Today, people all around us complain of headaches. Often, they say their headaches are due to stress, tiredness, sadness, and altogether, emotional pain or trauma.

In a recent study conducted on chronic emotional pain causing headaches in women, several common factors were found to be contributing to this. After listening to their stories, researchers found the following themes:

  1. Relationship patterns that involved a cycle of over-involvement and isolation
  2. Focus directed toward others
  3. Struggles with helping each other and maintaining the system
  4. Needing to be understood and believed
  5. Loss of sexual intimacy
  6. Traditional gender role expectations
  7. Expressions of spirituality
  8. Functional state
  9. Work and finances
  10. Emotional state.

Expressions of this pain included withholding, indirect expressions, and direct verbal communication.

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Healing processes were noted as involving a sense of spirituality, family closeness, and acceptance of the pain. Many women sought therapy, and expressed a need for increased communication as well as time alone.

I bring up the scary truth of chronic emotional pain causing various symptoms such as headaches, because I believe a large number of people struggle with it unknowingly. It’s a “disease” that often goes untreated, and altogether unseen.

Unfortunately, what most people fail to see is that any kind of chronic emotional pain has both long and short-term effects on the body, if gone unnoticed and untreated. Aside from the common effects of stress, tiredness, and sadness, chronic emotional pain can also cause mental breakdowns, depression, extreme anger or outrage, insomnia, frequent sickness, thoughts of suicide, inability to concentrate, and even early death.

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Emotional pain wears on the body, and therefore, I believe it’s essential to raise awareness on the subject. It’s important that people start acknowledging this pain as a real-life illness, just like they would a broken arm or when coming down with the flu.

For many, I’m sure this would improve the quality of their lives greatly.

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