What comes first the headache, or the anxiety (about the headache)?

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Many studies link migraines to depression, anxiety, OCD, phobias and other disorders. The question is which comes first “the headache or the disorder”.  The mounting fear associated with headaches is so common that it in itself is a disorder, cephalalgiaphobia – the fear of headache, or fear of the next headache.

A recent analysis in The Journal of Headache and Pain reported on a small study where the objective was to examine the relationship between cephalalgiaphobia and migraine frequency, as well as medication overuse as a result of headache anticipation.

From 120 patients and two years of study, the results indicate that patients prone to higher frequencies of cephalalgiaphobia could increase headache occurrences and in turn overuse of analgesics.

A cycle of headaches and fear of headaches creates a ‘chicken or egg’ scenario. The first step is to become self-aware. If you notice mood symptoms as a result of the fear of a headache onset and you see it affecting your everyday quality of life, share your concerns with your doctor and loved ones. By strategizing a plan to deal with your head pain you are empowering yourself and combatting the fear.

To treat your headaches drug-free, contact me for the next available appointment. We can often schedule same day appointments for existing patients (408) 866-8820.

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