How Headaches Can Be Linked to Mental Health Due to Service Injuries


  • Veterans can experience severe headaches linked to mental health issues.
  • Military service-related headaches can be so severe they lead to mental issues.
  • Traumatic brain injury, PTSD, anxiety, and depression are linked to physical issues as well as problems affecting mental health.
  • Comprehensive care can help servicemen and women overcome their mental challenges.
  • If you’re a veteran having difficulties obtaining the benefits you’ve earned, a skilled attorney can help.

Those who served in the military face not only physical challenges but also mental health hurdles that can leave lasting imprints on their well-being. One often overlooked aspect is the link between headaches and mental health issues resulting from injuries sustained during military service.

The attorneys with Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia are passionate about ensuring the people who served our country obtain the benefits they deserve. If you’ve developed mental issues due to a service-related headache, we’re ready to help you get what you’ve earned. Please call (800) 320-HELP or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Understanding the Physical and Mental Toll of Military Service

Military service demands a high level of physical resilience, with servicemen and women often exposed to strenuous activities, rigorous training, and combat situations. The physical toll can manifest in various ways, and one common consequence is the development of headaches. These headaches may be triggered or exacerbated by several factors related to military service.

Headaches can also affect mental health – and vice versa. The following are a few of the ways these problems can be linked.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

One significant factor linking headaches to mental health in military service is the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries can occur due to blasts, concussive forces, or head injuries sustained during combat or training. The aftermath of a TBI often involves persistent headaches, ranging from mild to severe, and their connection to mental health can’t be understated.

TBIs can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain, leading to changes in mood, cognitive abilities, and overall mental health. Soldiers who have experienced a TBI may find themselves grappling not only with the physical pain of headaches but also with the emotional and psychological toll of altered brain function.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Beyond the physical aspect, military service often exposes individuals to emotionally distressing situations, paving the way for the development of PTSD. This condition can stem from experiencing a traumatic event or seeing one. Its repercussions extend far beyond the initial incident.

The chronic stress and anxiety associated with PTSD can contribute to the onset or exacerbation of headaches. Conversely, persistent headaches can heighten stress levels, creating a vicious cycle that negatively impacts both physical and mental well-being.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety often accompany chronic pain conditions, and headaches are no exception. The constant battle with pain can wear down even the most resilient individuals, leading to feelings of despair, hopelessness, and anxiety about the future.

Military service members grappling with chronic headaches may find themselves navigating not only the physical discomfort but also the emotional toll of living with persistent pain. Depression and anxiety can further complicate the management of headaches, creating a challenging landscape for those striving to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.

Medication Side Effects

In the quest to alleviate headaches, military service members may be prescribed medications that, while effective in addressing pain, can have implications for mental health. Some pain medications, particularly opioids, carry the risk of depression and mood alterations as side effects.

This delicate balancing act between managing headaches and safeguarding mental health underscores the need for comprehensive care. Military service members require not only effective pain management strategies but also vigilant monitoring of the mental health implications of prescribed medications.

The Importance of Comprehensive Care

Recognizing the interconnectedness of headaches and mental health issues among military service members emphasizes the importance of adopting a holistic approach to care. Treating headaches should never occur in isolation but rather as part of a broader strategy that considers the mental health aspects of military service injuries. Examples of comprehensive care include the following:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on identifying and modifying negative thought patterns and behaviors, offering soldiers coping mechanisms to manage both the physical pain of headaches and the mental health aspects linked to their military service.

CBT can equip individuals with practical strategies to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression, fostering a more resilient mindset in the face of chronic pain. By addressing the mental health components, CBT complements traditional medical interventions for headaches, creating a more comprehensive and effective treatment plan.

Support Systems

Fellow service members, family, and mental health professionals play crucial roles in providing understanding, empathy, and assistance to those navigating the complexities of both physical and mental health challenges.

Creating a supportive environment involves fostering open communication, reducing stigma around mental health, and ensuring access to resources for comprehensive care. By acknowledging the interconnected nature of headaches and mental health, military communities can work together to promote resilience and well-being among their members.

Rehabilitation and Reintegration

Rehabilitation and reintegration into civilian life for military service members dealing with headaches and mental health challenges require thoughtful and multifaceted approaches. Beyond medical interventions, there is a need for comprehensive rehabilitation programs that address both the physical and mental health aspects of their conditions.

Reintegration efforts typically include mental health support, vocational assistance, and community engagement to facilitate a smooth transition. By recognizing and addressing the interconnected nature of headaches and mental health, rehabilitation programs can offer tailored support, helping military service members reclaim their lives and find renewed purpose.

How Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia Can Help

Please don’t fight alone for the benefits you have coming if you suffer from mental health issues linked to headaches resulting from a service-related injury. The attorneys with Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia have a long track record of success fighting for those who fought for our country.

We know how complicated obtaining benefits can be. We also have a deep understanding of the law. When you turn to us, you’ll work with a true advocate, one who comprehends all of the complexities of the system.

If you would like to learn more about how we may be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can use our online contact form or call (800) 320-HELP for a free case review.


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Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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