What is a migraine? Why migraine happens. Who gets migraines? Treating migraines.

Migraine Depression

Many migraine sufferers would probably say that they don't need an expert medical opinion to tell them they have an increased risk of suffering from depression. It may seem obvious to the migraine patient that the impact of migraine attacks on a person's quality of life would leave that individual more susceptible to feeling low and unhappy. Nevertheless, a lot of medical research has been done on this subject, and the link between migraine and depression has been confirmed by some medical experts. One study executed by the Albert Einstein University in New York has found that 47 % of migraine patients are also afflicted by bouts of depression.

Quality Of Life

The same study also found that migraine sufferers consider their quality of life to be much lower than that of normal people. Some migraine patients believe their lives are less fulfilling even than those of people who suffer from other chronic medical conditions such as asthma, or from illnesses generally considered to be more debilitating than migraine headaches.

So what is so different about migraines? Well, aside from the pain and the frequency of the attacks, which vary from patient to patient, for some migraine sufferers there is also the unpredictability of migraine attacks. This leaves some patients feeling they simply can't plan for the future. Such people are constantly worried about traveling abroad or undertaking strenuous physical activity, because a migraine might start in a situation in which they feel less able to deal with the attack. Adults who suffer from frequent, debilitating migraines may under perform at work, which can leave them questioning their self worth and professional abilities. Parents who suffer from migraines may worry that they are unable to be a reliable presence in their children's lives, because they have to take to their beds every now and then and leave the kids to their own devices. Migraine sufferers have also reported difficulties forming new romantic relationships as migraine attacks may scare off potential partners. For all these reasons and more, migraine sufferers may find life tough and feel depressed.


Studies have also indicated that adolescents who suffer from migraines are at an increased risk of committing suicide. People do tend to get depressed more easily during their adolescent years than at other times of life, and it seems that adding severe headaches to the mix can tip some teenagers over the edge. Unpredictable migraine headaches may be an even bigger handicap at this time of life, when many young people are discovering who they are through new activities, new friends and new experiences.

Beat The Blues

Anti-depressant drugs may be used not only to treat depression in migraine patients, but also as a preventative treatment for the migraines themselves. Some migraine sufferers are reluctant to take anti-depressants and prefer to try counseling and lifestyle changes as a non-medical alternative. Good diet, exercise and getting out of the house to meet people have all been known to help depression. If you would like to pursue the counseling route, you should ask your doctor to put you in touch with a therapist. Some migraine sufferers also find that "taking control" of their condition (as far as is possible) helps them to feel more positive. Consider what changes you need to make in your daily routine in order to be ready to deal with your migraines as quickly and effectively as you can.

Don't Give Up

Remember, there is a wide range of preventative and abortive treatments out there for migraines. If you feel that your current treatment program is not working for you, that does not mean that you are destined to live with your migraines at their current level forever. Talk to your migraine specialist about the symptoms you are still experiencing and what can be done to control them further.