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Chronic Migraine and Mental Health

Chronic Migraine and Mental Health

I previously wrote an article titled Chronic Migraine Affects on Mental Health. The article focused on the depression, stress, and isolation due to chronic migraine. A few individuals who commented on the other article asked for tips or ways to help deal with the elements mentioned in that article.

The isolation of chronic migraine

Chronic migraine can most definitely create a sense of isolation and possible depression due to the symptoms associated with a migraine; including but not limited to issues such as sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, and the sensitivity to smells.

Support systems remind us we’re not alone

Having a good support system is important for individuals with chronic migraine. A good support system or support group can help individuals realize they are not alone in their struggles to find pain relief. Without a support system it is easy to feel isolated and become depressed. Some cities have in-person support systems but there are many ways to find online support through our webpage and various Facebook support groups. If you are unable to leave your house, you are still able to find online support groups.

Openly communicate with caregivers and family

Another important aspect is to maintain an open line of communication between those with chronic migraine and the caregivers and/or family. This can really help everyone involved feel more understood and respected. This helps the caregiver and/or family members from feeling resentful for any reason and the person with migraine from feeling like they are alone in the situation or worse yet like a burden to everybody else. It is hard enough to not feel like a burden when you are in chronic pain, much less when everybody is acting mad for various, often unnecessary, reasons.

Knowing and respecting your limits

The “Spoon Theory” – reminds you we really need to know your limits and not push yourself beyond your ability. If you do, you will definitely regret it later. Everybody needs help getting things done, healthy and not so healthy alike. Learn to ask for help when you need it. This can be SO hard for some of us but it is very important that we do not overdo it. By pushing through the pain and symptoms we can encounter that glass wall which can easily land us in bed or in the hospital for days on end.

Asking for help – everyone needs to at one point

Remember there are no Super Humans. Even without a chronic medical condition, you could not do everything on your own. Do not expect to be able to do everything all at once while dealing with chronic illnesses. Be open and honest with the individuals around you and explain to them that you need help maintaining the house or whatever it may be. I learned this lesson from my mother and she was not sick, simply tired of being expected to do everything. She said super woman has crashed into a building and died! As funny as it may sound, it most definitely it applies to us!

Managing stress

Another important aspect is to manage your stress. Try to find hobbies or other ways to take your mind of your health condition and any other daily stressors. Distraction is actually a coping mechanism, so find something you can do even if you are not feeling 100%. Some people have said they watch certain tv shows, read books, and listen to music or podcasts.

I know at times things can seem scary or impossible, but there really are ways to combat the chronic migraine effects on mental health. Do you have more suggestions for others who are struggling?

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

  • Leslie Coutsouridis
    11 months ago

    My husband does practically everything for me , including retiring early . Can anyone suggest ways of my assisting him with some tasks or showing my appreciation? It is difficult for him and not fair to him, even though he is so good to me.

  • Leslie Coutsouridis
    11 months ago

    I finally lost my job which I loved doing. For 42 years I had suffered from migraine. But last spring I could barely function at all. When I resigned I felt many strong emotions, including depression, anger, unworthiness, loneliness. And the migraine was raging. I knew I had to do something or I would never improve. I started listening to YouTube to guided relaxation, and positive thinking techniques. I worked everyday on this and I was able to turn my thinking around in many cases from anger to forgiveness and other negative emotions to gratefulness and calmness. I decided how to cope with my life to change it to a more positive direction. I must say I have achieved it. And with the help of aimovig I am doing much much better.

  • TracyB
    12 months ago

    I have suffered migraines for 34 years since i was 12 with progressive intensity. I can honestly say they’re at their worst now and my dad told me i would grow out of them! I have had to work from home and feel unemployable because i wouldn’t be able to travel to and cope with working anywhere else. I feel isolated sometimes but have a husband and kids who support me and help out. So i guess i am lucky with that. I have only ever treated my migraines with codeine as prescribed as nothing else has eased them. One positive i suppose is i can still work through them at my pace as i’m self employed. Still waiting to grow out of them though!

  • darnapar
    12 months ago

    I do believe that depression, anxiety, stress, and isolation from migraines are each very different topics. We shouldn’t lump them all together as if everyone with chronic migraines suffered all of these. While I do many times feel very isolated I can’t say I feel depressed or anxious. Currently the medical community wants to label all chronic pain conditions as being because or causing depression and anxiety, and frankly I am quite sick of the labels.

  • Nikita212
    12 months ago

    I live alone and have a dog. I moved recently, but used to have a neighbor who would check on me. When I wasn’t feeling well, she would be over some homemade soup. Her caring and kind ways are something I’ll never forget.

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