Psychogenic Headache




An attempt has been made to identify what is commonly referred to as “psychogenic headache” and to differentiate between the most frequently encountered psychiatric disorders where headache is the main symptom. These disorders include anxiety reactions, conversion reactions and depressive reactions. While it is recognized that psychogenic factors often play a major part in migraine headaches and vascular headaches8 and possibly cluster headaches, this topic has not been discussed here as the literature on these types of headache is already extensive.This article attempts to review the causes, types, location and duration of psychogenic headaches and the types of premorbid personality encountered in the sufferer. It suggests how the diagnosis of psychogenic headache may be made and notes that effective treatment will depend upon establishing the correct diagnosis and include not only treatment of the symptom, i.e., the headache, but treatment of the underlying psychiatric disorder also.