Pain Concern

Pain, anxiety and obsessive thoughts - advice

Hi everyone, I've posted on here before about my chronic tension headaches. I'm off sick from work and very stressed. As a result my headaches are much worse. As a result of this my anxiety has gone through the roof. I cannot stop thinking I will never get better, never work again and lose my girlfriend and end up alone. I sleep ok one day, feel a bit better but have a whole day ahead of me to ruminate. Then I don't sleep and feel awful. My headache is terrible and all my fears rise to the surface. I seen my GP again and she seemed at a bit of a loss and prescribed propanolol. I took 20mg this morning and it made me feel terrible, headache worse. I getting more and more anxious and depressed and at my whits end. I know I've posted all this before but if anyone has any fresh insights I would really appreciate it

11 Replies


Are you still taking Diclofenic or have you moved on from that, I understand and will need to check that they may be withdrawing it, what is you conditions and what medications are you taking ?.

Forgive me for asking, you need not tell me, although you have been on this site, and two mental health sites, not forgetting migraine so you now say you are becoming obsessive I am trying to understand what you are suffering from

Your GP of course is the main on for your treatments and I would always advise you to seek help there. It is just the range of sites you have been on

Good Luck



Hi Bob. Still on diclofenac. Sorry I've been on diff sites but its pain, anxiety and depression I have. I'm on citalopram 40mg. Talked to my GP about changing but she was reluctant due to my current mental state.



The Citalopram is ok for your mental health, although you may have been on the diclofenic for a long time and that may be effecting mental health so possibly have words with your GPr she will know what she is trying to achieve, This medication is also used for migrains so she may feel that is the best way to go with your medical condition.

You will understand, we are not doctors on this site and therefore we ask you to refer back to GP

Some NSID (S) can cause quite severe headaches, that I also have, so you may have some cause there to look into.

The Propanolol is a antidepressant as well so you seem well covered there, you will need to give them about six weeks for them to work their magic.

With regards to diclofenic I have a dislike for this medication because I personally feel it should only be used as a short term medication, one of the generic medications is actually Volterol.

the rub in medication and there are several different chemical make ups. of this medication type

I am now on long term NSID medications that work much better in my opinion

Discuss all treatments with your GP they are qualified as I am not




Has anyone ever mentioned cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to you? Its a psychological method that can help you get a handle on things by helping you change the way you think about them. I would think a course of CBT would be well worth trying, and you'd have nothing to lose. It has proved to be very effective in a huge range of people and conditions. You should be able to ask your GP to be referred to a counsellor or psychotherapist who does CBT, or you may even be able to get quicker access to help through a community mental health service of some kind. I think they normally do about 6 sessions.


Thanks for reply. I am seeing therapist but its not CBT, its psychotherapy. Wondering whether this is right for me at the moment.


Hi Neil, you must have been properly assessed as suitable for psychotherapy, in which case it will be the most appropriate treatment for you at the moment.


LetTry and go back to work.

Even if you feel crap first of all.



Can I ask, did you have the anxiety and depression first and then headaches or headaches first?


Headaches first, although I wonder if they are a somatic manifestation o f anxiety, depression?


You are going to need to do some research into muscle behaviour. Tension headaches can be due to muscle spasms. They may be due to eye strain. There are a number of other muscle mechanisms which can cause tension headaches.

As you are discovering the NHS answer is to provide medication of some sort or maybe suggest that you have a mental health problem. All of which does nothing about the muscle spasms you are suffering from.

If it is a muscular control problem and only research by yourself can determine that then you need to start looking at muscular activity treatment. You learn about muscle control by engaging in activities that engage the studying of yourself. This is time consuming which is why GP's almost never engage with it.

Anxiety can cause tension headaches, however that is just a trigger that can only be pulled if you were using your muscles badly in the first place.

Activities to look at include: yoga, t'ai chi, massage, Alexander Technique and Chiropractic. Alexander Technique will enable you hopefully to become more aware of how you are using your muscles badly and enable you to develop ways of improving your muscle usage.

It is worth a visit to your local optician to see if you have eye problems.

Hope this helps


Having to cope with so much discomfort from the headaches may well be why you suffer anxiety and depression. I assume your Dr. realises it happened this way around. It sounds as though treatment is based on anxiety and depression but you may benefit from further investigations regarding the headaches. If you live in London, there is the London Migraine Clinic (not just for migraine) who are especially thorough, been there myself.

It's also been known that the more pain relief you take for headaches the worse they become but that's easy for those not suffering to point out.

Bob is right about Diclofenic coming off the market, my Dr. told me just last week and I was given Naproxen instead so another trip to Dr. would be advisable as we can only give personal views as we're not qualified. They may well be a contributing factor.

Another tip is lay down with a cotton ball soaked with witch hazel (from chemist, supermarket) on each closed eyelid and lay quietly for 15mins, it's very soothing.

I hope you find some relief soon,


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