Migraine Sufferers Have a Higher Risk for Depression

December 8, 2011

If you suffer from chronic migraines, you know how isolating they can be. Often shut off from family and friends, absent from important celebrations and events, or unable to function because of debilitating pain — migraine sufferers may know what it feels like to be depressed. And now researchers have formally linked depression to migraine headaches.

In a recent edition of the journal Headache, researchers at the University of Calgary, Canada, revealed that individuals who suffer from chronic migraines also have a greater risk of experiencing major depressive episodes.

The researchers gathered data from 15,254 individuals who participated in the Canadian National Population Health Survey — a study which tracked the health of 15,254 individuals over a 12-year period. They found that 15 percent of the subjects experienced major episodes of depression, while 12 percent suffered from migraines.

According to their findings, the researchers concluded that migraine sufferers have a 60 percent higher risk of also suffering from depression compared to people who never have chronic migraines. If you routinely experience debilitating migraine headaches, know the symptoms that signal depression:

• Fatigue, loss of energy
• Persistent aches and pains
• Insomnia or excessive sleeping
• Irritability, restlessness
• Loss of interest in favorite activities or hobbies
• Overeating or loss of appetite
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Sad, anxious
• Thoughts of suicide

 

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