Some people experience chronic migraines while others have random and frequent episodes. In both cases, migraines can cause stress or even mental health issues. Moreover, stress can also play as a trigger for migraines which makes it difficult to keep the episodes in check.
People with migraines usually report excessive stress and overall poor mental health. A survey conducted among 6000 participants shows that those who have migraines have twice the higher chance of being diagnosed with a mental health issue as compared to the people who do not have the condition.
The understanding of the adverse effects of migraines and stress on each other can help control the situation better. Most of the time, people with this condition report depression and anxiety. The experts from the American Migraine Foundation suggest that the patients who live with migraines have a five times greater risk of developing depression. Moreover, they have a high risk of anxiety as well.
According to a study conducted in 2017, people with this condition had a 25 times greater chance to feel anxious every day as compared to those who do not have migraines. Also, the stressful episodes increase as migraines become more frequent.
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Another study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry shows that those individuals with chronic migraines have twice the greater risk of having anxiety and depression. Chronic migraine refers to the condition when a person experiences these episodes as frequently as 15 days every month.
Experts are still unclear about the factor the causes migraines or mental health issues. They are not sure if poor mental health leads to frequent migraines or if the case otherwise. Even though people with depression usually experience these headaches, the treatment does not address anxiety or depression issues.
Interestingly, a sibling study conducted in 2021 shows that people with siblings suffering from migraines can also develop depression. They have a 40% greater risk to develop these mental health issues as compared to those individuals who do not have siblings with this condition. The findings of this study show that both of these conditions may result from environmental factors or have a genetic link or a combination of both factors.
Most of the time, people take antidepressants to keep these mental health issues at bay. Meanwhile, some health care professionals prescribe these drugs for the treatment of migraines as well.
Nowadays, people also use biofeedback therapy that reduces migraine episodes. This therapy employs a specific machine that measures the stress signals in the body. This includes tension in muscles and a change in body temperature. In this way, people can recognize the trigger behind stress and address it before it causes a migraine.
Some experts also suggest relaxation training along with biofeedback therapy. In this training, the therapists teach the patients proven methods that can reduce stress. Some of these methods include muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and other relaxation routines.
American Migraine Foundation suggests that this therapy can lower the occurrence of migraines by nearly 40 to 60 percent. Moreover, this therapy with medication proves more effective to about 70 percent. Some experts also link physical well-being to lesser migraine episodes. Therefore, mental and physical health improvement may help tackle this condition effectively.