Chronic Migraine Effects on the State of Mental Health

Chronic Migraine Effects on the State of Mental Health

Managing a life with chronic migraine can have extreme effects on the individual’s state of mental health. Many times this is something that headache specialists and neurologists seem to completely overlook. This is not a new concept in the medical field. When I was a teenager dealing with stage four endometriosis, I had an OBGYN state to my mother and me that chronic pain can easily lead to depression and various other mental health issues. But it takes a medical professional and even possibly family members and friends of the individual with chronic migraine to pay attention to the signs and symptoms displayed by their loved one.

Stress and depression

I was originally going to separate these two categories until I started digging into some of the elements and realized just how many overlap with one another, making it hard to separate which factor caused depression and which caused stress. For example, when individuals with chronic migraine continue to try treatments and these treatments fail to work for them, they experience both stress and depression. Sometimes it can be unbelievably hard to hold faith that eventually something will have to make life more tolerable. The extreme pain levels that we live with are also a factor that affects our mental health, making it difficult to avoid reaching the point of “giving up.” A different equally common example is the feeling of becoming a burden to our family, friends, and loved ones. This may seem silly to somebody who is healthy, my husband does not understand why I struggle with this myself, but it is a never-ending battle that I face every day.

A major stressor for those with chronic migraine is the fact that they can never tell when their next migraine will show up. While to somebody without chronic migraine it may seem like a small hurdle, it really is not. How would you feel if you did not know for sure that you would not have a massive migraine on your child’s fourth birthday party or on Christmas dinner? This uncertainty makes it hard to make any set plans. Your version of planning goes from ‘yes I will be there’ to ‘I will do my best to be there.’ This begins to lead down the rabbit hole of depression because others place judgement on the individual with chronic migraine about why they cannot “just tough it out” for the event. Eventually, this also leads back the individual’s with chronic migraine becoming isolated from those around them. This simply adds to the depression.

Isolation

The isolation that comes with being an individual with chronic migraine is something that strongly affects the state of our mental health. Being forced into regular isolation on its own can lead an individual into feeling some depression, stress, and even find themselves at an increased risk of suicide attempts or self-harm. Unfortunately, the isolation that is created by the symptoms associated with the migraine itself, and many individuals who do not have migraine struggle to understand this aspect. These individuals feel as though the individual with chronic migraine are withdrawing on purpose in order to purposely miss events or things along those lines. This ultimately draws a divide between the individual with chronic migraine and the others around them who do not understand, only making matters worse. Due to this, individuals with chronic migraine can begin to feel as though they do not have any friends and that they are more of a burden on their family members than anything else.

The elements of living a life with chronic migraine vary widely and can have extreme effects on the individual with chronic migraine state of mental health. Elements such as depression, stress, and isolation can easily become extremely overwhelming to the individual. This is especially true if they do not feel as though they have a support system around them.

Do these elements hit home for you or for a loved one? How do you remind yourself that you are more than just these issues?

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.

Comments

View Comments (46)
  • neemascoffee57
    2 months ago

    It’s continually being treated as though not only as the mother but my adult daughter that is suffering from the migraines that takes, her to the emergency room is treated as we have spacehelmets from some distant planet on. We have been told by her PCP, hematologist and neurologist that if it is after hours “Go to the ER”, and the ER says, “we can’t keep treating for migraine in the ER”.
    Really, we are doing everything the PCP and specialist suggest, and was told to do in the process of finding the cause and a Brand new prevenative monthly intermuscular injections months that can take six months to get into the system as needed to help. (In the er at this time trying to get her some help just so she can “tolerate” to be able to function)

  • Classy
    3 months ago

    It is frustrating when the “fog of pain” makes it difficult to focus. Limits family outings and attending invited events. Dealing with daily severe head pain due to past traumatic head injuries like 40+ years ago does indeed isolate one and contributes to depression, fatigue, and a feeling of despair. Pain wears you down. My pat answer, “I am making it.”
    And, “One day at a time.” Why try to explain how rough you really feel to inquirers that really don’t understand and many who really don’t care.

  • SuzM
    1 year ago

    I’ve had migraines for so long, and become so “used” to them, that they are part of my “normal”. It was only after they worsened. and started affecting my vision, and I had to give up my ability to drive, that they became an issue for me. I can’t place the “blame” solely on migraine, though, because fibromyalgia and neuropathy also play a role in the worsening of my vision, and also, of my migraines themselves………..All of these things together have changed my life, and my perception of who I am in this world so much, that it has profoundly affected the state of my mental health.

  • NickieC
    1 year ago

    All I could say was WOW! After reading your article. I am 45, and have suffered from migraines since the age of 18. I am now seeing a therapist due to severe depression and anxiety all related to to having migraines. I can go months without any symptoms then all of a sudden I am hit with 1-3 weeks of debilitating symptoms. I have gone through this for many years and want you all to know we are warriors, The battle can be hard at times. I even question why me? Now that I am a part of this group., I feel I can at least talk to someone who can relate to ME and what I actually go through.. So Thank you for the articles and feedbacks

  • trwilliams
    1 year ago

    This article hit right at my doorstep! One thing for me is my husband also suffers from migraines. Lucky for him they do not affect him like mine do. I can have a migraine that can last up to 2-3 weeks. Stress and depression are for sure related to migraines and to know I am not alone makes all of the difference in the world to me!

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    I’m sorry your migraine last so long for you. I know it’s definitely difficult and not easy. I’m glad the articles help you to see that you are not alone and this in turn helps you out some. We definitely strive to to help our readers with understanding they are not alone. I hope your husband is supportive of you and everything you’re dealing with every day. Sending you lots of strength and love
    Amanda Workman

  • sketchaire
    1 year ago

    I don’t know if my depression is causing the migraines, or if the migraines are causing depression. But I do know that they feed off each other, and they’re making life miserable. I have lost friends who decided I was just flaking out on them, and my boss thinks I’m lying about the migraines (which makes an already stressful job even harder). So I suffer at work – and screw things up in the process – and stay at home with only my dog and cat and have little to no social life.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    I do believe they can feed off each other much like bad pain and insomnia are kind of this viscous cycle that feed off of each other. I’m very sorry the people in your life have decided that you are just faking it. That’s beyond frustrating especially in a work situation because as you said it doesn’t help anybody at all. Our furry pain pals definitely help us more than anybody could ever imagine. I truly believe that one. I know I would be at a loss without my boys. Sending you lots of love and strength
    Amanda Workman

  • TrishaNP
    1 year ago

    I have reached a point with my migraines that I have very little outside contact with anyone but my family. It is so hard to plan nights out or other activities with friends because I never know when a migraine will happen. When the migraines started about 20 years ago I would get warnings but now the can just come out of the blue. I know that my husband who is a social butterfly wants to go out more but he doesn’t want to leave me behind so he just stays home. It has built some tension between us but I am so scared to leave the house or go too far away from home in case something happens. This was not the person I saw myself being growing up. Faking smiles and happiness, spending days dark rooms, and almost no interactions outside my family. I literally feel beat up from the inside out.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    You definitely cannot beat yourself up over it. When our spouse married us, they married us for better or worse and in sickness or health. Mine actually married knowing o was chronic. Regardless, it NOT YOUR FAULT THAT YOU HAVE CHRONIC MIGRAINE. I don’t care how many times I need to tell you or you need to tell yourself that. It’s not your fault and you’re not alone. I even wrote an article about this not being every little girls dream, so I definitely i that this is not what you had pictured for your life and that’s an acceptable feeling too!! There is no shame in feeling that way. We are here for you and you are more than welcome to share any of our articles with whoever you may feel could benefit from viewing them. We also have a page in Facebook if you are on there where you can share or tag people in articles and videos to try to educate others. Just type migraine.com in the search bar.
    In the meantime, I’m sending you lots of love, strength, and hope.
    Amanda Workman

  • lissamill
    1 year ago

    This definitely hit home for me. I’m 21 years old and have had constant head pain that varies in intensity for 5 years. It’s gotten to a point where I’m so upset and frustrated with always being in pain (and consequently in a bad mood) that I can feel those around me losing patience. My parents are great, but it’s even hard to talk to them about my pain because they’ve been hearing the same complaints for 5 years. Often times, it feels as if isolation is the only way to keep people in your life. Ironic.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    If it helps you any, the pain makes my extremely easy to aggravate and the smallest thing in the world can make me snap at my husband for nothing. So you’re definitely not alone with this issue / symptom!

    I also understand the feeling you have with discussing how you feel with your parents. My husband and I occasionally have conversations where he has to remind me it’s okay because sometimes I can feel like a burden to him. He reminds me that he loves me and I am not a burden on him. Maybe you should have a conversation with them about how you feel and that you worry about “complaining” to them. You may be surprised by their response.
    But remember, we are always here for you. Sending you lots of love and strength
    Amanda Workman (moderator & contributor)

  • dlrf9p
    1 year ago

    depression linked to chronic migraine: I have suffered from chronic migraine, on and off for 25 years and have suffered 5 bouts of depression when things became impossible. the stress of trying “everything” added to open heart surgery which eliminated most pain killing drugs, has been terrible and although I am very fortunate that my family has stayed supportive through all of this, most of my friends have not. They simply cannot understand why I can’t just “push through”. Neither could my parents. I’ve finally tried nerve block shots and-I’m almost afraid to say this!-they seem to be working! So at 68, I may actually get through this!!

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with additional issues on top of the migraines!! The migraines are definitely difficult enough. It is not hard to get depressed, either continuously or temporarily. I’m so glad your family is staying supportive and that you have finally found a treatment that is giving you improvement. I definitely pray that improvement continues for you!!! I’m sorry about your friends but at least it is showing you who your real friend are and who are not. That is the way I look at it. I’m sending you lots of love and strength
    Amanda Workman (moderator & contributor)

  • Karen
    1 year ago

    Sorry-autocorrect mistake in last line previous post. Should read: Chronic migraine/chronic pain associated with “POOR MENTAL HEALTH STATUS? Isolation? For sure.”

  • Karen
    1 year ago

    I agree with those who say that if a person dealing with any kind of chronic severe pain, like that of migraines, (in my case DAILY-NEVER A BREAK)-did NOT have issues with their mental health it would be very hard to fathom. Having to adapt to a drastically limited life in EVERY WAY, an ever-dwindling social and moral support group as people naturally stop expecting you to live life like they do and therefore “count you out” after so many cancellations/letdowns, having tried every possible medication/procedure/therapy with no positive results, even your neurologist eventually gives up when no progress happens-they feel like a failure and blame the patient!..who WOULDN’T consider whether life is even worth living anymore like this? This can’t even be called “living”-it’s “enduring” at best. Horrific pain and hardship daily, getting no relief during the night as there’s no sleep while in pain all night, no relief or improvement in sight-no light at the end of this tunnel. It does a number on the sufferer’s mental status for sure.
    Chronic pain DOES lead to depression, stress, anxiety, suicidal thoughts/ideation and even attempts-not because of WANTING TO DIE but because of WANTING THE HORRIBLE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN AND ANGUISH TO STOP!
    Then when an intractable episode occurs, through no fault of the patient, and an ER visit is called for-as it IS an emergency to NEED treatment of humanly unbearable pain-one is treated like the “lowest of the low” there. As if chronic pain isn’t enough of an intolerable and life-sucking burden on a person’s life! Actual Drs in ERs treat us like parasites! As if spending 6-7 hours in the worst possible environment for a migraine patient-bright lights, noises, smells, being ignored and untreated for hours, discomforts of all kinds..is something we’d CHOOSE to do with our already drastically limited precious time. We KNOW what daily pain feels like and do our best to deal valiantly with it every day. When it gets too much to bear, we come to you-the ER Dr-for help in our emergency. And all we get is a snarky attitude, looked down upon, talked down to, excuses not to treat us..a complete waste of our already miserable time.We often leave in worse condition than when we arrived because of lack of treatment as our pain worsens. Unacceptable. But it’s the reality we face even if we judiciously use the ER only for emergencies 1-2 times a YEAR!
    How I wish those who have the ability to help EASE the worst of our constant severe pain (ie: ER Drs, neurologists, pain Drs..) would learn the facts about chronic pain as well as compassion and common sense. And realize how lucky they are NOT to be burdened with the extreme constant pain we endure-some of us every day of our lives.
    Chronic migraines/chronic pain associated with manual health status? For sure.

  • trwilliams
    1 year ago

    Karen, I know how you feel. When severe migraine pain hits and I go to the ER, the thing I hate is that a Dr feels they know what is best for your migraine. When you attempt to tell them what works for you, they give you that attitude like you just want the drugs. NO, I just want the pain to stop. Karen, you are not alone. There are so many of us that suffer as you do but finding this website today has been a blessing. WE ARE NOT ALONE.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    1 year ago

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for this passionate and very emotional comment. You share I think what so many want to scream from the roof tops…mental health and migraine have such a strong correlation! Living with migraine impacts both the physical and emotional state and takes a tremendous toll on both. It is so discouraging to hear the constant interactions with healthcare professionals who continually do not “get it” and the inadequate treatment that is received. I am so sorry that have been forced to experience this. Your willingness to share your experiences provides much comfort to others knowing they are not alone when they too experience these situations and feelings. I did also want to commend you for openly sharing the dark thoughts that can also creep up, but I would like to stress if you are EVER in an immediate crisis or considering harming yourself, DO NOT hesitate to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or you can go online https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and they have a live chat feature. I hope you take a bit of comfort knowing that you have an entire community behind you and understands what you are going through! Many of our contributor’s have discussed this topic as well. You might appreciate this article – https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-and-suicidal-thoughts-one-migraineurs-story/.

    Again, we are always here for support and NEVER hesitate to reach out!
    Wishing you a gentle night.
    Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

  • Karen
    1 year ago

    Thank you Joanna for your most compassionate reply. It does bring me comfort to know there is a community of good people such as you who understand and will offer me support when I need it. Means everything.
    Be assured I have no thoughts to harm myself. I shared what thoughts have crossed my mind and why. I’m sure others can relate. But I would reach out if I did even find myself in a dark place again. Thanks again for the concern and support.
    I’m so grateful for this community!

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    Karen
    We definitely do understand where you are coming from in both of your posts. It’s a challenge in every aspect. Sadly you’re right. Some people do stop including us in things or give up on us, friends family and doctors. I think a lot of us if not all of us have experienced that at some point. Which is all the more why I feel the need to write articles and reply to comments because I want to make sure that nobody out there thinks they are the only one going through this experience. The experience you describe in the ER is honestly why I gave up on going to the ER because they don’t want to treat a migraine. You comment affirmed for me that it’s not just my area treating people that way.
    All of that being said, definitely don’t forget you’re not alone and we want you to remember that. No matter how frustrating the day may get. I’m sending you a ton of love and strength your way.
    Amanda Workman

  • Karen
    1 year ago

    Thank you so much Amanda! Sending lots of love back! That’s ONE thing chronic daily near-unbearable pain (and all the many sad losses & obstacles that come with that) has NOT been able to rob me of-my capacity to LOVE AND BE LOVED!
    I thank God daily for the many BLESSINGS in my drastically limited life (while praying for my miracle!). I have a magnificent husband who does loads more than his share-he does pretty much everything in efforts to make my life easier & more stress-free so I can focus on finding ways to comfort myself and relieve the daily constant pain he sees me try my best to endure.
    I have a rescue dog who brings joy to my days just by my seeing his sweet innocent face. Knowing we saved him from certain death less than 1/2 hours before his firmly scheduled euthanasia out of state in a state 2000 miles away-against so hurdles. It blesses me to know we gave him a life that had barely begun yet was due to be snuffed out in just moments-as if he was without any value. Yet he is PRICELESS in our lives. It took “a village” of good people to help get him to us-lots of minor miracles. To me he is better than medicine!
    So I do try not to be morbid or pain-focused as much as I can. The feelings, frustrations & sense of losses I shared are ones I know you and others have in common with me. The ER disasters that SHOULD NOT BE SO! The vilification of chronic pain patients-the present hysteria and resulting “overkill” rules and laws that will do nothing to stop addicts but DO HURT very real suffering, obedient, trustworthy, rule-following.. chronic pain patients who have proven themselves legitimate, honest & responsible over & over. But that seems to count for nothing to the “Powers That Be”. We are unlucky ENOUGH! to be in this UNWANTED category of many of us needing pain medicine as options, as our only relief, but lumped in with the opposite groups-intentional drug seekers & abusers.And this hysteria/backlash/overkill reaction by imposing draconian rules is only causing us MORE stress which causes us MORE PAIN! And it seems no one cares. Even our Drs & ER Drs-sworn to “Do No Harm” -have jumped on the bandwagon & are now treating us as pariahs. Because that’s the easier thing to do FOR THEM-less paperwork, less scrutiny, less accountability, less data-base checking..rather than fighting for the legitimate suffering patient with a long, perfect history of complete compliance with all rules.
    But we try our best to deal with the struggles we’ve been handed in life. It just sometimes gets REALLY HARD.
    This community and people like you, Amanda, are also blessings I’m thankful for! May we continue to be there for one another to lift each other. We ALL will have ups and downs. Sometimes one just needs to vent. I learned that losing hope and giving in to dark thoughts that can consume a person WHEN one is down isn’t ever the answer. Because miracles happen. Things can change in an instant. A new medicine or even a cure could be close (CGRP for some?).
    I pray each of you in this community of hurting people be comforted, be given hope & strength, be made to feel INCLUDED & WANTED in a good supportive group of caring people here for you when you need them.

  • rlc25e
    1 year ago

    I am struggling so bad today. I feel utterly useless. Denied disability again considered job hunting but have been in bed because of migraine episodes 4 of the last five days. I can barely go to the bathroom and maybe move clothes from the washer to the dryer so how could I find work? How can I manager the phone calls even with the lawyers to maybe try yet again. Glad im not alone here even the it is a super crappy place to be.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    You are not alone unfortunately, but that’s the important part to see. There are so many of us that are in the same place as you are you. We are here for you too and want you to remember that when you feel overwhelmed. We know it’s definitely not easy but we have your back and understand.
    Sending you lots of love and strength ❤️
    Amanda Workman

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    I’m so sorry you are facing these challenges. I know getting disability for migraines is not an easy task. Trying to function with a migraine is most definitely hard. Don’t blame yourself and always remember you are not alone. We are here with you. Stay strong and believe in yourself. I’m sending you lots of love and strength
    Amanda Workman

  • litoria76
    1 year ago

    I am in the same boat. Waiting for SSDI to schedule a hearing since they’ve denied me twice and my appeal. I’ve been through so many treatments and failed: tricyclic antidepressants, botox, anticonvulsants, physical therapy, massage therapy, triptans (can’t take anymore because they interact with my lithium & zoloft and could possibly kill me). The only thing that helps is Percocet which i can’t take everyday, have built up a tolerance to, and causes rebound migraines. I suffer from severe migraines (most of which i wake up with) at least 25 out of 30 days a month. I physically cannot work which is why my last employer fired me. I’m glad to know I’m not alone but I wish disability would recognize how debilitating this condition is!

  • trwilliams
    1 year ago

    Litoria, thanks for posting. This is helping me so much. I am 61 and have suffered from migraines since I was 22. I have started doing a lot of research about my migraines because I need to know what is going on. People attempt to be understanding and I do appreciate it; BUT…….When I was 5 I started having really bad stomach aches. My mother took me to doctors for years and no one could figure it out so they told my Mom that I was high strung and they attempted to put me on meds. When I turned 22, the stomach aches stopped but the migraine started. So now at 61 they seem to be getting worse. I want to work but it is really hard. I know how you feel.

  • litoria76
    1 year ago

    Btw I was also told my migraines were psychosomatic by my NEUROLOGIST of all people. I did psychotherapy and it didn’t work. I’m 41 and live with my 75 year old mother and depend on her to support me. I’ve lost many friends due to making plans and having to cancel last minute due to a migraine. I don’t bother going to the ER during severe attacks because they just treat me like a drug seeker!

  • Autumn Sparrow
    1 year ago

    The portion on isolation really hit home for me, as it’s where I’ve been for the last year and a half due to chronic migraine. I feel that this is what has happened with the majority of my friends and the very few I’m still in contact with still have trouble understanding the extent of the illness and the depth of those friendships is weakening in some ways. I’ve been status migrainosus for over 2 months and laugh when my dr says go to er if it gets unbearable as I really don’t have anyone nearby that I’d be okay calling to ask if they’d like to spend another day in the ER, only for the demon to be back again once the drugs wear off.

    This is definitely the hardest part of living with chronic migraines.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    The isolation is a big struggle that people on the outside don’t necessarily understand. As far as friends go, the quantity of friends definitely isn’t what matters but the quality. I know that sounds super clique but I will be super honest with you. I have one real friend that lives local and one friend I met through migraine groups that lives on the other side of the USA. Those are my real friends. Anybody else is just an associate kind of thing. You’re not alone in dealing with all of this. I know it does not fix it or make it easier but hopefully it helps a tiny bit. We are here to try to give you tips and to give you articles that you can share on your own Facebook and such so maybe your loved ones can begin to understand more. There are even some videos aimed at family members about why we are isolated!
    Sending you lots of love and strength
    Amanda Workman

  • Newdancerco
    1 year ago

    This is my life right now. My Neuro just told me not to take one of the few meds that helps at all (or any NSAID), and all i am is a source of worry and stress.im trying to plan a wedding that I don’t know I will be able to attend because of my migraines- and I’m supposed to be the bride.
    Sure makes planning seem foolish, doesn’t it? I can’t commit to getting coffee with friends tomorrow, how can I pretend to know when to book a wedding? How is it fair to make any commitment when I don’t know if I will be able to function in a week, a month, a year?

    When that is one’s norm, I’d be worried if they weren’t depressed!

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    To start with, congratulations!! I planned my wedding as a person with daily migraine. I definitely suggest letting someone help you. I had a friend help me even though she didn’t live local. She helped keep me on track and helped with the ideas. Obviously as a person with migraine, don’t plan to party in anyway the night before the wedding. If you’re going to do the girls night out, do it in advance. You can definitely have the wedding you want! If needed, take an abortive as a preventive option that day and be easy on the champagne if the alcohol is a trigger. Stay positive. You deserve a wedding of your dreams. Sending you lots of strength!!!!
    Amanda Workman

  • LT
    1 year ago

    Newdancerco: I really feel for you, I had the worst flare up chronic migraine in the months leading up to my wedding. It was really hard, but the things that did help me were: letting go of anything that wasn’t truly important for the wedding – my goal was to get married surrounded by family and friends, and be able to enjoy that moment. Smaller details like decorations and guest list drama took a backseat out of necessity. I was lucky to have a lot of family pitch in their energy and take over the practicalities of the wedding day for me. Secondly, I was not happy with the ‘plan’ my headache specialist had given me for medication/treatment and let her know that I needed something more so that I could enjoy my wedding. She allowed me to take a triptan continuously for a few days leading up to the wedding, during it and a few days after, and we had a backup plan for dexamethasone as well if that wasn’t working. It made me feel reassured that I had a short-term measure that would give me a better chance of functioning. I did have a mild migraine on my wedding day, but I was able to be fully present and enjoy each moment. I wish you the best!

  • Autumn Sparrow
    1 year ago

    Newdancerco I can’t imagine trying to plan a wedding, I think I’d probably ignore the drs orders for a day and elope. I really hope you get a break & some help so you can have the wedding of your dreams.

  • Ronan
    1 year ago

    I feel for you. When I have something I need to do I make sure I eliminate things that I know will bring on a migraine, ie blue cheese, deli meat… Then I hope for the best because I can’t control the barometer or every type of stress. Are you getting help for planning. Being the Bride, I think, is good enough. LOL Let other people plan and organize so you just need to walk down the isle. You are the other guest of honour after all. Congrats. 🙂

  • DinaMay
    1 year ago

    This article hits home for me but there are things that can help. I think of my life with migraine as being a big clumsy beast tethered so that I am lumbering around in a circle, gradually making the rut I’m in deeper and deeper. But I know there is something outside the rut I’m in, I just can’t see it. Therapists have been the boost I needed to see over the rut and to hope for the future. One day I hope to be cut free of this tether and gallop off into green fields and beyond. For now, visualizing those broader vistas provide hope and I wish you all a similar boost and a similar hope.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    That is actually a wonderful visualization. I think therapy can help in a lot of ways for a lot of different things. Therapist have a ton of options available to assist you in keeping a positive outlook and with trying to help you deal with a bad pain time as well! It’s a wonderful suggestion and most insurances will gladly cover therapy.
    Amanda Workman

  • Janet
    1 year ago

    Ditto..your article states it all ..and I have no support system…my husband feels badly for me..but can I say he truly “gets it”..no..even after all the articles i ask him to read..isolation..depression..loneliness..guilt..that’s how I feel all the time..all the time….the rest of my family just don’t want to know and positively don’t understand.
    Janet

  • makena123
    1 year ago

    Amanda,
    Thank you so much for writing this. You have described exactly how I feel. I never have a day without a terrible migraine. It is very depressing because like you said, I have tried every treatment, and after just seeing my neurologist again this week, I feel as hopeless for relief from my pain as ever. I think the pain will never end and that is the worst feeling. I don’t know how I manage to work every day. I feel like I just go through the motions of life and getting by while not being able to truly enjoy life because I am in constant pain. I don’t think anyone who has never suffered a migraine understands how debilitating they are either. I am hopeful these new drugs currently in trial will become available for all of us soon. Best wishes to you all.

  • Newdancerco
    1 year ago

    You aren’t alone, if that helps. After more than 20 years, I am right there with you- waiting to start actually living my life instead of enduring it.

    Wish I could no more than validate your experience, but I can at least do that much.

  • harriet
    1 year ago

    Amanda, thank you for this excellent piece. You have just described my life.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    Harriet I hope you know that you are not alone in all of this and if it helps you get your point across to family/friends, please share our articles with them. Sending you lots of strength and love
    Amanda Workman

  • John1381
    1 year ago

    I admit that the stress, depression and isolation of chronic migraine have become significant factors for me and have led to chronic self-harming and persistent thoughts of not wanting to carry on, it is so hard sometimes to experience your life eroding before you in combination with the chronic pain and confusion.

    I also know first hand how demanding this condition can be for my loved ones, and that makes me so sad.

    However, I have found that long term counselling, exercise (when possible), a very understanding wife and a dog that cheers at me every time he sees me have all kept me going.

    I believe that chronic migraine effects on mental health have been under-considered but I get the feeling that, at least here in the UK, it is becoming increasingly recognised.

    I wanted to write more but I am being bullied by above dog as it is play time for him.

    Take care all and thanks for the article.

    John.

  • Dana
    1 year ago

    John~
    I just want to say that you wrote what I feel everyday. I think I even push my loved ones away, because of the toll it takes on them and they keep coming back. The suicidal thoughts, self harm….. all of it. You get it. My husband wants to put my therapist on retainer! Thank you for making me feel normal on what was shaping up to be a bad day.

  • John1381
    1 year ago

    Thanks Danadibs1979,

    I truly hope you and all the others who have commented and read this article get some respite.

    Best wished to you all.

    John.

  • Amanda Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    It’s always difficult when loved ones don’t understand. That is something I still deal with, despite how long I’ve been dealing with chronic migraine and how long I’ve been an advocate. I still have family members who just don’t understand primarily because it doesn’t affect them. But my husband is great, my dogs are amazing furry pain pals, and I found a very understanding therapist. It may seem silly but as John mentioned, it does help. I definitely do not want any of you self harming in any form. As Bluebird discussed the unknown factor of it all, I learned to tell friends and family that “I will try” instead of I will when it comes to attending an event or something along those lines. My husband backs me up and tells them the same thing; he makes sure to not obligate me to attend or do anything. I hope it helps some.
    I send you all lots of love and support and strength
    Amanda Workman

  • bluebird
    1 year ago

    ‘A major stress-er for those with chronic migraine is the fact that they can never tell when their next migraine will show up. While to somebody without chronic migraine it may seem like a small hurdle, it really is not.”
    I think this is the most important point. Lots of people live with chronic illness, endure limitations,and social and economic challengesbut the unpredictable aspect of our migraine syndrome makes it somehow more difficult to live with and more difficult for family and friends to respect.

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