it soon. Keep us posted.
     
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