I have been dealing with headaches that are horrific for several years. They are connected to sleep disorders, stress and anxiety. They are clearly muscular and start in my face and move into my head. The pain is worst in my temples but it radiates from my face and neck through the “stress band” that identifies stress headaches.
There are lots of things that contribute. I had a boss a few years ago that was a bully and working under her for 6 years made my stress response really high. As many of you know, the stress response is there for survival – fight or flight – but in modern society our stressors don’t go away in a few minutes like a lion in a desert in Africa. Ideally, our parasypathetic nervous system should put our bodies back in a state of calm. Mine does not, so I have stress and fear like my life is threatened on an almost conscious basis.
The pain is worst in the morning, but it can be really bad all day. I wake up with what I call bone crushing headaches. The muscular tension is hard to confront when I’m unconscious so it is a lot worse when I sleep.
I have a mouth splint but it doesn’t help at all, so I’ve switched to a soft one to protect my teeth. Since jaw clenching is a piece of this puzzle, I have tried to get treatment and I’ve been told, too bad, that’s a habit and your insurance won’t cover a habit. I have a “habit” that I have no choice about and happens when I’m unconscious. This is one of many reasons I think the existence of health insurance companies is against the interest of health care and only helps those profiting from the insurance industry.
I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas or referrals. Someone told me to look for a Bowen therapist, but I haven’t found one. I am in psychotherapy and we are working hard, but pain is hard to address that way. I can’t take pain pills every day because then I have rebound headaches. I get massage when I can afford it and chiropractic visits. They help short term but never very long.
I also have a job with very little job security and I would like to get my Ph.D. but I am not getting encouraging feedback about that. And I’m not sure whether the pain would become managable if I didn’t have to work the insecure, highly stressful job anymore. If so, I could definitely handle school. If not, I might not be able to handle it.
I believe I’ve reached a point where disability may be my only solution. The pain is too bad to bear. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks for being such a great group of women. Dana