With the end of the Avurudu season, it is now time for everyone to get back to work and school and other day-to-day activities. This truly is a headache if one thinks about it. Headache causes personal suffering, disrupts families and interferes with work and leisure. Striking unpredictably, an attack shatters sense of self-control.

Present day myths about headache often induce a sense of isolation, shame and helplessness. Before healing can begin, the headache sufferer needs to know that headaches are a treatable and significant disorder. This week’s FYI decided to debunk these myths about headaches, For Your Information…

Rebound headaches
One can get a headache from taking too many headache medication too often. This is called a rebound headache. It will not go away until the person stops taking the headache medication entirely. Overdosing on painkillers can damage your liver and kidneys.

Migraines are hereditary
Most children who get migraines have at least one close family member who suffers from migraines, too. If a child has one parent who suffers from migraines, they have a 50 percent chance of getting them too and if both are sufferers, this rises to 75 percent.

Headaches are mostly harmless
While most headaches are uncomfortable and sometimes disabling, they are mostly not dangerous. Most of them can be cured by over-the-counter headache medications and by lying down in a quiet dark room for a while.

Myth: Recurrent headaches mean I have a psychological problem.
Fact: Headaches are the result of biochemical changes in the brain. Stress, acting on the nervous system, makes headaches more likely to occur. The stress may be chemical, emotional, biological or psychological.

Psychological problems can arise from poorly managed headaches but, for the most part, psychological problems do not cause headaches.

Myth: Recurrent headaches are something I have to learn to live with.
Fact: Headaches can be managed, not cured. With proper medical care, education and effort, almost all headache sufferers can reduce the pain and disability of headache.

Myth: The only way to stop my headache is to stop living a normal life. Headaches have taken over my life.
Fact: Frequent disabling headaches occur in an unpredictable fashion and create fear of the next attack. As headache frequency increases, the greater the fear grows. This can lead to a vicious cycle where anticipation of the next headache becomes the stress that generates more headaches. Proper headache management addressing medical care and lifestyle can break this cycle and restore control.

Myth: Recurrent headaches are not serious. After all, it’s just a headache.
Fact: Most headaches are not life-threatening but may seriously influence an individual’s quality of life and coping abilities. They strain family life, disrupt leisure activity and diminish career opportunities.

Myth: My children will suffer headaches because I do.
Fact: Children learn how to deal with stress from the behaviour of their parents. Research suggests that the threshold of handling incoming stimuli to the brain may be inherited. However, by learning how to manage stress effectively, children experience coping alternatives which will boost their resistance to headache.

Myth: Medication is the only relief for my headaches.
Fact: Headaches are the result of many interacting factors. There is no simple answer. Medication is often a necessary part of headache treatment, but rarely is it the complete answer. Some medications when used too frequently can actually cause headaches.
Optimal headache care almost always involves a partnership between the headache sufferer and the physician.