How Emotions Affect Our Body
Why do our feelings sometimes make us sick?
Our lives are filled with emotions, from anger to shame, fear to delight, says Tracy A. Dennis, PhD, associate professor in the department of psychology at Hunter College, the City University of New York.
These physiological and neuroendocrine changes associated with emotion influence all aspects of our body, including the digestive system, Dennis tells WebMD. These physical responses can start and stop quite suddenly and be very intense.
Dennis says its the intensity of emotions that can send our body into overdrive, producing immediate gastrointestinal distress stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Does Anxiety Kick In Later Or Before
For many people, depression or anxiety begins months or years after their migraines startpartly because migraines can be so frustrating. Countless others, nonetheless, promote migraines after living with distress or anxiety for some time. This indicates that depression and anxiety are not always a response to living with migraines. Like migraine, sadness, and stress can also operate in families.
Some treatments are likewise useful for some in managing stress and grief, as well as fighting pressure, which can worsen migraine symptoms. These procedures include soothing the nervous system with reflective activities like deep breathing or controlled visual representation. Diagnose of migraines is based on your medicinal history, signs, and the physical and neurological examination.
Are you finding migraine treatment in Jaipur?Dr. Vikram Bohra is a leading neurologist in Jaipur, specialized in treating Migrain, brain strokes, hemorrhage, epilepsy, and other neurological disorder treatments.
What Stress Is: The Physical Reactions Defined
When you understand the biological chain of events of the stress reaction in the body, you can:
1. Differentiate this from your normal migraine symptoms
2. Or be more aware of it as a migraine symptom
Physiologically, the stress response is governed subconsciously by the autonomic nervous system .
“The nervous system has two separate actions: voluntary and involuntary” . The voluntary part “moves your muscles and obeys your direct command. Your involuntary nervous system, on the other hand, regulates automatic functions ordinarily outside voluntary control, such as your heartbeat, respiration, and digestion.
This involuntary system is itself divided into two branches: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.” The sympathetic system mobilizes several reactions in your body when you are emotional or excited, and the parasympathetic system “maintains normal, smooth functioning of your various internal organs during times when you are calm and at rest” .
It is the sympathetic nervous system that sets off several rapid and intense bodily reactions simultaneously in a panic attack. Im using panic attacks as an example to illustrate my point because the same reactions occur in the body to a lesser degree when youre emotional or stressed. And even before you sense a migraine coming on, the body is preparing for the threat.
This is why you might experience a low-grade panic attack before a migraine. Identifying that adrenaline rush is an important early warning signal.
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Ocular Migraine And Visual Migraine Symptoms
Ocular migraine symptoms generally include a small blind spot that affects your central vision in one eye. This blind spot gets larger, making it impossible for you to drive safely or read with the affected eye.
In some cases, the entire visual field of one eye may be affected. Generally, the episode lasts less than an hour.
Visual migraine symptoms can vary, and may include:
Visual migraines often appear suddenly and may create the sensation of looking through a cracked window. The visual migraine aura usually moves across your field of view and disappears within 30 minutes.
A flickering blind spot in the center or near the center of your field of view
A wavy or zigzag ring of colored light surrounding a central blind spot
A blind spot that slowly migrates across your visual field
The symptoms of a visual migraine typically affect both eyes and last less than 30 minutes. A migraine headache may occur shortly after the symptoms of a visual migraine subside or no headache may occur.
If youre experiencing a blind spot or other visual disturbance and youre not sure if its an ocular migraine or a visual migraine , cover one eye at a time. If the visual disturbance affects just one eye, its probably an ocular migraine. If it affects both eyes, its likely a visual migraine.
Long Term Treatment To Relieve My Heavy Head
When you are dealing with tension headaches or head pressure, the use of medication should be a last resort. This is because the physical symptom of the headache is the result of your anxiety and there is a root to your anxiety. The use of medication may reduce the feeling of your tension headache but does not solve the real problem. It is also the case that certain medications only exacerbate the problem that already exists instead of relieving it.
The most important way to begin relieving a heavy head is by reducing your anxiety as well as any other excess stress you may be experiencing on your neck and head. Begin reducing your anxiety by changing aspects of your life. Look into areas of your life that may be causing your anxiety. If you are feeling anxious about relationships, what about your relationship is causing you anxiety? Are you experiencing a great deal of anxiety at work? What about work is causing you to feel that way? Whatever it may be, find a way to make changes to the situation.
Most people experience anxiety at one point or another, but if it is taking over your life then it is time to do some digging and make some changes.
Dont forget, the pressure youre feeling in your head is not the problem, it is just a symptom. If you never fix the problem, the symptom will still remain.
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Kaleidoscope Vision And Anxiety
When kaleidoscope vision is caused by anxiety, being anxious activates the bodys survival mechanism, also called the stress response or the fight or flight response.
The stress response causes many body-wide changes that give the body a boost of energy and resources when danger is detected.
Visit our Stress Response article for more information about how stress hormones affect the body.
Stress responses have a dramatic effect on the nervous system, as well as the bodys sensory organs, including the eyes and visual system.
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body has sufficient time to recover from the many body-wide changes.
When stress responses occur too frequently, however, such as from overly apprehensive behavior, the body can remain in a state of semi stress response readiness. We call this state stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants.
Hyperstimulation is also often referred to as hyperarousal,HPA axis dysfunction, or nervous system dysregulation.
Hyperstimulation can cause the changes of an active stress response even though a stress response hasnt been activated. Experiencing kaleidoscope vision, and all of the symptoms associated with it is a common symptom of hyperstimulation.
Visit our Hyperstimulation article for more information about the many physiological, psychological, and emotional changes caused by hyperstimulation.
Visit our Eyes section on our anxiety disorder symptoms article.
Is There A Connection Between Migraines And Anxiety
Many migraine sufferers find that their headaches are often associated with feelings of anxiety or depression, and wonder if the two conditions are related. Plenty of research has been done to investigate the likelihood of either anxiety or depression leading to migraine, with results indicating that there is actually a connection.
It can be helpful to look at the conditions separately before considering how they relate to each other and what can be done to alleviate your symptoms.
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The Link Between Migraines And Panic Attacks
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Headaches are often described as pain or discomfort in any part of the head. The pain caused by headaches often varies for different people.
Some people report feeling severe discomfort in the back of the head, others may complain about pain in the eyes, and some may feel the headache all throughout their head. Regardless of how the pain is experienced, frequent headaches can really interfere with your life.
What Causes A Migraine
Although migraines are extremely common, their exact cause remains unknown. It appears likely that the visual aura relates to a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression which temporarily affects electrical impulses in the brain. The pain of a migraine headache probably relates to spasm or irritability of blood vessels in the brain, which are sensitive to pain . Beyond these hypotheses, however, the exact mechanism that triggers a migraine remains unknown.
It is often possible to identify certain risk factors that increase the chance of having migraines. A positive family history is very common, so the doctor will often ask about headaches in ones parents or siblings. Overall, migraines are more common in women than in men. In addition, a persons hormonal status can affect the pattern of migraines they experience therefore, it is natural for a woman to notice a change in headaches and other migraine symptoms in adolescence or around the time of menopause.
Many individuals can identify specific triggers for their migraines. These triggers include fatigue, skipping a meal, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and certain foods . For many patients with isolated visual migraines, however, the events can be very infrequent and no definite trigger can be determined.
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Why Anxiety Causes Headaches
While theres more work to do, researchers have found significant connections between anxiety and headaches.
Those with anxiety disorders, especially generalized anxiety disorder , are much more likely than others to experience migraine and new daily persistent headache . Furthermore, having an anxiety disorder increases the risk of headache problems becoming chronic .
As to how anxiety disorders and headaches are related, researchers are still working it out, but have been able to draw several connections:
- Genetic predisposition: Migraines, other chronic headaches, depression, and anxiety disorders seem to have a shared genetic component. This implies that you may be born with a predisposition for both anxiety and headaches.
- Anxiety preceding headaches:Anxiety disorders and migraines have similar symptoms, including irritability and increases in muscle tension. The worry and fear caused by anxiety, sleeping disruptions, and other symptoms can make headaches worse and may work to set headaches off.
- Headaches leading to anxiety:Researchers have found that headache disorders can also precede the onset of anxiety. This implies that behavioral issues can also be the result of the instability and stress of living with an unpredictable condition.
The Relationship Between Anxiety And Migraine
Research has shown that some people develop anxiety after living with migraine for a while, while in others the anxiety developed before the onset of migraine headaches.
Anxiety can prompt the release of adrenaline, which is a known migraine trigger. Hormonal changes in the body can also effect or trigger migraines or anxiety disorders. Women are more affected by hormonal changes, but men experience this too. Both sexes are more sensitive to changes in both their physical and emotional states when suffering from anxiety, migraine, or even depression.
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Strategies For Coping With Migraines
As anyone who has ever experienced a migraine knows all too well, once that initial wave hits, the migraine symptoms will only progress over the following minutes and hours, if not days. Fortunately, there are many strategies available to help patients cope with these debilitating episodes.
Stress is one of the main causes of many migraines, therefore, attempts to minimize stress and general anxiety are sound initial steps for many individuals. However, relaxation can mean very different things to different individuals, so each migraineur must devise a relaxation regimen based on his or her preferences. Trigger coping mechanisms might involve measures as basic as taking a nap, reading a book, or soaking in a warm bath.
If these preliminary steps have failed to minimize migraine frequency or offer adequate relief for your migraine symptoms, it may be time to discuss options with your doctor. In fact, many individuals who suffer from migraines are prescribed medication to manage their symptoms. If you are prescribed a migraine medication, you should take your prescribed dose at the first sign of a headache.
Are My Emotions Giving Me Migraines
Experts say no but many people link their attacks to stress or emotional upset
Want to fly, run your own business or climb Everest? Anything is possible with a virtual reality simulator. Immersive experiences have never been such fun. So, whos up for experiencing a migraine? Cue Excedrins migraine trip, your chance to feel as debilitated, disorientated and distressed as someone who really has the condition. Excedrin makes painkillers and its representation of the flashing lights and blurry, shifting landscape looks accurate. If only they could bang you on the head and give you the painful throbbing that migraine sufferers feel. At two points in the companys short online video, a friend or lover turns to a person with migraine and says: Im so sorry I doubted you. So what is it about migraine that makes people feel its not real, that its an excuse to bunk off work?
This week, the New York Times covered migraines in its weekly misconception series by stating: Womens emotions do not cause their migraines.
Migraines, argued the writer, Joanna Klein, were due to abnormal brain activity and not to emotional disturbances. Yet, as recently as 2012, research linked migraine to neuroticism . People with migraine will themselves link attacks to stress or emotional upset. So are emotions really unrelated? And if you could live stress-free, would you be migraine-free, too?
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How To Tell If Anxiety Is Causing Your Headaches
Many things can cause headaches and migraines, so you need to identify whether your headaches are due to anxiety or something else. Knowing the cause helps you treat it correctly. Anxiety can cause a weird feeling in your head. You might have anxiety if you experience strange sensations accompanied by:
- Hot flashes
- Heavy and quick breathing rate
Treating Other Stressful Conditions That Trigger Migraine
Other health conditions can cause significant stress, which triggers migraine attacks in people susceptible to migraine. The most common examples include post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and physical or sexual abuse. This makes it important to find a treatment that helps reduce the symptoms and stress of these other conditions.4
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