The correlation between stress and headaches has been studied for a long time, and a lot of literature considering this correlation exists. Nevertheless, the study in this area should be held since it is still not clear which types of stress provoke which types of headache, in order to prevent or, at least, overcome the headaches. Here the experiment will be introduced
First, it is necessary to determine the methodology of the experiment, and, secondly, it is important to state that it has already been “a common clinical observation” that stress is “associated with the onset and severity of headache” (Hubbard & Workman 166).
On the ground of the present experiment lies the experiment mentioned in Handbook Of Stress Medicine: An Organ System Approach when a woman experiencing stress art home everyday write down the stress itself which caused the headache, and each headache she was struck by (Persons 186). The result of the experiment mentioned above was the observation that stress caused the headache occurring the next day, and continuous stress caused intensification of headache.
The experiment consists in continuous provoking of stress in people of 17-20 years old. This age is chosen since people in this age have strong health. It is also important that these people didn’t have any physical disorders (problems with tension, etc.) and, of course, any mental disorders (insomnia, epilepsy, etc.). These, let it be, 10 people must spend two hours a day at hospital during a month. Each of this ten must help medical staff to take care of a group of children suffering some cancer.
The continuous staying in environment of the hospital itself and witnessing children’s really hard state will cause psychological stress in people involved in the experiment: already in few days, may be in a week, headache will appear. It is also necessary to ask the ten to start diaries, where they are to write about the events, taking place in the hospital; express their feelings and their state/health or changes in their state/health. It should be stressed that these diaries must be detailed.
First of all, these writing will be useful for observation, since it will be possible to detect the starting point of headaches; on the other hand, it will make these people recollect stress causing events and enhance their stress. After a month of the experiment it is possible to stop and take the diaries for study, and take interviews with the ten people.
In a month or even 2 weeks after the ending of the experiment it is necessary to take another interview with these people. During this interview it is necessary to find out whether each of ten has headache, and it is also important to determine whether they had some stress causing situations or events.
Supposedly, at the end of the experiment almost all of ten people will have headaches during the experiment. And in few days after they stop visiting hospital headaches must be gone, since the stress causing factor was gone. This experiment will prove the statement that psychological stress causes headache.
Another value of this experiment lies in the fact that it will be possible to detect possible ways of overcoming headaches, caused by such situations. This in its turn will help medical stuff to avoid headaches caused by the situations which they have to witness each day due to the peculiarity of their profession.
Persons, J.B. The Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. New York: Guilford Press, 2008.
Hubbard, J.R., Workman, E.A. Handbook of stress medicine: an organ system approach. New York: CRC Press, 1998.