Migraines may have a direct impact on a person’s mental health. The condition, often described as a moderate or severe headache, causes throbbing pain on one side of the head. They can leave a person feeling sick and cause increased sensitivity to light. According to a new survey, suffering from migraines could be a lot more serious than once thought with one in four suffering from symptoms of depression.
A new survey has highlighted just how serious and difficult the condition can be with one in four people experiencing suicidal feelings. It’s been reported that 84 per cent of migraine sufferers say that their migraines affect their mental health A new survey, carried out on 1,734 migraine sufferers found some alarming findings.
The survey was carried out to help highlight and understand the issues of migraine sufferers and their mental health. The research was anonymous and was conducted by the National Migraine Centre over a two-month period.
The survey found:
More than 24 per cent of migraine sufferers have experienced suicidal feelings or have self-harmed linked to their migraine condition.
22 per cent of those that have experienced suicidal feelings or have self-harmed to do more than once a week due to their migraine condition.
65 per cent of respondents answered that they have experienced depression linked to their migraines.
One in eight people who do experience depression due to their migraine feel this way every day.
48 per cent have experienced loneliness linked to their migraines.
One in eight people who do experience loneliness and isolation feel this way every day because of their migraine.
Doctor Katy Munro of the National Migraine Centre said: “The impact of migraine especially chronic migraine, leads to patients struggling through the days and this frequently causes them problems of depression and also anxiety.
“As our survey also highlights loneliness and isolation features strongly and some sufferers even feel suicidal. We recognise the impact on their families and friends too, as they try to support migraine sufferers through disabling and debilitating attacks.
“We hope to raise awareness of this aspect of migraine throughout Migraine Awareness Week.”
The Work Foundation reports 23 per cent of people suffer from migraines in the UK. Migraines can cause not only head pain, but nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances, loss of speech, vertigo, confusion, and sensitivity to light, smells, movement, sounds and touch.
David Bloomfield, CEO of the National Migraine Centre said: “It is heart breaking to regularly meet people at our centre, especially young people, who are already becoming social outcasts, losing friends and struggling with their education or career.
“These shocking figures from our survey serve as a timely reminder that much work remains to be done before migraine and its affect on a person’s mental wellbeing is fully understood.”
Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at Mind said: “Mental health and physical health problems are often related but too often they are treated separately.
“Living with migraines, especially if you are regularly in pain, can take its toll on a person’s mental health, and it is understandable that being diagnosed and living with them will have an impact on someone’s mental wellbeing.
“Health professionals should treat each person as a whole and, if supporting someone with a mental problem like migraines, offer support for their mental health as well. If you’re worried about your mental health, it’s worth talking to someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member.
“You should also talk to your GP about the treatment that might be available.”
If you or anyone you know is battling with a mental health problem, call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch for confidential support.