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this_velvet_glove's avatar

Can anger cause headaches?

Asked by this_velvet_glove (1132 points ) February 26th, 2013

I’ve noticed that when I get angry, my head aches. Is there a connection between anger and headaches?

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Oh, yes.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Most definitely. I can’t figure out the right words because I’m fog-brained right now, but I think it has something to do with rage affecting your blood flow, which can make your head hurt. When I’m really angry, I can feel my veins throbbing, and my head thumps in time with my heartbeat.

I really hope someone can give a better answer than mine.

burntbonez's avatar

Anger raises your blood pressure. That leads to the effects that @WillWorkForChocolate talks about. When you get angry, the adrenaline pumps. Your body readies itself to do whatever is needed, instantly. If you have PTSD, your body is trained to initiate this response instantly and at a much lower threshold than for most people. Anger actually takes time off your life, and gives you a higher risk of heart disease and heart attack and that sort of thing.

The headaches are a part of it. Constriction of blood vessels in your head is probably what leads to the headaches. All part of the flight, freeze or fight response. It is actually worth learning how to reduce your anger response. Makes you live longer.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. @burntbonez gave a good explanation.

If this is happening to you consistently it is something to actually be concerned about. You should check your blood pressure regularly and especially when you feel anxious or angry to see if it is very unstable and tends to be high. Your body might be bad at gauging your pressure, the receptors (baroceptors) in your arteries may not function well, sending incorrect messages about your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke and other complications.

thorninmud's avatar

This belongs to the family of “Tension-type headaches”. Though they feel like pressure inside the head, they’re actually caused by tension in the muscles of the scalp and upper neck. The tightening of these muscles leads to constriction of blood flow to nearby nerves, and that triggers a generalized sensation of diffuse, painful pressure. This is the most common kind of headache.

jca's avatar

You don’t want your anger to negatively affect your blood pressure which will have the direct result of causing a stroke.

LuckyGuy's avatar

When you are angry do you clench your teeth? Look up TMJ (Temporomandibular joint syndrome.)
See if you can relax your jaw.

gailcalled's avatar

Anger can cause not only headaches but distress in your personal weak area, such as lower back ache and intestinal issues

There are lots of tricks to try, such as exercise, meditating or simply doing something that uses up the energy, like cleaning your garage, painting the bathroom or howling at the moon.

antimatter's avatar

Yes it’s due to rise in blood pressure.

Sunny2's avatar

Yes, indeed. It’s a good reason to get your temper under control. Anger, my own or other people’s, made my heart fibrillate, so there were people I had to avoid. I can control my own feelings, but not others’, so I’d leave the scene.

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