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Living with Migraine

Migraine and moods

  • By Pomegranate

    I have a psych appointment coming up next week and I was wondering, how do they determine a mood disorder from migraines? I get intense mood swings such as depression, anxiety, anger, apathy with my auras, during migraines, after migraines, and at times they seem independent of migraines and actually trigger them. It seems so linked together I worry about complications in diagnosing me if I do have a mood disorder at all.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Pomergranate,

    I’m sorry we didn’t get to you before now. How did your appointment go?

    This can be tricky because depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions can be comorbid with migraine and people with migraine are at a greater risk of depression. This means that they can occur at the same time but are not caused by one another. Does that make sense?

    Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks can also accompany an attacks, as you know. I suffer from depression and anxiety and get very irritable before a bad migraine attack. Mental health professionals are usually well equipped to weed out the difference. Here are a few wonderful articles that may be helpful; https://migraine.com/blog/separating-depression-symptoms-migraine-symptoms-frustrations/ and https://migraine.com/blog/expert-review-migraine-and-depression/.

    Let me know how you make out at your appointment,
    Nancy

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  • By Nicci

    Pom and Nancy,

    I have an appointment coming up, too. Pomegranate, I suffer the same exact problem. I can’t extrapolate one from the other and I think they’re exacerbating each other. Then there’s the GUILT — I have silent migraine, meaning I get the fun symptoms often without disabling pain. But there I am with the other symptoms and I’m like, “Is this apathy depression? Is it migraine? Why can’t I think? Why can’t I function? Why can’t I speak? It doesn’t ‘hurt’ or… it’s doesn’t hurt ‘that bad’. Sumpatriptan or even regular NSAIDs can knock out my pain, but not the other symptoms. I feel like, “OK, I don’t hurt, I should be functional.” I beat myself up really badly. I come from a family that’s a mix of over-achievers and under-achievers. Only one under-achiever. I’m about to have some breakthroughs work-wise, but I’m terrified I won’t be able to perform!

    Pomegranate: for the record, I am cyclothymic (which, for me, is low-level mood swings that go unnoticed until there’s a marked depression). I also suffer PTS(D) anxiety (child abuse). I’m also considered extroverted, but that’s not really true, I’ve figured out how to overcompensate for being incredibly social anxious. I have zero trust in people, so I’m very warm at arm’s length, but not prone to closeness or the ability to function well in ‘politics’.

    Blessings to you both… ~Nicci

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