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What causes persistent headache along with depression and misery at work?

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Posted on Mon, 1 Jun 2015
Question: my 22 year old son has been experiencing headaches for at least 12 months he was given prescription glasses and these seemed to help but the headaches have continued he is very fit , runs doesent smoke or use any drugs, he is very unhappy with his job and am tipping he has depression which I have asked him to see a gp about pronto he has had an mri 3 weeks ago and that was apparently negative , now gp has requested he comes in am to discuss mri results !! worried mother
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Headaches can be caused by many things, not all of them worrisome.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

As a mom, I can understand your worry.

I would like to start by saying that a normal MRI is very reassuring.

Headaches can be caused by many things, and for the most part, they are not related to anything dangerous.

Your son's physician did the right thing by getting an imaging study. A head MRI can rule out some of the most concerning pathologies such as tumors, aneurysms, hydrocephalus, swelling, and malformations.

Other things which are within the scope of what a general practitioner can look into are getting blood chemistry tests and urinalyses, which can help show if there are medical problems such as diabetes, thyroid disorder, or infection. Looking at his general history, such as caffeine intake and any medication usage is helpful too.

I am going to assume that your son's doctor has done a complete history and physical, including a basic neurological exam.

If these things have been done and are normal, it is quite unlikely that your son has a dangerous medical problem that is causing his headaches.

His general practitioner may be calling him in for an appointment to review in person the results of the MRI so that your son can see the MRI images, and to talk about whether a neurologist consult is needed. A GP may refer a patient to a neurologist if they feel they have run out of things that are within their realm to consider testing for. Again, this does NOT mean that it is a serious problem but rather they want someone with more expertise to evaluate him further.

Tomorrow's appointment may be a good time for your son to discuss with the GP about his depression and misery at work. Sometimes doctors don't think to ask about these things, and so they aren't considered during a headache evaluation. But stress and depression can definitely cause headaches.


Does this answer your question or can I help explain further?

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What causes persistent headache along with depression and misery at work?

Brief Answer: Headaches can be caused by many things, not all of them worrisome. Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX As a mom, I can understand your worry. I would like to start by saying that a normal MRI is very reassuring. Headaches can be caused by many things, and for the most part, they are not related to anything dangerous. Your son's physician did the right thing by getting an imaging study. A head MRI can rule out some of the most concerning pathologies such as tumors, aneurysms, hydrocephalus, swelling, and malformations. Other things which are within the scope of what a general practitioner can look into are getting blood chemistry tests and urinalyses, which can help show if there are medical problems such as diabetes, thyroid disorder, or infection. Looking at his general history, such as caffeine intake and any medication usage is helpful too. I am going to assume that your son's doctor has done a complete history and physical, including a basic neurological exam. If these things have been done and are normal, it is quite unlikely that your son has a dangerous medical problem that is causing his headaches. His general practitioner may be calling him in for an appointment to review in person the results of the MRI so that your son can see the MRI images, and to talk about whether a neurologist consult is needed. A GP may refer a patient to a neurologist if they feel they have run out of things that are within their realm to consider testing for. Again, this does NOT mean that it is a serious problem but rather they want someone with more expertise to evaluate him further. Tomorrow's appointment may be a good time for your son to discuss with the GP about his depression and misery at work. Sometimes doctors don't think to ask about these things, and so they aren't considered during a headache evaluation. But stress and depression can definitely cause headaches. Does this answer your question or can I help explain further?