Monday, July 20, 2009

Making Sense of Migraine Disease & Depression

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Sorting out the complicated relationship between migraine disease and depression can be difficult. Is one causing the other? Do they make each other worse? Does an improvement in one lead to an improvement in the other?

Even harder is trying to put the experience of the way they interact into words for your doctors and other care providers. A while back I found myself struggling to figure out a way to do this in preparation for my first appointment with a psychiatrist.

As so often happens, I read something written by another member of the My Migraine Connection Discussion Forums that perfectly phrased the point I wanted to make with the new doctor. She wisely pointed out that migraines suck up the serotonin in your brain. Therefore, not only are you more likely to feel depressed because of the pain and the other circumstances of the situation, but also because your brain is low on serotonin, which is naturally going to exacerbate your depression.

It's a total chicken-and-egg situation, and I think it is valuable to understand the connection between these two conditions so that you can treat both if you experience both. Doing so can make such a huge difference in managing both diseases.

For more reading about serotonin, check out this article:

Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.