Migraines, Comorbid Mental Health Conditions, and Awareness

People living with Migraine disease are more likely to experience comorbid mental health conditions than people without Migraine. That make it appropriate for us to recognize that May is Mental Health Awareness Month and take a look at mental health wellness.

This year, Mental Health America set Pathways to Wellness, a call to action for Americans to identify strategies that work for themselves individually to attain better overall health status, as the theme for Mental Health Awareness Month. They identified six key messages to guide us along the pathways:

  1. Wellness—it’s essential to living a full and productive life. It’s about keeping healthy as well as getting healthy.
  2. Wellness involves a set of skills and strategies that prevent the onset or shorten the duration of illness and promote recovery and well-being. Wellness is more than just the absence of disease.
  3. Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being. And mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. The fact is our overall well-being is tied to the balance that exists between our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health.
  4. Whatever our situation, we are all at risk of stress given the demands of daily life and the challenges it brings—at home, at work and in life. Steps that build and maintain well-being and help us all achieve wellness involve a balanced diet, regular exercise, enough sleep, a sense of self-worth, development of coping skills that promote resiliency, emotional awareness, and connections to family, friends and community.
  5. These steps should be complemented by taking stock of one’s well-being through regular mental health checkups and screenings. Just as we check our blood pressure and get cancer screenings, it’s a good idea to take periodic reading of our emotional well-being.
  6. Fully embracing the concept of wellness not only improves health in the mind, body and spirit, but also maximizes one’s potential to lead a full and productive life. Using strategies that promote resiliency and strengthen mental health and prevent mental health and substance use conditions lead to improved general health and a healthier society: greater academic achievement by our children, a more productive economy, and families that stay together.

I especially like this statement, “Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being.” To me, our bodies are like ecosystems that need to be kept balanced and in which we must realize that any health issue we have affects all of our health issues, both physical health and mental health.

Because of the importance of mental health and wellness, we’ve covered many mental health topics here on Migraine.com. You can view a complete list of resources in the Migraine & Mental Health section of our site.

Hopefully, all of us will see Mental Health Awareness Month as a good time to take stock of our own mental health. Those of us who have known mental health conditions can use this as an opportunity to evaluate how we’re feeling and the effectiveness of any treatment we may be employing. Those of us who don’t have known mental health conditions can us the opportunity to evaluate how we’re feeling and talk with our doctors if we feel we may have issues or symptoms that might need to be addressed.

On a personal level, I can tell you that I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder many years ago, and I feel so much better with appropriate treatment. Mental health conditions are nothing to be embarrassed by or ashamed of. Please don’t feel unwell or allow your quality of life to suffer. If you need help, please talk with your doctor.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
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