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The Emotional Toll of Chronic Illness

The Emotional Toll of Chronic Illness

Trigger warning
The content includes information related to mental and emotional distress and it might be upsetting to some people. If you or someone you know have thoughts of suicide, have attempted suicide, or experience emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1–800–273–TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat.To get general information on mental health and to locate treatment services in your area, contact SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline – 1–877–SAMHSA7 (1–877–726–4727).

The emotional toll

Managing symptoms of migraine is difficult enough, but emotional and mental challenges can also arise. Often, people aren’t just coping with one chronic condition, but several, and it can have a negative impact on the mental health of patients and their caregivers. We conducted a large survey of people living with chronic health conditions, such as migraine and asked many questions to understand the mental health challenges that result from living with one or more physical conditions and how they’re recognized and managed.



The many symptoms of mental health

As if migraine wasn’t difficult enough to manage and live with, most people also have to cope with a myriad of mental health-related symptoms. People have experienced an average of 12 mental health symptoms, with many (almost 40%) having to deal with these symptoms on a daily basis.

Symptoms can be difficult to identify as being related to a mental health-related condition. Dismissal of symptoms can have serious and devastating consequences.



Coping with mental health

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for mental health conditions. What works for one person may not work for someone else and that makes it extremely challenging, particularly when also having to manage a chronic physical health condition. But there are many coping tools and treatment options available that are effective for improving mental health symptoms and quality of life.

The Mental Health survey was an online survey conducted with people living with chronic health conditions to gain insights to how physical health conditions impact emotional and mental health and vice versa. A total of 3,275 respondents completed the survey.


  • mrst53
    5 months ago

    I have just started to use CBD oil for my migraines and knee pain(recovering from surgery). It does seem to help, but makes me sleepy. I go to bed and then when I wake up, the headache and knee pain has alleviated. Don’t know if it will continue to help. My migraines are everyday. I hope with the CBD oil, I can keep off the other pain pills and not have rebound headaches.

  • deedeevee1
    5 months ago

    My depression and anxiety began when I first started missing work because of my intractable migraine disease. It’s only worsened along with the severity of my migraines.

  • Dana
    5 months ago

    I believe Migraine and Mental Health are definitely comorbid conditions. In addition to migraines, I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and ADD, I see and Paychiatrist and a Therapist and am on several medications to manage my symptoms. Sadly, I have attempted suicide several times, with the last time being very close to succeeding. We need to stop being afraid of the stigma of mental health. If you have diabetes, you treat it. Cancer, you treat it. Migraines, you treat them. But what we fail to realize is that dealing with our emotions is part of the treatment of our migraines. I am not ashamed or embarrassed of what I have been through and if it helps someone else go out and get the emotional support they need, I would happily put out every last detail of my struggles. We all are in this together ❤️.

  • dmae
    5 months ago

    Well said, especially being in this together.

  • Dana
    5 months ago

    Always @dmae,
    This is the time and the place where we build each other up. Being in a group like this is like a large extended family, we look at for one another ❤️❤️❤️

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