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Migraines and Headaches Community
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1292923 tn?1272279895

Why do I get bad headaches after public speaking?

If I am talking to 1 or 4 people I don't get headaches but if there are 5 or more I am sure to get a headache after talking among them.

The only time I actually speak in public is at my church meetings.  The meeting is basically an open forum with a moderator and consist of about 25 to 30 adult church members.

I am 40 years old, married with no children yet.  I have always had a fear of public speaking and try to avoid it at all cost except for 1 on 1 and no more than a few people at a time.

I take Anti-Depressants, Anti-Anxiety and anti-psychotic medication due to my combat experiences during the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990's.  I also take pain medication for my lower back.  I also have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Arthritis.  Basically, my mental health doctors have determined that I have a severe “social disorder” that keeps me on the edge of Agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house or a “comfort zone”)

Besides for medication and theory – what are some other ways I can cure my stress headaches or prevent them before, during and after public speaking?
1 Responses
910419 tn?1289487327
If you're agoraphobic and are getting stress headaches, it might be time to talk to your psych doc about coping techniques. One thing that I can suggest is to practice with smallish groups of people, and then work your way up to the larger groups.

So other than practice, positive thinking is my other suggestion. Remember that the people in your church group aren't threatening, and that you are in control of the situation. If you need, take a bathroom break during the session, and just go hide in a stall for a couple minutes. I used to do this during school when I got overwhelmed. That and remember to BREATHE. I know it sounds silly, but when we're stressed, we start to breathe more shallowly and that can bring on a headache by itself. So every now and then, take a deep breath when somebody else is speaking, hold it for a couple seconds, and then let it out slowly.

I can totally understand not liking speaking in front of a bunch of people. I get really bad headaches when I'm exposed to a lot of people for any real length of time, although it's been getting better since I've started leaving the house more.

Good luck and keep us posted,'

~Dame
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