Friday, October 26, 2012

Depression and Migraine

October is Depression Awareness Month. This had escaped my notice in past years, and I feel kind of guilty about that. After all, depression and migraine have a high co-morbidity rate. This is only natural for a couple of reasons:

1: There are different kinds of depression. I myself have had a few of them. The first that I had was Depression Secondary to Migraine. IE the pain from the migraine, and the migraine lifestyle were making me clinically depressed on their own. This is an incredibly common kind of depression for migraneurs. After all, there is very little skittles and beer about the kind of pain some of us have to deal with all the time. 

2: In a different approach to understanding the co-morbidity, let's look at chemistry. One prevailing theme of research among migraine researchers and treatments is that migraine is caused by a chemical imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. This causes the brain to misfire, basically, and create the symptoms of pain, even though there is no external stimulation of nerves. So what does this have to do with depression? Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Migraine sufferers are often put on an anti-depressant or other anti-psychotic medicine as a way of controlling the migraine. The fact that our depression that is more situational is also effect positively is just basically a bonus.

So, if you take nothing else away from this, know that the migraine related depression all in our heads... literally. It's the chemicals that are messed up, not our psyches. 

We are not weak.
We are not "sad" and just need to "cheer up".
We are victims of two different diseases:
Depression and Migraine

1 comment:

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