Headache during Panic Attack – How to Overcome Symptom?


Panic attacks are extremely undesirable attacks for any neurotic or person in VVD. An unbearable fear of death, a desire to rush off from a nonexistent threat, a whole set of unpleasant somatic symptoms — all this makes the adrenal crisis so unbearable that a person can recover even a few days after it. Pain in the head during panic attacks is almost a natural phenomenon (although there are also “happy” alarmists who never have a headache).

Overall State

Headache during panic attacks never occurs separately from the rest of the symptoms. It is accompanied / may be accompanied by:

  1. headache during panic attack causestachycardia / extrasystole;
  2. painful panic and the feeling of impending tragedy;
  3. an obsessive desire to call an ambulance (“what if this is the last chance for salvation”);
  4. tightness in the neck;
  5. disorientation in space;
  6. dizziness in VVD, flies in the eyes;
  7. sudden pressure surges;
  8. excessive sweating;
  9. feeling of suffocation, tightness in the chest.

Sometimes the patient is overtaken by nausea and vomiting, after which there is no relief. Headache can be severe, sharp or dull, aching. Sometimes it seems to the alarmist that his head would squeezed with helmet, or the brain is torn, inflated and is about to burst.

The nature of the pain depends on several factors:

The pain of “stress” In the head between the cranial bone and the skin with hair there is a special “cap” of ligaments and muscle fibers (in medical language it is called “scalp aponeurosis”). It concentrates a great number of nerve roots, which sharply react to any muscle and ligament spasms during a panic attack – as a result of which the blood flow in the head is disturbed. Plus, the muscles of the occipital and cervical parts also suffer from stress, reacting with pain.
Vascular causes Vascular pains in the head during panic attacks are very common. The adrenaline released during the crisis causes the vessels to tone, causing blood circulation to break down, and pain. Too strong tonus seems to bind the whole head, and the patient is worried that a vessel would not stand and burst (by the way, in the presence of vascular problems and frequent jumps in blood pressure, these experiences are justified!). Lack of blood flow also provokes flies before the eyes and dizziness. As soon as blood pressure returns to normal, the pain disappears.
Psychogenic type Such pain is more like a reflex. In general, psychogenic pain can be given to any part of the body, to any organ. Occasionally, it focuses on the head, because once alarmist “fixed” it there. The human psyche is very “fond” of making anchors and returning frightening situations. Therefore, if at the next PA there is a severe headache that scares the patient, it is likely that it will manifest itself in subsequent crises – this is a pattern. Such painful sensations are not connected with vessels, they can even be called imaginary. However, reflex headaches and panic attacks – is the best option of all the four, since it does not include the organic pathologies.
Migraine pain When the vascular and psychogenic factors are combined, migraine-like pain occurs with PA. It can give a variety of manifestations: from the painful pulling to the shooting. Migraine and optionally PA provoke each other and can coexist by introducing patient misleading.

Experts recommend: when painful lumbago appear, it is necessary to undergo an examination, since adrenaline crises are rarely accompanied by this type of pain. And if it appeared – it means that something went wrong.

Real Danger of Headache during Panic Attack

Sometimes disturbances in the head does not bother the person in the usual “quiet” state, and appear only in the midst of adrenal crisis. And it can also be an indication of problems in the body. The first step is to make a visit to a neurologist. He will prescribe the following diagnostic methods:

  1. headache with panic attackMRI of the cervical spine (helps to identify a hernia, which often causes a headache during a panic attack).
  2. Ultrasonography of cerebral vessels (will allow to find out if the vessels are not in critical condition).
  3. Electroencephalogram (helps to identify a variety of disorders in the brain).
  4. electrocardiogram (sometimes headaches with PA are accompanied by irregularities in the work of the heart, and this may indicate the presence of cardiac pathology).
  5. A blood test for hormones (as a rule, hormonal disorders often cause headaches and other unpleasant symptoms).

If pathologies are identified, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment. In another scenario, it will be enough to visit the psychotherapist and follow his recommendations.


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