Updated: Jun 1
Headache is undoubtedly an uncomfortable feeling. There is no doubt about that. But what many people don't realize is that it can have more than just a physical effect on you. No matter what kind of headache you're dealing with — migraine, tension, sinus, or cluster — there are also mental and emotional aspects to consider as well.
Knowing this fact can give you some control over how your headaches affect you, and our Manhattan pain management specialists can help you manage the pain. In this blog, you will learn more about headaches and how it affects you as a person, your emotions, and your mental and physical well-being.
Headaches Can Affect Many Aspects Of Your Life
Headache is one of the most common ailments known to humans. It's easy to dismiss a headache. We brush it aside and try to ignore it. But many researchers have realized that the pain we feel when we have a headache, or migraines, can often accompany other symptoms.
These symptoms can vary depending on the type of headache you have, but they also tend to vary depending on your age. They don't only affect physical health; they also negatively affect one's mental and emotional state.
It's important to understand how headaches affect you so that you can manage your condition more effectively and reduce any negative effects that may arise from it. If your headaches continue for weeks or months without relief, it's important to see a pain management specialist. Some types of headaches may be warning signs of more serious health problems. Here are some of the ways headaches can affect how you think, act and feel.
Effects of Headaches on Physical Health
Headaches can cause a significant amount of pain and discomfort, but they can also have a negative impact on many other aspects of your life. Chronic headaches are associated with significant pain, disability, and reduced quality of life. In addition, it can make it difficult to perform day-to-day tasks or even go about your daily routine.
Physical effects of headaches include:
Fatigue and weakness
Pain that is pulsing or throbbing
Changes in appetite because you are so tired from dealing with your headache pain.
Pain or pressure on both sides of your head or in one specific location (such as above your eyes)
Feeling sick to your stomach
Nausea and vomiting
Increased sensitivity to light and noise
Effects of Headaches on Emotional Health
Headache sufferers may experience physical pain as well as mental distress. This can happen due to the nature of the headache itself or because of how it affects your life. The effects of headaches on emotional health can be devastating.
Headache can make you feel tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate or focus on work or other daily tasks. It can also affect your mood, causing you to feel down and negative about yourself. Many people who have chronic headaches are depressed and have anxiety or panic attacks. They may feel hopeless and helpless, which can lead to isolation from family and friends.
Headaches may also affect your relationships with family and friends, as it can be difficult to spend time with them when you are experiencing pain. In addition to experiencing depression symptoms like sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy (anhedonia), low self-esteem, or guilt about things you've done wrong (guilt).
They can impact productivity at work, concentration in school, and performance in sports activities. In addition, people who suffer from frequent or severe headaches often avoid participating in activities that trigger attacks, such as reading, watching television, or driving a car, for fear of having a headache attack.
Some people stop working altogether because their job is too stressful, while others change jobs because they can no longer handle the stress. Some people become socially withdrawn because they do not want to go out with friends and family or participate in social events where they know they will feel pain or embarrassment if they have a headache attack while they are there.
Effects of Headaches on Mental Health
The effects of headaches on mental health are quite profound. When someone experiences frequent headaches, it may lead to anxiety about the next time one will happen — what if it comes without warning? This can be very stressful for someone who feels helpless when suffering from a headache attack because there is nothing they can do to stop it from happening again and again.
Studies have shown that chronic pain sufferers tend to be more depressed and anxious than people who don't experience chronic pain. The relationship between headaches and depression is complex and multi-directional.
Some researchers think that people with migraines may be more prone to depression, while others think that depression may actually lead to headaches. Many studies have found that people with migraine tend to have higher rates of anxiety and depression than those without the condition.
Depression can make it harder for you to cope with chronic pain symptoms, so it's important to get treatment if you're feeling this way. You may also need medication or therapy, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Seek Treatment Before it Worsens
In sum, headache is a condition that can affect each person differently. Still, for those who suffer from chronic migraine headaches, it can be extremely difficult to manage on your own.
There are many triggers that might lead to headache pain, and taking care of your physical health is important. But while it may be easy to focus on the physical aspect of pain relief, your mental and emotional well-being should also be taken into consideration when you're looking for headache relief.
A variety of treatment options are available to help with both physical and mental/emotional distress, so don't hesitate to discuss all your options with a health care provider if you think it's best for you.
If you are facing challenges with managing your headache, consider seeking professional care from our Manhattan pain management healthcare team that can provide you with holistic and integrative care for your headache, including both physical and mental management.