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Am i getting Migraines or stress headaches?


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Hi,

I suffer with an anxiety disorder (OCD, social anxiety and panic disorder) and depression, however ive been getting more headaches than usual lately, at least 2 a week, and what seems to be one permanent headache for the last fortnight.

Please excuse if this is disorganised i have a headache right now and during the worst of the headaches i seem to have trouble organising my thoughts properly. That is one of the symptoms that i find distressing. Bascially the headache seems to sit on one side of my head (mostly the left but it can appear on the right or flip sides during one attack), and feels as though my brain is going to explode (its a cross between pressure pain and someone jabbing a red hot poker through my skull that runs from front to back across the top of the head on one side, across the temple, slightly behind the eye, through the ear, down the jaw and into the neck) The pain waxs and wanes in intensity. Other accompanying symptoms include: slight numbness on the right side of my face (in the cheek area and right nostril mostly) blurry/double vision, flashing lights in front of my eyes (comes and goes), nausea, anxiety, low mood, confusion, feelings of derealisation (colours look brighter, almost dream like, or the light in the room appears dimmer or my hearing seems dimished whilst at other times however sensitivity to sound and bright lights are present), forgetfullness, and vertigo. Also sometimes hotflushes and cold chills.

Each headache last 2 to 3 days, then wears off but seems to come back again a few hours or a day later, so it feels as though its one permanent headache.

Am i getting migraine or stress headaches or is it something else? Whatever it is, its making it very difficult to function.

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I don't think there is any migraine symptom you missed.

Now, any good doctor will start with a complete physical work up, including a CT if nothing else is found. There are a number of other things that can cause similar symptoms such as brain tumor, excessive intracranial pressure, etc. Its important to rule out all the physical sources before going down the headache road.

One of the newest rules of thumb that developed in the last ten years is that if a headache "throbs" it is a migraine. Addtionally, in the last couple years research was published showing that "sinus headaches" of more than a modest nature are probably migraines as well.

There are all sorts of effective treatments for migraines, so don't give up.

hope you feel better today.

a.m.

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