A headache represents the displacement onto the body of a tension, a suffering.
The person afflicted feels a physical pain in the head of varying intensity, until becoming even unbearable, forcing the individual to interrupt any activity in his life and to find a quiet place, in the dark, where he can close his eyes and rest.
The first written works on headaches date back to even six thousand years ago, but only in Ancient Greece, thanks to Hippocrates, can we find a first distinction of the various types.
To date, from a medical point of view, 13 forms of cephalalgies (medical term for headache) have been identified, subdivided into primary and secondary, with over 90 different subcategories.
There are many drugs on the market that help to relieve this physical pain but that cannot act on the underlying causes of this malaise, which are multiple, starting from lifestyle characterized by high stress.
A headache is a physical disease but its symptoms con constitute an alphabet of the body which can be used as a language to be deciphered.
This illness, like all others, is a process which involves the body and the mind inseparably.
Every headache attack may hide a specific emotional meaning.
Let’s consider a few hypotheses of headache purposes as strategies with a tactical value for the psychic economy of the individual.
The physical pain of the head may represent a dislocated form of suffering in response to an emotionally painful situation, intolerable for the individual to consider at a conscious level.
The headache may represent a build-up of tensions and emotionally repressed conflicts from which the person has taken a distance, using defence mechanisms such as repression and denial. Intolerable feelings and thoughts have been encapsulated and deflected into a particular physiological reaction. The function of these headaches is to keep the individual in a sort of tolerable emotional balance.
Or there may be headaches which occur after a prolonged physical or mental activity (for example the so-called “weekend headaches”), inducing the person into a strong phase of prostration, often accompanied by sleep, followed by a phase of recovery with no headache, like a rebirth after physical recovery.
Instead, another type of headache brings on a suffering which calls for help, the care of another person. In this case, the dynamics are more tied to issues regarding dependence.
The headache may also have a psychological background such as anger, repressed anger which in this way may be manifested indirectly. It is a form of headache which is essentially aggressive and vindictive and which tends to occur in situations of great emotional ambivalence, i.e. with subjects who are strongly loved and hated at the same time.
A headache may also have been learned as one of the expressive ways of a parent suffering from same and which the person unconsciously emulates.
Finally, a headache may have the person itself as an unconscious target in order to perpetuate a self-punishing dynamic.
A migraine, one of the headache types, may be reconsidered, together with the necessary medical care, trying to understand the relationship which same has with the emotional world and the affective story of the person who is suffering.
A migraine regards two conflicting feelings or thoughts of the individual which place themselves one on one side of the head and the other on the other side. The two emotions, thoughts, are in conflict with one another. One of the emotions is in agreement with the personality of the individual, the other not.
Only an analysis of the inner world of the person subject to headaches may permit an understanding of the unconscious motivations of such a physiological reactivity, of this jump from the emotional to the corporeal world.