Monday, December 18, 2006

BiPolar Headaches

If you use the customised search engine in the footer of this page, you will see that many members of the BiPolar Planet webring suffer from headaches and migraines.

Do a couple other web searches and you'll see that it is a fact that BiPolars tend to get more headaches than muggles. But the neurophysicians have still not been able to agree on why this is so.

So seen as I am a regular headache sufferer, and that I've had a splitter of one most of the weekend, let me offer my little theory. My personal headaches, for sure, are stension headaches always accompanied by sore shoulder and neck. I know this because if I just take normal painkillers like paracetamol or codeine, they don't really go away. But muscle relaxants do the trick every time.

This weekend I done plenty of research on headaches, and tension headaches in particular. And I'm convinced that the culprit can be summed up in one word - POSTURE. In my case it's bad posture induced by 9 hours a day peering thru the world wide looking glass. Probably for millions of people.

So I've been reading up on posture. Fascinating, fascinating stuff. Did you now that by slight adjustments to your posture you can gain 1cm in height. Fact.Modern (wo)man's lifestyle aint designed for good posture. The biggest culprits it seems are SLOUCHING and SLUMPING. Enter BiPolar. (taDaDaDaa.....)

BPGs Theory: Years and years of depression (albeit on and off) naturally leads to more slouching and slumping. Think of it, when you're really down, the last thing you feel like doing is pushing your chest out, head up, and standing tall.

So: depression -> slouching -> bad posture -> tension headaches. Simple.

I've also got a theory on how to overcome this problem, but I'm saving it for another blogger block day. So stay toooned.


  1. very interesting. nice post.

  2. That's me there, bad posture et all. Will be looking out for theory.

  3. For all my life, my mother would get crippling migraines. Sometimes she would return from her head teacher job and go straight to bed, suffering intensely. Years of doctors appointments and specialists couldn't find anything.

    One day I said to my mum 3 years after her retirement. "You have not had a migraine since you retired". She agreed with me that it was the stress of her job.

    Stress is a Killer. Stress helps bipolars reach their manic peak and depressive lows. Is it not time children were taught how to cope with stress by their stress free teachers?

  4. good theory and I so understand what you mean about the meds, muscle relaxants do the trick for me EVERY TIME.

    but a question: ever thought about mixing some eastern medicine with that headache theory?

    Once I went ot my psychiatrist complaining about headaches, bla bla and he was like: "well with all that going on in your head, what did you expect"

    that stroke a chord in me.

    Anyways, i'm one of those annoying people who believe in psychossomatic stuff and bla bla bla. Yanno, even if you have a spleen problem it doesn't necessarily mean it's only your BODY that's wrong.

    whatever i've stopped making sense.

  5. you know, i'm glad you wrote this post. i get horrible tension headaches. i thought i was the only one. i get them far more than dear hubby, who also works at a pc all day. maybe i'm special. lol

  6. I'm a dull unipolar with a physio wife who specialises in posture. It is absolutely right to suspect poor posture of causing headaches and, frankly, more sensible to eliminate that first before going on to the trickier things that need therapy and/or drugs, magic, runes etc. If you think this might affect you, go to a physiotherapist and ask for some postural advice, and make sure you get it for different aspects of your life, not just lying on a clinic bench. The reason for the poor posture might be anywhere from work to shaving to TV to car.

  7. another possibility-mania-I grit my teeth and clench my jaw so tight they nearly crack and my entire body is a mass of tension when I am in the grip of "ugly mania" or dysphoria. My shoulders and neck suffer tremendously from the tension at this time and feel like a solid knot of tension. I imagine being in this state could also be a common culprit of headaches...........

  8. How about "HOT BRAIN?" My bipolar husband, Charlie, has to sleep with a special cooling pillow because his head gets hot.

    He gets headaches every day but my bipolar daughter does not. She is up and around more. He starts a new job next week. Maybe his posture will improve. We'll test your theory and report back.

  9. I get splintering headaches, especially during holiday events. Thanks for the 411 on the muscle relaxants. Too bad they don't sell them OTC. A mixture of benadryl, aspirin, acetominaphen, and coffee usually works for my insane ones, but they only come about 2-3 times a year.


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