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Mood Changes

Changes in mood occur in some migraine sufferers. At times, mood changes can happen before, during or after the actual migraine attack.

Mood changes are most often reported before the full-blown migraine during the warning period called prodrome. When mood changes occur before the migraine symptoms set in, these mood variations can occur hours or a couple of days ahead of attack.

Symptoms of mood changes

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to think
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, easily annoyed
  • Changes in behavior
  • Elevated mood, happier, cheerful
  • More energy
  • Confusion
  • Depressed
  • Unusually quiet
  • Feeling anxious

Studies show that people who suffer from persistent migraines are more likely to also have mood disorders. One study found that out of 97 migraine sufferers, 72 percent felt tired and weary as a warning sign, while 51 percent experienced difficulty concentrating before the attack. Another study of 20 female patients found that in the two days right before a migraine hits, the migraine sufferers reported an increase in stress and mood changes. The patients said they felt more tense, irritable, annoyed, depressed and tired.

Other studies have found that the migraine sufferer isn’t aware of some changes in mood or behavior that occur. Many times a person close to the patient notices a difference in attitude.

Doctors and researchers are unsure how mood changes and migraines are related.


You can better manage your migraine symptoms by keeping an accurate account of each migraine attack in your migraine journal. Rate the severity of your symptoms, how often they occur and how long they last. This will help learn your migraine triggers as well as help you prepare to treat migraines before the pain becomes too severe.

Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
Migraine with aura and migraine without aura: an epidemiological study; Rasmussen; 1992