Re: RE: CHAs & abuse

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Posted by George O. Jacox on September 04, 1998 at 10:37:32:

In Reply to: RE: CHAs & abuse posted by Jeremy on September 04, 1998 at 07:52:50:

Good morning,

You wrote:

04 Sept. '98
Regarding my posting asking if any sufferers had
experienced childhood abuse, I would like to make a few
clarifications and comments:

>1. It was my psychiatrist who referred me to a
neurologist explaining that the clusters were
pathalogical, NOT psychosomatic,
and proper medication was needed.

Entirely proper, of course.

2. Since a genetic predisposition has yet to be
identified, it's worthwhile exploring any possible
cause which might alter neurochemistry as to cause CHAs.


3. The psychiatrist observed a high correlation of
patients who suffered mental abuse during childhood
and CHA sufferers.

A legitimate observation--purely anecdotal, of course. However, a quick skim of the anecdotal responses submitted (sans the emotional reactions in some) seem to indicate quite clearly that emotional or physical abuse was not a component in the life-mix of those responding. I would be interested to see any objective evidence that "most" severe headache patients suffered emotional or physical abuse in their childhood. I've personally never seen anything that claimed to indicate that.

4. I offered this posting as a survey to learn of any
correlations. Most responses had an angry defensive tone
that I would even pose such a question.
It's a pity that even in our enlightened age, anything
linked with mental illness is stigmatized.

You have to understand that first, people have strong reactions to the thought that their parents may have been abusive. I'm sure your psychiatrist would tell you that the initial reaction of most people (even those abused) to this idea is anger and denial. Quite natural, I think. You'll note, though, that a common thread running through the responses is a plain unvarnished "no" answer to the question, without qualification or elaborate defensive posturings. To me, that seems to indicate that it is the simple truth--without denial or evasion. Second, please understand that many of us have been told over the years that our headaches are psychosomatic, and not actual. Although I understand that you are saying that this may be a physical symptom with psychological root causes, you can see, I'm sure, that many people are going to see the old familiar "it's all in your head" thing again.

5. Some suggested the doctors I go to are from the
Dark Ages. They are with Cornell-NY Hosp..which is
considered in high regard among the medical community.

Accepted. However, I've seen (and I'm sure many others have seen) even the mightiest of medical pooh-bahs completely screw up their diagnoses. And such distinguished medicos ought to be able to provide some convincing, objective evidence of an extraordinary claim, i.e., that childhood abuse may be the root cause of "most" severe headaches.

In a quest to learn more about CHA and how to cure, or
live with them, I don't want to rule anything out;
isn't everything worth exploring?

Certainly. And I, for one, have no objection to the question posed. But I think that the (to me, at least, very convincing) responses to the question must be considered as well. I, for one, would have to see some pretty convincing evidence that childhood abuse is the root cause of "most" headaches before I would buy it, especially after seeing the responses, which--although anecdotal--completely cancel an anecdotal claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, or ought to. And turning over this particular rock is bound to stir up an ant's nest. That should be expected.

Sincerely wishing you well,

George O. Jacox

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