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My Worsening Migraine and Depression

I’ve suffered with migraine for about ten years, but have never really had any issues with depression. That’s what I used to think. When my migraine presented itself as episodic the depression was not so easy to detect. I was working a full-time job. It took up most of my time, and my family life and commitments used up the rest of my waking hours. I guess I was just so busy and into a routine that I didn’t notice the depression.

Not aware I was depressedAt the time I had a low awareness of the ever-looming emptiness that is depression. I was getting quite accustomed to pushing myself alone and self-care was the last thing on my mind most days. I do remember feeling the fatigue and general tiredness that I experienced surrounding a migraine attack, but I never attributed it to depression. My daughter suffered from depression so I thought I knew what it was but I was wrong.The downward spiralAs my migraine disease worsened my attitude started changing as well. It had to. I knew I was going to have to fully recognize that my migraine condition was getting worse. I was on a downward spiral into chronic migraine. I was missing more days at work, and the days I was there were less productive. I was half sick most days in that I was either recovering from a migraine attack or rolling into another one. It was during these days I really felt the downward pull of depression settling into my being. It was more and more of a struggle to constantly rally myself not to mention my work team every day. I was focused on keeping going and just treating my migraines. I thought if they were under control the depression I was feeling would ebb.
Disappointments due to migraineDepression didn’t go away as I had hoped. Treating migraine is hard. It’s trial and error chocked full of disappointment from failed therapies, drugs that weren’t tolerated, and countless tests that showed little or nothing at all. The migraine alone was not depressing enough! The journey for me had so many let downs. It seemed like all the wins were in favor of the disease having its way with my body and my life. I began to mourn the things I was losing to migraine. This is where I noticed depression really getting a foothold in my life. The more frequent my attacks were becoming the harder it was to fight off depression. In May of 2018, I began an intractable cycle of migraine. I was forced to go out on disability at my job of twenty-four years. That’s when depression had me gripped tight.I was sidelined from my jobI was fighting for my job from the sidelines. Disability was paid to me from my employer, but only for a month and then denied forcing me into unpaid disability just so I could keep my job alive in the hopes the migraine cycle would break and I could return to work. This battle only added more fuel to the depression fire I was undergoing. There were many days when getting out of bed was a struggle. Waking up each day hoping there would be no pain, no other nasty migraine related baggage, or the like was the new routine. It is no wonder why people who suffer from migraine have comorbidities like depression. It’s almost a given for many of us. I continue to fight for pieces of life lost to migraine and depression. I encourage all who read this to never lose hope. Keep fighting because life is worth living even if we have to do it with migraine and it’s baggage.

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