Ninety per cent of the 1000 people with migraine that were surveyed experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation and 75% avoided social events because they were concerned about suffering from an attack.
Asked how often they missed social events as a result of migraine, 34% said weekly, 41% said monthly, 18% said quarterly and 5% said annually. Wendy Thomas, Chief Executive of The Migraine Trust, says: “Too often people with migraine decline social invitations because they are concerned that they will get a migraine. This has a huge impact on their life, leaving them feeling lonely and isolated.”
The link between migraine and depression
Migraine is very closely linked to both depression and anxiety – in fact, people with migraine are five times more likely to suffer from depression than someone who doesn’t. It’s not surprising that a condition that can cause severe pain and nausea in an attack that can last several days can have a profound impact on the mental wellbeing of sufferers.
However, there may also be an underlying reason that there is such a strong link. Both depression and migraine act off similar biochemicals so there may be a genetic predisposition.
Next steps for migraine sufferers
Therapy: cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT can help you manage stress and relaxation techniques can help combat anxiety and depression and reduce stress which can also make migraine symptoms worse.
Keep active and healthy: for migraine patients with anxiety or depression, this is key.
Stay busy: migraine attacks can mean you have to cancel or cut short a social event but it’s important that you keep making plans to see family and friends and avoid isolation.
If you are interested in offering botulinum toxin for the treatment of migraines to your patients, then call 0790 0583 898 to find out more about our Botox for migraine relief training courses. Youth Doctors offers the only Botox for migraine course in the UK and Europe.