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Migraines And PTSD - Is There a Connection?

Discussion in 'General' started by PtsdSpokane, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. PtsdSpokane

    PtsdSpokane Member

    Ok, so I have suffered from crippling migraines since I was about 15 (6 years). I have lost at least my last 3 jobs and am on the verge of losing the one I have now beause I am SO sick, and when i get a migraine I am out of commission for the rest of the day, sometimes 2 days. I can't work, I can't function..I basically have to hole up in my dark room and wait it out. I usually wind up in the ER on an average of 1-2 times a month. I was 'officially' diganosed about 2 years ago by a neurologist and have not responded to ANY conventional migraines drugs; I am now taking Vicodin for the pain, plus a medication for the nausea. Anyway, it isnt uncommon for me to get a migraine when I am stressed and I'm finding that these panic attacks sometimes bring them on as well. Sometimes I find it is a vicious circle..I will have a panic attack because I THINK I am getting a migraine, then get a migraine from the panic attack and then being having panic attacks from the migraine and the panic attacks!! :boxem:

    Anyway..Im wondering if anyone has heard of these things being related? I would love it if there was some hope for me to at least lessen the frequency of these puppies..right now I can expect anywhere from 1-3 a week :doh:
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  3. goodguy

    goodguy New Member

    Sounds like a a terrible cycle. Sorry you have to go through that. I know headaches in general can be related to PTSD and other anxiety disorders. I do not know if migraines are. You were kind enough to respond to my other post. I doubt my headaches are anything close to what you have gone through. Mine are not migraines, only "stress headaches." They do not incapacitate me like yours sound like they do.
  4. goodguy

    goodguy New Member


    It looks like the two are connected. The doctor here suggests Triptan. I'm sure you've tried it though.
  5. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

    I used to have migraines quite a bit spokane. I've never been to the ER for it, and neither have I been diagnosed, but the symptoms are there. (Maybe mine is mild compared to others...) I would suffer through them for at least a day if not two in a dark, quiet room with a puke bucket by my side. This was during college. It's hard to have those conditions when I had a roommate, so I pitched a tent. A black sheet held up by nails on the ceiling. It worked pretty well. I've had migraines off and on since then but they eased up. Lately, I only have them maybe one every four months??? It's hard to remember the last one, it's been so long. I really do think that stress compounds the headache and our coping mechanisms are already maxed. Hang in there and I hope that they ease up for you eventually. Try relaxation and be good to yourself if you feel one coming on.
  6. PtsdSpokane

    PtsdSpokane Member

    Yep..tried all the triptans. One actually worked for me, but insurance would not cover it and it was about $200 for 9 pills, which would last me approx. 1 week. So..not do-able.

    Anyway..good info, thanks for the link. Hopefully with once I start getting the PTSD worked out mine will at least lesson a bit. Anything here would be wonderful after the last 6 terrible years.

    PS..my first counseling session is tomorrow..wish me luck! (I'm shakin in my boots!)
  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    I posted a response in [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread3541.html[/DLMURL]
  8. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    Hi PtsdSpokane

    Just thought I would post to say that you are not alone. Like you, I have suffered with migraines for many years. I was sent to a neurologist at 14, who found nothing organic wrong with me, all the medications tried failed to work, bar one which made a small difference. In the end it was concluded to be 'tension headaches', and I have accepted it is stress related, particularly as I also have stress-related IBS and nausea. It seems that yours are more severe though, if you are ending up in ER so regularly.

    I'm sorry that you suffer with this so often, I know how migraines and pain can knock a person even lower. However, the good news is if it is stress-related then it is not impossible to get rid of these, or in the least reduce the intensity and frequency. Have you tried deep relaxation techniques? I have found that this reduces the pain to a certain degree. I've also found imagery helps, like putting a flannel on my forehead and imagining that it is the sun, or something nice and comforting along those lines.

    Good luck with the counselling!

  9. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

    I'm another one with the migraines. Thankfully not so much these days.
  10. circe47

    circe47 Well-Known Member

    I started getting migraines in 2009 when I flew across the country to reunite with my current mate. Strangely, or coincidentally, he was in and out of my house as a kid. He was my brother's best friend. We reconnected online and within two days professed to have been in love with each other since we both started noticing the opposite sex in our early teens. Turns out none of my adult relationships worked out and were not supposed to work out- because they weren't with him.

    I really think that my migraines are a remnant of all the head trauma that I experienced from as long as I can remember. From what I can remember, I've had mild concussions at least 12 times throughout my life. Having my head slammed into the ground after being tackled by a boy, having my head slammed into the ground repeatedly by my baby daddy when I was pregnant with our son, having my head bashed into walls, severe whiplash (yes…whiplash also make the brain bounce around within the skull)etc, etc.

    When the migraines first started, I also puked up a bunch a green bilious material. I liken the green vomit to getting all the emotional poisons out. Now I just get the migraine visual aura- not pain so much.
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