Full Question: I know this may sound like a silly question. However, here goes. A very good resource has told me that migraines could be caused by a spiritual reason. I am a firm believer in God. But, from what she is telling me, for example, Migraines are caused from anxiety, which are and can be brought on by these things: Guilt, Anger, Fear, and pain. I believe every person has had these emotions, but I don’t feel I carry them with me every waking moment. I’ve also dealt with a lot of pain and anxiety in my life.
Migraines run on my mother’s side very prominently, so I believe this is why I get them. I’ve had them for at least 15 years. Before that was frequent headaches.
Thanks so much, Denise.
First, we need to establish that there is a difference between cause and trigger. When we talk about Migraine disease, we’re talking about the root cause of the disease. Triggers are physiological things we encounter that starts the Migrainous process in the brain and bring on a Migraine attack.
Migraine disease, to the best of our current knowledge, is caused by genetics and overactive neurons in the brains of Migraineurs. This is certainly evident in your family.
Migraine disease is NOT caused by any emotions, nor are Migraine attacks triggered by emotions or anything spiritual. Your “very good resource” is utterly wrong. That’s nonsense.
Guilt, anger, and fear stress the body, and anything that stresses the body makes Migraineurs more susceptible to physical Migraine triggers. They can also alter behavior; then you may do things that are actual triggers – cry, skip meals, get dehydrated, drink too much caffeine or alcohol, etc.
Think about this – many people who are firm believers in God also believe that God has given researchers the skills, knowledge, and inspiration to make medical advances and has given doctors the skills, knowledge, and inspiration to be good doctors.
Whoever this person is, ignore what they’ve said and get yourself to a good headache and Migraine specialist.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.
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© Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.
Last updated February 9, 2008.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.