When Headaches Are Good
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2005
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 100–102, February 1989
How to Cite
Packard, R. C., Andrasik, F. and Weaver, R. (1989), When Headaches Are Good. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 29: 100–102. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1989.hed2902100.x
- Issue published online: 21 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2005
- Accepted for Publication: July 8, 1988
- Cited By
Occasionally patients with headache present with the complaint of “a really good one. ” This paper examines three cases of patients with migraine who often referred to their headaches as “good.”
When the patients were asked what made the headaches good, they immediately tried to clarify their terminology as “just a figure of speech” that really meant bad. Further exploration usually revealed the headache symptoms had indeed been “good” in a relative sense, in that it had somehow served to help the patient avoid a more unpleasant emotional situation. The headache may have allowed a “time out” or a forced period of rest in a hectic schedule, resolved a conflict for the patient in an acceptable way by becoming sick, or represented a suppressed or repressed affect, usually anger.
When headaches are described as good, there may very well be something in the patient's life that is worse.