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Migraines And Psych???


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I've gotten an appointment at the Diamond headache clinic in Chicago in early January. They look very reputable and serious and I hope it goes well and that a "plan" emerges from my migraines.

My only concern is this-- I just got their packet in the mail with lots of paperwork. They ask an awful lot of questions about my psychological issues, history of psychotherapy, personality, etc... This makes me nervous, as I don't want to get told it's in "my head." I'm happy to concede that stress makes things worse, and I'm certainly not free of all psychological issues, but what to make of all these psych questions? I do talk to a psychotherapist and she'd quickly back me up that my various health woes are not some strange somatization. It just strikes me as odd. And I really don't want the hysterical female diagnosis. What do you all think??

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Doctors are like robots. They use if / then statements because 90% of the population will fall into a particular category if they meet a certain criteria. Unfortunately for us we are that special 10% that don't follow the rules.

I actually had a military doctor think I was making stuff up and sent me to psych doc under the pretense that it was for a medical board. He informed me that I was there for a conversion disorder, hypochondriac. This was only after explaining to him what I had been through for the two years previous. He said there really was nothing he could do to help me and there were no psych issues. Two days later I was diagnosed with POTS and I think that doc still thinks I was making it up.

Docs tend to make sure they have everything covered. If you fill out the medical history truthfully and then explain to the doctor you are already seeing a psychotherapist they can do a mental check mark in their head knowing that particular angle is covered. Maybe bring some of your records from the psychotherapist with you. If your going to get a doctor that gets tunnel vision in the psych department there is nothing you can do about it they will get there on their own. So hopefully you find someone that knows something about your condition.

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Don't worry. It may not be what you think. I got asked lots ofpsych questions in a questionairre when I went to a migraine clinic for the first time- but it wasn't used as ammunition- it was used to assess the impact that my headaches were having on the rest of my life- e.g "does it make you feel down when you can't do stuff cos of your migraines" etc.

I got touchy at first too, but when I realised that the Doctors weren't coming from the angle I expected, I felt better.

Try to keep an open mind.

good luck!

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My mother went to the Diamond Headache Clinic 6 years ago because of her daily migraines. She hoped that because of their reputation, she would get some answers and some help. Instead, she had a horrible experience there. She had a psychologist who talked to her for an hour and then told her that the reason behind her headaches was because she had never dealt with her childhood! That was after 1 hour! My mother had such a terrible migraine one day and began to cry and hyperventilate so they called in psych and made her attend a meeting immediately. She said she could hardly sit up because the pain was so bad and yet they insisted she go to the meeting because of being upset. After almost a week of being there, my mother was sent home on more meds than she could count. She was so drugged up that now, she can hardly remember the weeks after coming home. We all noticed the difference in her. She couldn't remember anything and had a difficult time concentrating. Finally, she took herself off of the meds and instead found some relief at our local hospital. The local hospital has a pain clinic and she did get some help from them. Besides seeing the doctors there, she also had to see a psychologist. But this time the difference was that the psych doctor gave her relaxation techniques and tried to help her in her day to day struggles with migraines.

When I read your letter and your concern about all of the psych questions from the Diamond Clilnic, I just had to write to you! Maybe you will be able to get some help from them but after what my mom went thru (and she's been to a lot of doctors for her headaches) I just wanted to make sure that you heard her story.

I get migraines as well and I can tell you that stress doesn't help my migraines, but it certainly isn't the only reason I get them. I get migraines from weather, food, and my period.

Good luck to you


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