Is It Real or Is It Anxiety?

A really common predicament when going to the doctor is worrying if s/he will ignore your problems and label them as “anxiety.” What if it is though? Here’s a pep talk.

A close friend of mine was nervous the other day because he kept having these cluster headaches. Cluster headaches aren’t as common as the usual, tension headache, so it makes sense to be somewhat concerned. According to WebMD, cluster headaches affect less than .1% of the population.

However, that doesn’t mean he has a brain tumor. It mostly affects the trigeminal nerve and it just means he’ll be in chronic pain… for, like, awhile. However, celiac disease can also cause chronic headaches such as a cluster headache so changing his diet may fix his problem entirely.

Just because your doctor may not be able to figure out the cause of something does not mean it can’t be treated or cured and it does not automatically mean it’s something very serious or that it will progress. However, if you think it is a cause for concern, it is a cause for concern.

Chronic headaches are no joke and whether taking an NSAID (decreases inflammation) or a triptan (shrinks blood vessels in the brain), it may only make it worse (even if the pain goes away). Anxiety is no joke and being dismissed by a doctor because of it may make an anxious person feel worse/more anxious than before. I don’t care if you’re a hypochondriac. That’s fine. It means you care about your health.

Many people try to ignore their health problems or they don’t want to make a significant change in their life, so they pretend that everything is fine until it becomes life-threatening. If you’re anxious about your health, you’re taking steps to becoming a healthier you… whether it’s “all in your head” or not, your head is an important part of your health. Mental health is still physical health.

Take care of yourself and don’t get discouraged if a health professional shrugs off your health problems. If you feel uncomfortable, see a different provider. If it is “just” anxiety, you’ll most likely know that already and seeing a therapist may be more helpful than a primary care physician. Oh and anxiety is also a cause for concern, but just not from an MD’s standpoint. Don’t let someone tell you it’s not.


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Photo Credit:

Β© Steve Allen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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