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Are Migraines Linked To Depression

What Is The Role Of Sleep In Migraine Depression And Anxiety

Is There a Link Between Migraines and Depression? – Adel Olshansky, MD – Neurologist

A sleep disorder, which can include difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, can have an impact on migraine, depression, and anxiety, says Strauss.

People with migraine are between 2 and 8 times more likely to have a sleep disorder, and people with chronic migraine report having almost double the rate of insomnia compared with people with less frequent headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Not enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep increases the chances that a person with migraine to have a mood disorder.

Some medications used to treat migraine can have an impact on sleep, says Mueller. For example, certain antidepressants can make you sleep more, while others have an activating effect, making it harder to go to sleep or stay asleep, according to a paper published in 2017 in Current Psychiatry Reports.

Make sure you share any sleep issues with your doctor so that it can be factored in when deciding on a treatment strategy.

Theres also good evidence that cognitive based behavior therapy can be helpful for insomnia, adds Strauss.

Why Headaches Can Be Associated With Depression

Sometimes, individuals do not complain to their healthcare provider or loved ones about “feeling sad or down.” They may, instead, complain about physical ailments. These ailments, of course, warrant investigation but, if normal, may be indicative of a mood alteration.

Just as a headache disorder, especially a chronic one, can trigger depression or another mood disorderdepression can trigger headaches. It’s like the chicken and egg theory and can be puzzling for healthcare providers to tease out. Remember, even if the depression is the root cause for a person’s headache, their head pain is still very real.

Often times, too, the connection between depression and headaches is not causalinstead, depression contributes to the headache disorder or vice versa. So a person may notice that depression makes their headaches more severe or occur more frequently.

Keep in mind, besides a headache, there are other somatic complaints you can experience with depression:

  • Pain
  • Weakness

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

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Theories And Evidence Underlying The Relationship Between Migraine And Psychiatric Comorbidities

Higher frequency and severity of headache seem to correlate with a heavier burden of psychiatric comorbidities. This dose-dependent association is not specific to migraine, but also seems to be present between other chronic pain disorders and psychiatric comorbidities, which raises the question of whether these associations might all, at least partially, be explained by central sensitivity or by neurotransmitter interactions in the trigeminothalamic pathway of migraines. Depression, anxiety, stress, irritability and sleep affect the homeostasis of the transmission of the headache-related nociceptive signals from the thalamus to the cortex . These signals are affected by different neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine. In the thalamocortical signal transmission from the thalamus to the cortex, burst discharges are associated with acute pain, whereas tonic discharges are associated with chronic pain. However, additional excitatory inputs can change the firing mode from burst to tonic, and inhibitory input can change the firing mode from tonic to burst. This could explain the impact of psychiatric comorbidities on migraine chronification.

Relationship Between Migraines And Depression

Migraines linked to depression

Research into the relationship between migraines and depression has indicated that people who experience migraines are five times more likely to develop depression than those who do not experience migraines. Migraines are a chronic condition and can often cause a significant amount of recurring pain. Experiencing migraines routinely can cause a person to feel angry, sad, or defeated and may lead to depression.

Conversely, people who have depression may begin to experience migraines. In this case, the depression is not a response to the migraines, but rather the migraines occur as a symptom of depression. This can happen after a person has been living with depression for some time. Anxiety caused by migraines, such as worrying about when the next migraine attack may occur, can also exacerbate depression and depression symptoms.

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Chronic Pain Is Just Depressing

Dr. Tobias Kurth, a neuroepidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital explains: “If you have a chronic intermittent pain condition, you may be more likely to develop depressive symptoms or even depression because you’re so bothered by the pain.”

G Gesztelyi and D Bereczki. Disability is the Major Determinant of the Severity of Depressive Symptoms in Primary Headaches but not in Low Back Pain. Cephalalgia. Vol 25, Issue 8, pp. 598 604. First Published August 1, 2005.

Can Antidepressants Help With Migraine

Antidepressants can be effective for anxiety or depression, says Mueller.

A class of antidepressants that can often address both conditions is called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , says Mueller.

Antidepressants, including SNRIs, are also sometimes prescribed to prevent migraine attacks, and according to a review of antidepressant classes for migraine prevention published in March 2019 in Current Treatment Options in Neurology, SNRIs may be the most effective treatments in patients with comorbid depression and migraine.

Some of the drugs in the SNRI class include:

These drugs are sometimes used in migraine prevention, and they can be very effective for anxiety disorder and panic disorder, as well as for many people with depression, says Mueller.

If the anxiety and depression can be managed through one of these medications, the migraine symptoms often get better, she says. Sometimes another preventive medication may be prescribed in addition to one of these antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, depending on the patient, adds Mueller.

Older antidepressants, known as tricyclic antidepressants, can also be used as a preventive treatment for migraine, she says.

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Do People With Migraine Have Panic Attacks

People with migraine are more likely to have generalized anxiety disorder, which can be an ongoing on edge feeling, rather than have panic attacks, says Mueller.

There are some people with migraine who do have panic attacks, which may be related to an underlying problem with the autonomic nervous system, she says.

Thats why you get the palpitations, high heart rate, and something like a surge of anxiety with the panic attack, she says.

Why Do I Have A Horrible Headache

Do Migraines have a Connection to Anxiety or Depression?

In some cases, headaches can result from a blow to the head or, rarely, a sign of a more serious medical problem. Stress. Emotional stress and depression as well as alcohol use, skipping meals, changes in sleep patterns, and taking too much medication. Other causes include neck or back strain due to poor posture.

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Childhood Abuse Is Associated With An Increased Risk Of Migraine

A history of childhood abuse is associated with migraine. In one general population study evaluating self-reported migraine and abuse in more than 3000 respondents 25 to 74 years of age, childhood abuse was found to be significantly related to an increased odds of migraine . This finding is supported by a recent clinic-based study of more than 900 female migraineurs by Tietjen et al. , in which women with migraine and depression had a greater frequency of childhood abuse than those migraineurs without depression .

Secondary Service Connection: Migraines Secondary To Depression

In the instance of migraines and depression, migraines may be claimed as a secondary condition to depression. To be eligible for secondary service connection for migraines, the veteran would need to:

  • Already be service-connected for depression
  • Provide a diagnosis for the secondary condition and
  • Provide medical evidence, or a nexus, showing the relationship between depression and migraines

Veterans who develop migraines as a result of depression should consider this process in order to receive benefits for their migraines. Additionally, research has indicated a relationship between migraines and anxiety disorders, another mental health condition. Veterans may also be entitled to secondary service connection if they developed migraines as a result of an anxiety disorder. Below is information regarding how VA rates mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

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The Migraine Depression Link: Are You At Risk

Migraine is a nasty disease in its own right, but it often comes with evil cousins. It’s worth examining the #1 mental health issue affecting as many as 40% of people with Migraine: depression.

Scientists are studying the link between these two conditions to determine where they come from, and who is most at risk for Migraine depression. It’s a life and death question for those of us already diagnosed with Migraine.

Esme Fuller-Thomson, Meghan Schrumm, and Sarah Brennenstuhl, Migraine and Despair: Factors Associated with Depression and Suicidal Ideation among Canadian Migraineurs in a Population-Based Study, Depression Research and Treatment, vol. 2013, Article ID 401487, 10 pages, 2013.

Evaluate Your Medication Options

Is Migraine Linked to Depression and Anxiety?

When it was discovered that the biological factors that make some people more vulnerable to depression can also make them more vulnerable to migraines, it was also uncovered that some antidepressants can also reduce the severity and frequency of migraines.

In cases where your depression is mild, using just one medication for both your depression and migraines may work for you.

Two examples of antidepressants that may work to both ease your migraines and improve your mood include:

  • Elavil , a tricyclic antidepressant
  • Effexor , a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor

However, it may instead be more effectiveand minimize your chance of side effectsto use different medications for each condition. This is partly because a single medication is usually given at different doses with different adjustments for each condition.

For example, Elavil is effective for migraine at low doses with few side effects, but it takes higher doses to be effective for depression, resulting in more side effects.

Because of this, your healthcare provider may instead prescribe more traditional migraine medications, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or triptans, along with an antidepressant. This is likely to be more effective in targeting your symptoms while also making sure you have the fewest side effects.

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Q& a With Dawn Buse Phd

Dawn Buse, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and the director of behavioral medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center, and a professor in the department of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. With accomplishments that include two Wolff Awards and 343 scientific abstracts, Dr. Buse has earned a reputation as a fierce advocate for patients with headache and facial pain. We sat down with Dr. Buse at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting to talk about her work addressing and treating depression and anxiety in migraine patients, and about what the entire medical community must know in order to properly assess and treat these patients.

Overview Of Treatment Considerations And Options

Migraine attacks are commonly managed by abortive medications such as triptans and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. When necessary, preventive medications, such as antidepressants, antihypertensives and antiepileptic drugs, are added to the treatment., Beyond medications, behavioural treatments are often used to treat migraine, and have been found to be effective in reducing headache frequency. Biofeedback, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery-coping skills are often used to help patients successfully manage headaches. Additional cognitive strategies often used include cognitive modification, problem-solving techniques, and cognitive-behavioural stress-management therapy. The combination of medication and behavioural therapy has been found to be more effective than either medication or behavioural therapy alone in treating migraine.,,

First, the choice of the migraine-preventive medication in patients with psychiatric comorbidities should be based on psychiatric comorbidity severity, patients preference, patients risks for adverse events and prior treatment history.

Pharmacological treatments used for migraine prevention and psychiatric comorbidities

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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:

  • MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


Migraineurs With Anxiety And Depression Have Greater Disability And A Poor Quality Of Life Than Those Without Either Disorder

Dawn Buse, Ph.D. – The Link Between Migraine, Depression, and Anxiety

The impact of depression and anxiety on migraineurs was explored by Lanteri-Minet et al. . A total of 1179 adult migraineurs from the FRAMIG 3 survey were evaluated. Migraine was determined based on the ICHD-II criteria, and depression and anxiety were determined by the French version of HADS. Disability was evaluated using the MIDAS and Short Form Health Survey questionnaires. The proportion of participants with anxiety or anxiety and depression was significantly higher among migraineurs compared with controls . In addition, subjects with depression alone or anxiety alone had significantly lower or poorer health-related quality-of-life scores on most of the SF-12 scales than those without either disorder . Furthermore, migraineurs with both anxiety and depression had significantly lower SF-12 scores than migraineurs with anxiety alone . Finally, although those with migraine and depression alone or migraine and anxiety alone were statistically the same across all grades of headache-related disability , migraineurs with both depression and anxiety were more likely to fall into more severe MIDAS grades.

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Are Migraines Linked To Depression

Migraine is linked to both depression and anxiety. In fact, people with migraine are about five times more likely to develop depression than someone without migraine, according to Dawn Buse, PhD, the director of behavioral medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center and an associate.

Interestingly, depression and migraines have both also been linked to B vitamins. In the case of depression, a recent scientific review noted that low To place this date into historical context, it came only 13 years after organic chemist Paul Karrer had determined the structure of vitamin B2 and only 9.

Scientists are studying the link between these two conditions to determine where they come from, and who is most at risk for Migraine depression. It’s a life and death question for those of us already diagnosed with Migraine. A 2013 study from Canada finds.

But migraines can also cause anxiety and depression. This research isn’t new, but it does corroborate previous research that found similar links with anxiety and depression to poor sleep quality and an increased frequency in migraine headaches .

It’s A Reaction To Medication

Some people report worsening headache symptoms after an episode of depression. Due to the chance that those with Chronic Migraine may also have major depression, doctors are urged to screen Chronic Migraine patients for depression.

Some drugs work on both depression and Migraine duplicate, but some drugs interact.

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The Surprising Link Between Migraines And Mental Health

If youre afflicted with migraines, you know firsthand the misery they bring: the disconcerting auras, the pounding pain, the nausea. Their end may bring you relief finally, you can do something as simple as watching television without wanting to scream but their impact lingers.

At least theres some comfort in knowing youre not alone. In the United States, 11.7 percent of the population suffers at least one migraine per year, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Of those with migraines, approximately one-third experience three or more events per month, and about half report severe impairment during these episodes.

Migraines Linked To Depression In Women

Headache with coronavirus linked to depression after ...

Women who get migraines are more likely to develop depression, study finds.

Can Migraines Mean Depression For Women?

Feb. 22, 2012 — Tricia Stream was 15 when she got her first migraine.

“It felt like someone was tightening a C-clamp on my head and banging my temples with a hammer,” said Stream, now 31, who lives in San Jose, Calif.

As Stream got older, her migraines became more intense and more frequent. By her junior year of college, she was getting them every other day. And they were getting her down.

“I just wanted to lie in a dark room and not talk to anyone,” said Stream, describing the extreme aversion to light and sound and debilitating pain that would send her into fetal position. “I became very much withdrawn and wasn’t really eating. That’s when my roommate said, ‘You need to talk to someone.'”

Stream talked to a doctor who diagnosed her with depression, a mood disorder often linked to migraines. According to a new study, women with a history of migraines are up to 41 percent more likely to develop depression than their migraine-free counterparts.

The study followed 36,154 women, 6,456 of whom had a history of migraines. Over an average 14 years, 3,971 women developed depression — a diagnosis much more common among migraine sufferers. Kurth and colleagues will present their results in April at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Five years ago, Stream tried to wean herself off Zoloft.

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