• Welcome to the Anxiety Community Forum, a friendly space for discussion, help and support with mental health issues. Please register to post and use the extra features available to members. Click here to register.Everyone is welcome!

Headaches...Here we go

Amw311

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
95
Reaction score
19
I always thought I was one of those people who only panicked about “really strange and new sensations” and when I would see or hear about other health anxiety sufferers complaining about their headache worries...I would kind of shrug it off and think to myself “man that’s just a headache I wouldn’t worry about something like that, I WISH headache was all I had”

but here I am...absolutely convinced that my ongoing headache is something really sinister

I will preface this description with the fact that I have a 10 month old baby who still breastfeeds and has been having a rough time sleeping — which means I also have been having very abnormal sleep lately and haven’t been well rested. I will also note that I probably haven’t been drinking enough water. All of that being said — I feel like I have gone through similar bouts of lack of sleep, stress, not stellar hydration etc in the past but have never had an off and on headache quite this brutal. It comes and goes throughout the day. But it has been about a week and a half of this. It’s mostly in the front - forehead area and temples sometimes. I have 3 young children, I am stressed about covid, I am not sleeping well, and you would think I could just chalk these headaches up to that stuff but I cannot.

I just keep telling myself “this can’t be normal” and “this can’t be something simple” and of course “if it’s lasting this long I KNOW it’s something terrible because this has never happened to me”
 

ThankfulJen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
637
Reaction score
475
I have had headaches at times that have lasted three days straight. No coming and going. There when I awake and still there when I pass out. Believe me. I know your fear. I would absolutely say your reoccurring headache is stress related. I also get one sided temple headaches when I am overly stressed. Sounds like you have plenty to stress about! I would not worry too much about it! Easier said than done, I know.
 

JustMe

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
405
Reaction score
183
I always thought I was one of those people who only panicked about “really strange and new sensations” and when I would see or hear about other health anxiety sufferers complaining about their headache worries...I would kind of shrug it off and think to myself “man that’s just a headache I wouldn’t worry about something like that, I WISH headache was all I had”

but here I am...absolutely convinced that my ongoing headache is something really sinister

I will preface this description with the fact that I have a 10 month old baby who still breastfeeds and has been having a rough time sleeping — which means I also have been having very abnormal sleep lately and haven’t been well rested. I will also note that I probably haven’t been drinking enough water. All of that being said — I feel like I have gone through similar bouts of lack of sleep, stress, not stellar hydration etc in the past but have never had an off and on headache quite this brutal. It comes and goes throughout the day. But it has been about a week and a half of this. It’s mostly in the front - forehead area and temples sometimes. I have 3 young children, I am stressed about covid, I am not sleeping well, and you would think I could just chalk these headaches up to that stuff but I cannot.

I just keep telling myself “this can’t be normal” and “this can’t be something simple” and of course “if it’s lasting this long I KNOW it’s something terrible because this has never happened to me”
I have an almost 9 month old still breastfeeding also and just went through a good 2 to 3 weeks with headaches lasting 3 days straight or on and off. My first thought was brain tumor because for like a week it was on my right forehead side. Then one day it switched to my left. Then another time it was temple area. I'm assuming it is not only stress from Covid, lack of sleep due to baby but maybe a change in the air pressure from the seasons starting to change. Once I stopped freaking out so much about them I haven't had one in a week or so... hang in there!
 

Doug97

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
258
Reaction score
65
How are the headaches now? I had a friend who had really bad hair headaches for months, had a bunch of tests from the docs which came up clear. Then they went away.
 

Phillies Phan

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
217
Reaction score
181
A highly prestigious study in the UK found that when the symptom is only headache, the incidence of BT was less than 1 in 1,000. I’ve also been dealing with headaches for a while now, but I can feel how they are generating from my neck muscles. I’ve had this exact same situation several times in the past, probably more times than I remember. I also (damn Google) recall when it started..after I looked something up which freaked me out. That night the pains began and off to the races, with the anxiety causing the muscles to continue to tense and of course the pain to continue.
 

Doug97

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
258
Reaction score
65
A highly prestigious study in the UK found that when the symptom is only headache, the incidence of BT was less than 1 in 1,000. I’ve also been dealing with headaches for a while now, but I can feel how they are generating from my neck muscles. I’ve had this exact same situation several times in the past, probably more times than I remember. I also (damn Google) recall when it started..after I looked something up which freaked me out. That night the pains began and off to the races, with the anxiety causing the muscles to continue to tense and of course the pain to continue.
That incidence of 1 in 1,000 seems high to me. Can you link to the paper?
 

bin_tenn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
2,814
Reaction score
1,503
That incidence of 1 in 1,000 seems high to me. Can you link to the paper?
I don't think 1 in 1,000 is accurate as "this many people have brain tumors." What I've always read via studies and such, however, is that headache is a rare presenting complaint for brain tumor patients. As few as 50% of BT patients present with headache, and 60% develop headache as the disease progresses. This is why I always tell people that headache alone is unlikely to be a BT. Not only is BT very rare already, but only half of those cases present with headache. Initially.
 

Doug97

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
258
Reaction score
65
Ah, I see the problem. They looked at people with brain tumours, not at people with headaches. So of course the incidence will appear higher.
 

Phillies Phan

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
217
Reaction score
181
Ah, I see the problem. They looked at people with brain tumours, not at people with headaches. So of course the incidence will appear higher.
Yes. So for others who might read this, they found records of people who were diagnosed with BT over a multi year period. Record keeping in the UK system is superb, so they could look at all those folks and backtrack to see what they complained of to their primary physician. They were able to isolate, amongst other things those whose complaints were solely headache. 1 person per 1,100 both complained only of headache AND were ultimately diagnosed with BT.

Keep in mind there are quite a bit of variables that weren’t addressed in the study. For example, did the headache complainer who was ultimately diagnosed have nausea, vomiting, “worst headache”, or other ailments that were not specifically analyzed? So someone (in general one would expect) who had a worst headache, throwing up upon waking in the morning, etc would be more likely to be the “1” than someone who just had mild head pain over some weeks, relieved some by rest, gets worse as the day goes on, has corresponding neck pain, etc etc.

Hope that makes sense.
 

Doug97

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
258
Reaction score
65
Yes it makes sense. So saying that "the incidence of BT is 1 in 1,000" is misleading. The incidence of BT in people who have only headache is going to be way lower than that.

Saying that the OP has a 1 in 1,000 chance of having a brain tumour is insufficiently reassuring, is what I'm getting at.
 

Phillies Phan

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
217
Reaction score
181
Yes, she’s not complaining of any of those additional symptoms, like the ones I mentioned, that might be more of a red flag along with head pain. Just length of time and fully understandable reasons why she’d have headaches. So you’re correct; while there’s no way to put an accurate number on the incidence, it would certainly seem to be more like say 1 in what, 5,000 or 10,000? Clearly better odds than 1-1,100.
 

Doug97

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
258
Reaction score
65
Exactly. :happy:

Given how common headaches are, I'd go so far as to say 1 in 100,000.
 
Top