5 Effects That Migraines Can Have On Your Mental Health
by Natalie Wilson
July 2019 - Migraines are so much more than a painful headache. Those that experience migraines on a
regular basis often report that they have a detrimental impact on their mental health. There are several health concerns that
arise as a result of migraines, and many others that go hand-in-hand with them. People without adequate information about the
issues migraines can cause may dismiss symptoms, meaning that the chance for diagnosis is missed until later on.
If you suffer from migraines and want to find out more, read on for 5 effects that they can have on your mental
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a throbbing pain on one side of the head that is persistent. The pain is typically described as
being moderate to severe. It can also induce symptoms such as feeling nauseous, being sick, and increased sensitivity to light
or sound. They affect 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 15 men. Its also been suggested that migraines could be hereditary,
as you're more likely to get migraines if you have a close relative with the condition. There are different types of migraine:
Migraine with aura when there are specific warning signs before the migraine such as seeing flashes of
Migraine without aura when migraines happen without warning.
Migraine aura without headache (silent migraine) where an aura or other migraine symptoms are
experienced, but the actual headache pain doesn't develop.
If your migraines occur once in a while, then you have double the
risk of depression than someone who doesn't
get them at all. Similarly, if you experience chronic migraines which occur several times a month, your risk doubles again.
There is such a strong link between depression and migraines because often, people with migraines can become depressed because
of the terrible pain.
On the other hand, depression can also come first, soon to be followed by painful migraines. People with migraines
are three times more likely to have depression and patients with depression are also three times more likely to have a migraine.
It causes patients to feel sad, hopeless, fatigued, and disinterested in things they used to enjoy.
Of those suffering from migraines, around 50%-60% will suffer from anxiety. In fact, people with chronic migraines
are more likely to have anxiety than they are depression. Similar to depression, the anxiety or the migraines can come first.
During a migraine attack, anxiety is often based on worry directly related to the attack, such as wondering how long it will
last and when the medication will start to work.
Even when the patient isn't experiencing a migraine, they might become anxious about when their next one will
be. Interestingly, patients that have anxiety in life are more likely to develop migraines, and vice versa. If the patient
suffers from depression and anxiety, they may need to take separate medication to treat each condition individually.
3. Increased Fatigue
Many people who experience chronic migraines also feel fatigued. This level of fatigue can last a long time and
cannot always be cured with a good night's sleep. Fatigue can then have a knock-on effect on your mental health, as you start
to feel sluggish and less engaged. This can cause depression or add to the symptoms of pre-existing depression. What's more,
blurred vision and poor co-ordination can also be a side-effect of fatigue. If a patient experiences fatigue, they are more
likely to take time off work until they feel well enough to return. Wellness retreats or specialist
aesthetic clinic Manchester
offers can leave them feeling more rejuvenated and less tired.
4. Changes in Your Mood
Migraines often develop in distinct stages for many people, the first of which is a change in your mood. In the
same way that anxiety can cause patients to worry about an attack, patients can experience a change in their mood before it
Changes in energy levels, behaviour and appetite can occur several hours or even days before having a migraine
attack. Then, the actual headache stage occurs, where patients will experience the pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of
the head. After, is the resolution stage. Again, at this time, patients are more likely to experience changes in their mood
which can last a few days.
5. Poor Memory
acute confusional migraine (ACM) is a rare type of migraine that primarily affects teenagers and children.
Many are still left undiagnosed but affects around 10% of children and teenagers. When experiencing an acute confusional
migraine attack, one of the main symptoms is memory loss. Other symptoms include disorientation, blurred vision and speech
impairment. Though this memory loss is only temporary, there is evidence to suggest chronic migraines can impact memory
permanently. However, this is still very much a topic undergoing research.