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Hi, I'm having tension headaches for ten years

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by codoe, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. codoe

    codoe New Member


    I’m new to the forum and thought I start to share my story, as kind of a first step to solve what has occupied me for the last ten years.

    I’m struggling with tension headaches, dizziness, fatigue, neck pain and sporadical vertigo for the last decade I believe. I can not pin point an exact time or moment when it started, because it was more or less gradually. I think it all started out with neck pain and anxiety, when I started to go to university.

    I did cognitive behaviour therapy, because I was afraid of the dizziness and vertigo and overall felt stressed out by work and life. The therapy helped so much, I am a much calmer person now and don’t worry so much. However, it never resolved my tension headaches, dizziness and fatigue… although there was a period where I felt a bit better.

    For the longest time I thought all this comes from me clenching my teeth at night because of stress or malocclusion or whatever reason. I tried six different mouth guards, biofeedback, CBT, got an MRI of neck and jaw, acupuncture, physical therapy, TENS, CBD oil, meditation, sport, paleo diet and probiotics, supplements, botox injections… and nothing helped. The best result came from weight lifting, during which and after the symptoms went down a bit.

    I was now referred to a psychologist by my dentist, because she couldn’t help me anymore. I really don’t want to take some medication, without at least some certainty that it will help, so I searched for alternatives and found the work by Dr. Sarno and Dr. Schubiner and it gave my some hope again.

    I immediately realised that in fact I have some childhood trauma and probably a lot of suppressed emotions. When I was 14 years old, I suffered about a year through serious illness. I was diagnosed with Crohn disease, lost a lot of weight and had severe acne because of the cortisone treatment. The acne was so heavy, that even the doctors said they haven’t seen anything like it before. I got heavy medication for it as well and stayed on it for almost 4 years after. I still went to school, although looking like a nightmare and in hindsight I think I buried a lot of pain, shame and anger in me. Also my mother got a depression during that time and I think I didn’t express my emotions to protect her and also me. And this suppressing of emotions continued till today. The illness probably lead to a sensitivity regarding pain and body perception and definitely some fear of disease and illness.

    I actually overcame all of this, I don't have any issue with Crohn's anymore. My life turned out to be good and happy. It’s just that constant tension headaches, what holds me back from getting the life I pictured for myself. Whats interesting about the headache. It's only present for the first part of the day. During afternoon it resolves and in the evening it's almost gone. I always thought, this is due to the clenching at night, that it's worse in the morning and better in the evening. Which might still be true, but now there is another alternative and I’m looking forward to try out the things outlined in the books.

    There is still a little doubt, if it really is TMS… but I think there’s a very good chance it is.

    Thanks for everybody reading my story... it isn't short.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good story, @codoe, and in fact not very long at all. You did a good job being succinct about the physical manifestations and the things you tried, and already being willing and able to concentrate more on the emotional aspects. This bodes well for your recovery! Accepting that you must think psychologically instead of physically is one of the key requirements for recovery. Eventually, it will be automatic.

    Everything you described just screams "memorized patterns". Remember that your brain is in charge of all physiological processes, symptoms and sensations, which means it can create any process, symptom, or sensation even when there is no underlying reason for it. Phantom limb pain is our proof of that fact.

    Therefore, your brain is perfectly capable of choosing to give you pain in the morning, simply because pain in the morning makes sense to your belief about clenching, therefore it's harder for you to dismiss it.

    Keep us posted!

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