There is no question as to why a migraine tends to lead their sufferers back into bed. With symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sound and light sensitivity, blurred vision, and pounding pain, migraines are generally no one’s friend. But when do the lines between migraines and depression blur? It’s easy to say a migraine is depressing, but how can you tell when it is actually depressing you? Depression is a serious disorder with symptoms similar to the reactions of migraine pain. A hopeless outlook on your life, loss of interest, lack of energy, anxiety and irritability, appetite changes, and thoughts of suicide are key signs to depression. If you are a frequent migraine sufferer, you might already be familiar with some of these feelings.
A study done at the University of Toronto found migraine sufferers are approximately twice as likely to also suffer from depression. The study found of all the people who participated, 6.1% of men and 14.1% of women suffered migraines while 3.7% of men and 6.6% of women suffered depression. Of those numbers, 12.4% of women suffering migraines were depressed compared to 5.7% of women who were depressed but did not suffer from migraines. 8.4% of men suffering from migraines were also suffering from depression compared to 3.48% of men who were depressed but did not get migraines.
Studies have found younger migraine sufferers are at a greater risk of also suffering depression. There is a higher occurrence of depression in migraine sufferers who are divorced, separated, or widowed over sufferers who are single or married. Income has also proven to be a factor, people who get migraines with lower incomes have a higher frequency of developing depression than migraine sufferers with higher incomes. Finally, migraine sufferers who have restrictions performing daily activities have a higher prevalence for depression. This study also found migraine sufferers have higher rates in thoughts of suicide.
Women are more prone to both migraines and depression. Women who suffer from migraines are 41% more likely to develop depression than migraine free women. 60% of women sufferers relate there migraines to their menstrual cycles and they generally occur with drops in estrogen. Women who use oral contraceptives, patches, or rings have either benefited from the use or suffered worsening migraines. Some women entering into menopause have reported more frequent migraines while pregnant women have reported completely disappearing to worsening migraines. Hormones can affect all women and migraines differently.
Unfortunately we have not discovered the exact reasoning behind why some migraine sufferers become depressed. It is likely the relationship between migraines and depression go both ways, migraine sufferers can develop depression and it is common for people suffering from depression to start getting migraines. If it is not a psychological response to reoccurring migraines which cause depression in migraine sufferers, it could be explained with shared causes for migraines and depression, which are neurological abnormalities or genetic factors. Cure you migraines today and reduce the risk of depression.