psychogenic migraines....

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AngMichelle
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 12/4/2006 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
i have had migraines for YEARS. They were dxs as complicated migraines. I was currently on a treatment that worked well for me, even though I still had the headaches. This last week I was in the hospital due to sezuires. They too are apparently psychogenic. (after 7 days, 3 day intubation and normal EEG). my doc now says that my Migraines must be psychogenic too and he is stopping me of all my meds/treatment. I don't understand. Yes, the source may not be neruologic, but I still have the headaches. Yes, I need to address the source and hopfully help the h/a over time, but why do they have to just abrubtly stop everything? What happens when I get a migraine now, and have nothing for it?
I'm so frustrated.
thanks for the vent.

hopefulmigrainer
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 12/4/2006 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
oh my goodness. You have a reason to question this decision. Did he tell you what you are supposed to do in lieu of the meds? Ask questions, be assertive. YOU are the customer.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
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mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 12/4/2006 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh wow, it seem like you have had a really tough week. I agree with hopefulmigrainer, question and be assertive. Also, I would start getting your records together and looking for another doctor to get a second opinion. That way you can ensure that you are getting the best care for what is going on (you don't have to stick with the 2nd doctor, but you are entitled to it--unfortunately check your insurance).

Take Care.

Annuk
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 12/5/2006 1:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi AngMichelle,

Sorry to hear about what has happened to you. Which Doc has stopped your meds, your Neuro or another Doctor? Did whoever stopped them say it was just as they believed it was Psychogenic or was there something else aswell?

Sorry for so many questions at such a horrible time for you, but I am trying to understand why this is happening for you! You also said you need to address the source, which says to me that you may know what it is that is causing all this. If you do I do not want to pry, just be supportive, you don't have to say any details at all, I am just wondering if you know?

Have you thought about changing your Doctor? I don't think it is right that you are being denied pain relief when you need it!! I truly am sorry you are going through all this!

take care

Ann

CRANKY 1
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 12/5/2006 2:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey AngMichelle,
What exactly does your doctor mean by psychogenic migraines/headaches?  I'm not familiar with the term, but I am familiar with having my doctor cut off my migraine meds COLD TURKEY! 
 
Actually, I was supposed to get an appointment at a "pain clinic",  which was actually a "detox" center.  I was told I should be able to get an appointment before my meds ran out, but that didn't happen.  By the time the clinic head got my records, I guess he decided I had already detoxed from my meds.  I was taking Stadol Nasal Spray as an abortive and Lorcet Plus for breakthrough pain, since my migraines only respond to narcotics now. 
 
I was cut off cold turkey, and was even told that I could no longer go to my doctor's office to get an emergency shot of Nubain/Phenergan when I had a blinding migraine.  My doctor's office even sent a letter to the local walk-in clinic, telling them not to give me the same kind of shot.  It just makes me furious.  I can't even be sure I will get treated when I go to the Emergency Room, because my migraine attacks are so frequent.  I'm now trying to work through this with new doctors at a Medical Center at the University of VA.
 
I had a follow up appointment with my PCP today, and basically she kind of indicated that she would keep refilling some of my prescriptions, but basically felt no need for me to make a follow up appointment for anything.  I felt like she was almost washing her hands of me.  That's OK though, I wanted to change doctors anyway.
 
I don't get to see my new Neurologist until MARCH 7th, so I guess I'll just have to wing it in the meantime.
 
Let us know how you are doing.  Thinking good thoughts for you.
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett


luvdogs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 12/5/2006 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi AngMichelle.  Bless your heart - you've had a rough time lately.  I've read your posts over the last several days, and I've been thinking of you and sending you lots of peaceful and healing thoughts.

I am so glad that you were able to talk to your father more about your medications.  It really sounds like your parents love you dearly. 

Psychogenic seizures do indeed happen when our bodies and minds are overwhelmed with emotional stress.  Have you ever heard of the term "dissociation"?  Basically, that's when a person "blanks out" or experiences a change in consciousness when the stress gets to be too much.  Dissociation, and the closely related psychogenic seizures, are a way for us to cope with situations that are too stressful for us to handle otherwise.  Sometimes, people are not fully aware that they are experiencing such emotional difficulty, and when that happens, the brain and subconscious mind then find their own ways to cope.  Even though trauma and abuse can lead to psychogenic seizures, they can also be due to a myriad of emotional issues.  Severe anxiety or depression that has been repressed or unrecognized can also lead to psychogenic seizures.

If you ever need to talk, let me know.  I didn't see your e-mail address in your profile, but if you ever want to talk with me on a one to one basis, I'd be more than happy to help you in any way I can.  I also don't display my e-mail address, but maybe I can ask one of the moderators to give it to you if you want.  Again, I'll be thinking of you, and I hope that you feel better soon.

Take good care.


"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision."  Helen Keller
 
 


Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 12/5/2006 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi luvdogs,

Just to let you know, that as Moderators we do not have access to anyone's email addy's! If you want people to be able to contact you via email you must put your email addy in your profile yourself!! This is usually the safest way to let people know, any email addy that is put in a post will be edited out by a Moderator for your security!

take care

Ann

AngMichelle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 12/5/2006 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you luvdogs. I just read your name, I have 3 dogs and they are my therapy right now. they can always make me smile no matter what. I really appreciate your reply. It was very insightfull. I will post my email on my prophile.
Again, to the Healingwell family, thank you for your support. Its amazing!

luvdogs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 12/5/2006 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm truly sorry, Ann...I didn't mean to upset you or the rules in any way.  I understand that the moderators don't have access to e-mails...again, sorry for my misunderstanding. 

AngMichelle - Thanks for putting your e-mail in your profile.  I'll try to send you an e-mail later.  Hang in there, and I hope that your pain is better. 

Take care, everyone. 


"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision."  Helen Keller
 
 


Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 12/5/2006 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
luvdogs,

You certainly have not upset me in any way, please do not worry! I only meant to remind you about how things work nothing more!

take care

Ann

hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 12/5/2006 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
What is a psychogenic migraine? I've never heard of this before. I did a google search and it really doesn't make sense. What did the doctor tell you they are?
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


kman78
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 12/5/2006 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   

 

Hi, angmichelle,

I was wondering what medications you are on that the doctor just stopped?  The reason I ask is some medications are not safe to go off of cold turkey and will result in withdrawl symptoms.  Examples would be opiates, beta-blockers, and SSRI's.  For most part the withdrawl symptoms of these are just uncomfortable, but some withdrawl effects can be dangerous depending on the drug.  I really would  consider looking for another doctor, because what he did does not seem to be very human.

Best wishes,

kurt


hopefulmigrainer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 12/5/2006 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Good point! Are you tapering off of these meds? I went off Lexapro cold turkey and had a complete relapse - worse than the initial depression. Be careful.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


AngMichelle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 12/6/2006 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
well, during my 8 days in the hospital, they tapered me off the keppra, stopped the nortriptyline cold turkey, and stopped my pain meds ( I was only using stadol ns PRN{about once a week} and had just stopped using several for kidney stones. They also took me off my antidepressant, saying to just take ativan PRN, but we went back on the Effexor b/c we felt we needed more for the depression.

Basically, a psychogenic seziure/migraine, has no neurological origin, but is manifested by the body, but some underlying stress, trauma, depression, etc. It does produce true, not fake, physical pain, but its cause it not physical. they say that I have supressed emotions and subconsciously, my body is responding to those stresses/emotions by having migraines and seziures. this is common when no preventatives work/ tripitan don't work/ usually pain meds. only hide the pain for a while.
thats the best I know how to explain it right now. Still learning

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 12/6/2006 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi AngMichelle,

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. I did a bit of research and found the following definition:

A third, less common, type of headache is called a psychogenic headache. Psychogenic headaches are similar to tension headaches, but the cause is an emotional problem such as depression. Signs of depression include loss of energy, poor appetite or overeating, loss of interest in usual activities, change in sleeping patterns (trouble falling asleep, waking in the middle of the night or too early in the morning) and difficulty thinking or concentrating.

It is similar to what you wrote in your most recent post. I found it interesting that this definition states that psychogenic headaches can be caused by depression. My doctor has often mentioned that they don't know whether my headaches cause my depression or vice versa. Depression is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, which can also be the cause of migraines. One would hope that if depression is causing your migraines, then by treating the depression you will be able to treat the migraines.
 
Unfortunately, we've found that when I don't have headaches I'm not depressed and that the depressions follow the headaches rather than vice versa. If it's the other way round for you I hope you are able to find a treatment that works.
 
Have your doctors recommended a psychologist or a psychiatrist? Probably most specifically a psychiatrist to help find a medication that will effectively help your depression and cure your migraines. I was referred to a psychiatrist once and didn't want to go, but found it helpful because she was able to help determine the medications I should be on.
 
Well, there's my two cents. I hpe you feel better soon and find a treatment that works.
 
Let us know how it goes.
Nicky
Co-moderator Migraine Forum
 
"In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with." -- Brian Tracy
 
 

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