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Anxiety and Headache: Symptoms of Anxiety, Treatment of Anxiety

Anxiety is a state of mind when a person feels tension and fear without known cause. Anxiety reduces the tolerance of person towards stress and headache. Anxiety is one of the triggers of headache and according to an estimate up to 80% persons having anxiety may develop chronic daily headache. The one of the cause of tension headache is muscle tightening. The anxiety can elevate the following symptoms.

  • May increase the biochemical (stress chemical) such as adrenaline.
  • Reduce the relaxation chemical such as endorphin.
  • May increase muscle tension.
  • May influence the nervous system and consequently will increase difficulty in breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.

Women are at more risk than men for anxiety and headache. Women suffer more anxiety and therefore are more likely to have tension headache.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Persons suffering from anxiety may feel following symptoms.

  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue ness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Restless feeling and
  • Sleep disorder.

Headache and Routine Job

Headache may also cause the following problems or disorder

  • Patients suffering from headache due to anxiety may find it difficult to follow the routine activity.
  • Headaches may cause sleep disorders.
  • If you are suffering from headache, you may not be able to concentrate on your routine job.
  • Headache may vary in frequency and duration.
  • Depending upon severity of the disorder the symptoms like nausea and vomiting are sometimes associated with headache.

Treatment Aim

If a person is suffering from headache and anxiety, the aim of treatment should have been targeted to 

  • Reduce the frequency and duration of headache and anxiety.
  • Reduce the severity of headache.
  • Reduce the overall medication.
  • Reduce the headache related tension, anxiety and psychological symptoms.
  • Improve overall quality of life of patients.

General principles of management

  • Once diagnosis has been completed, inform the patient the method of treatment and possible side effects of the medicine.
  • Patients should be taken into confidence for the severity of problem and expected time frame for the treatment.
  • Patients should be encouraged for identifying and avoiding possible migraine headache triggers.
  • Patients should be encouraged for other stress management technique and relaxation technique.

Treatment option for anxiety and headache

Headache should be controlled by not only medicine, but other program such as change in life style, avoiding known headache triggers, stress management and relaxation therapy should be simultaneously focused for achieving better results.
Life style may help in managing migraine headache.

  • Identify the triggers for headache and avoid these triggers.
  • You should try to take regular sleep even during vacation and weekends.
  • You should try to take sleep in quiet and dark room.
  • You should start exercise under the supervision of trainer or expert.
  • You should learn and follow stress management techniques.
  • You should learn and follow relaxation technique.
  • If you are diabetic, you should eat small amount of food more often.

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VISITOR COMMENTS on "Anxiety and Headache":

Joe said,
22nd February 07
I am a very anxious person and I don`t know, if I would benefit from entering a gym. I am 68 years old and whenever I do exercise, all my body aches including intense headache.

charlotte said,
28th April 07
im 13 years old and get headaches a lot. I mainly get them a week before my period then they last for ages until i go to the doctors then they disapere.But the problem is the headaches have come back because i have just had a period last week and i still have them and i really do think im dying or have something serious like a brain tumour i told the doctor this and he said its just stress and tension headaches also because of hormones but i am finding it so hard to beleive it and i cant eat,sleep and i cry and shake a lot because im so scared of dying. when i think i food i am nearly sick and when i go to bed i cant sleep and i constantly cry and i feel sick a lot ive just had enough now and i dont know what to do.


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