Can migraine be psychological? Absolutely not! But getting migraine pain counselling, in my opinion, is essential. Not just because of the debilitating pain, or the disabling symptoms, or the host of other things they cause, but because they can derail your life.
And because of where the negative spiral of pain takes your thoughts, pre-migraine anxiety and worrying can make the pain and symptoms worse.
So to be clear... migraine disease is not psychological, it is biological (a chain of chemical reactions in the brain) but your emotional reactions, the psychological, can definitely have or cause an impact.
Face to face or online migraine pain counselling is a great way to help you deal with your ruthless migraine attacks and their impacts. Coping skills you learn now will benefit you for your entire lifetime.
The internet provides us with a lot of options now. Choosing the online option means you can get help right from the comfort of your own home.
If privacy, confidentiality and getting some guidance and support are important to you - read on to find out how easy (and affordable) this online option can be. Keep reading for what's free too.
Are you coping with your migraine attacks or is your life falling to pieces?
Do you need help making big life changing decisions or have doubts about your pain management strategy?
Do you even have a pain management strategy?
Would you like help finding out how or where to start?
No problem is too big or too small, too complex or too trivial to discuss with a professional therapist.
Ok – I will
start with the bad news. Migraine headache is a medical condition that
has no cure. That’s right – no cure right now.
And it goes without saying that your first port of call, if you are really struggling, is with your doctor. Physically and emotionally, you need to get the right information to deal with your health issues and your migraines.
The triptans on the market today are the most effective at aborting migraines. If they work for you, they will work really well for you.
Doctors are also becoming more aware. S/he will likely recommend getting emotional support.
The new technology of online migraine pain counselling for support and guidance is becoming mainstream.
Online courses are providing therapists with global learning access to experts in the pain field.
So, there is a lot of good news. We have a lot more people researching more drugs and remedies than ever before.
Modern medicine - evidenced based medicine, has come a long way. And so has the field of migraine pain counselling.
What if I die... what if this kills me... what if this goes on forever!
Initially I was told I was imagining the pain, that it was all in my mind and was sent to see a psychiatrist. After 17 failed medications, I started on the path of holistic counseling and sought other alternative ways of pain management.
I did wonder on a lot of occasions if I was
just going crazy and fell into a pit of depression. Don't let this happen. There are a lot of very effective tools to help you cope with this illness and all the chaos it creates.
If you find yourself having troubling thoughts, then finding a good counsellor that specializes in pain management might be a good next step to take:
Are you feeling frustrated or afraid? Or even worse, having thoughts of suicide or ending it all?
Then do not wait another minute... seek professional help.
You can: click here, call a local hotline, a close friend or family member. Reach out and ask for help. There are some great 24/7 hotlines. You can also contact your nearest community center.
You can even find a good support group on Facebook. But if you're feeling suicidal get professional help. Start by seeing your doctor for a referral to a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. Preferably one who specializes in migraines.
Depression can make you feel paralyzed.
It’s so important to get some help if you are suffering with chronic pain. I truly believe we were not meant to deal with these things alone.
But were you told somewhere back in your family or society to be strong? Were you told not to cry, or to ignore pain and or emotions? How about to soldier on, push through, or to keep going no matter what.
Well I am here to tell you that is all rubbish. You don't have to put up with relentless emotional pain. There are tools available... all you need to do is to learn some!
If no one understands you or you find yourself spiraling towards depression, then it's time to seek professional help. Please click here to find my help (online) now.
The first step towards getting migraine pain counselling can often be the hardest.
No one can ignore constant, relentless attacks. Migraine pain counselling can just be one of your many tools in your migraine tool kit.
Do you experience anxiety or depression? Grief and loss?
Learn new ways to take care of yourself in stressful situations.
Candace Pert, in her CD Psychosomatic Wellness has this wonderful affirmation that I like to use from time to time:
“Sometimes I allow powerful emotions like grief, anger and even despair to flow through my body mind to complete interrupted healing.”
It is important to recognize your strong emotions as just that, emotions and nothing more so that you don’t use them to attack yourself.
You might even focus on those particular thoughts and emotions and identify with them. This can make them or your reactions to them more intense and overwhelming. Everyone handles stress and pain differently. Everyone!
Get help now. You do have a choice and you do have options. Migraine pain counselling is one of them.
So here's what I can do to help right now:
1. Share a 45 minute workshop you can watch for FREE - Join here
2. Teach you new coping skills in my courses. Ten sessions with me would cost $1,200 - $1,400, so these are a bargain! Plus... the first module in this one is FREE - Migraine Pain Management Course
3. Help you manage anxiety and depression from way too many migraines - How to Manage Anxiety and Depression From Your Migraines
4. Reduce stress with my meditation course (helps with... everything!) Here's the link - Meditations and Energetic Healing for Migraine Sufferers: Heal from the Inside Out
5. Pass on (evidence based) tips and tools in my book on Amazon - Migraine Management
If you already have a counsellor or psychologist that you are working with and s/he doesn’t know about migraine pain counselling (most know about pain management… but migraines are different) here are some things you can ask her/him to help you with.
You probably already know that migraines have a genetic component. It’s apparent that many of the triggers for migraine headaches originate from elements of your daily life which includes stress, mood fluctuations, the external environment, how you handle life’s situations emotionally, etc.
What can sometimes happen is that your emotions can intensify the whole pain feedback loop and keep it going… and even make it worse.
If this feels like that’s happening for you, here are some of the possible areas to cover with your therapist:
Migraine pain counselling can include help with identifying and eliminating your triggers.
Learning what environmental elements can trigger a headache for you is a good place to start. A second set of eyes can help you identify patterns from anything that might be triggering you: hormones, the weather, food, poor sleep habits and especially habitual emotional and coping strategies that perhaps no longer serve you.
As you slowly identify your patterns and potential triggers, a therapist can help you make the necessary changes towards creating a healthier environment. This can include different cognitive or behavioral techniques that can help remove or diminish the impacts of your triggers.
Stress is a well-known migraine trigger. Those of us who suffer from constant, relentless migraine attacks can often have some difficulty in slowing down and relaxing.
Do you feel surrounded by stress and tension?
This is very common for migraine sufferers. There are many forms of relaxation techniques that can be learned in therapy, from basic breathing exercises to meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness, and many others.
If your migraine pain counselling sessions don't include this, I have a meditation course to help right now:
Do you get angry before an attack? Do you feel like you’re holding a lot of anger around your health and this condition? Sometimes if you don’t deal with your anger it can be stored in the body. One way to tell this is when you experience an unexpected outburst for no apparent reason.
Many types of therapy, and most therapists, have many tools for anger management and resolving issues around anger in a gentle and friendly way. Working with overwhelming emotions needs to be included in your migraine pain counselling strategy.
Do certain things seem to get stuck and you go over and over it in your mind? Do you feel like you’re dwelling on things? Having a chronic condition like migraines can often lead you to trust yourself less and cause this rumination of thoughts. And excessive amounts of rumination and dwelling can actually result in more headaches from the emotional stress this causes.
CBT therapy can help you with this. I have a number of different therapies in my course to help you change negative thinking patterns:
This part absolutely deserves your attention. Dealing with chronic migraine headaches brings up numerous issues that need to be dealt with.
For example, if you have anger or resentment about suffering from migraines, your emotions can conceivably lead to triggering another cycle of attacks. You can also be feeling strong emotions like fear, sadness, frustration, guilt, and others that result from having to deal with relentless chronic pain.
Migraines also can cause issues in your family and intimate relationships, so it’s important to get extra help with migraine pain counselling.
Obviously, it’s essential to see your doctor first to rule out any underlying medical issues before calling a therapist. You may need a referral to a professional counsellor or psychologist, so your doctor is your first port of call.
It’s important to manage your expectations around this condition. While there are many possible treatments for migraines, no single method currently claims to have the cure.
Even with the new CGRP medications, it's generally recommended that a combination of approaches are most effective. And with all of the possibilities that can lead you to struggle to find what works, extra support in the form of therapy is a worthwhile consideration as part of your pain management strategy.
I hope this helps you create a better life despite migraines.
Until next time, be well and be pain free.