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Can Depression Cause Constant Headaches

What Is A Migraine

Diagnosing tension headaches

A migraine is typically identified by severe pain that impacts one or both sides of the head and is usually felt around the temples or behind the eyes or ears. This pain is usually accompanied by a sensitivity to light and sound and in some more extreme cases, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms will generally last between a few hours to several days at a time and the onset of a migraine is sometimes identified with visual symptoms called aura. Migraines with aura typically include sensory disturbances like blind spots, flashing lights, and other slight visual changes.

Facts About Depression And Headaches

Headaches and depression often go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, the depression portion often goes untreated. This is because people either dont recognize the many symptoms or mistakenly blame their depression on the headache.

It is suggested that up to 25% of the population are depressed or suffer from clinical depression during their lifetime. If you feel down for more than a few weeks or experience difficulty functioning in daily life, you may suffer from clinical depression.

Can Headaches Cause Brain Fog

Headaches and brain fog are two different symptoms that can happen simultaneously or separately depending on the underlying issue youre suffering from. But a headache can also cause brain fog, and its pretty standard for people suffering from migraine.

A migraine might start with a headache which then increases in intensity. When it slows down, youre left with a feeling of confusion, disorientation, unable to comprehend things around you, which is brain fog.

Those with chronic migraine may experience some degree of brain fog all the time. Other underlying issues can trigger a headache first, followed by brain fog.

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Link Found Between Tension Headaches And Anxiety Depression

Researchers from Seoul, Korea found that patients with tension-type headaches had a significantly higher prevalence of anxiety and depression compared with those without TTH. TTH symptoms were also worse in those who had anxiety or depression.

While previous clinic-based studies have found relationships between TTH and anxiety and depression,2,3 relationships between TTH and anxiety or depression from population-based studies are rare.

For this study, the researchers recruited 2695 participants aged 19-69 from the Korean Headache Sleep Study , a cross-sectional, nationwide survey for headaches and symptoms of anxiety and depression among Korean people. They investigated the prevalence of TTH, anxiety, and depression in the general study population and in the 570 participants found to have TTH.

A diagnosis of TTH was based on criteria B through D for infrequent TTH in the third edition beta version of the International Classification of Headache Disorders . Headache intensity was measured with the visual analogue scale and the Headache Impact Test-6 . Anxiety was measured with the Goldberg Anxiety Scale and depression was diagnosed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

The researchers found that:

Can A Headache Make You Feel Disoriented

Aches and Pain can be Depression

Acute confusional migraine , a variant of migraine, causes a person to suffer from headaches and brain fog. Symptoms include confusion, agitation, disorientation, altered mental status, blurred vision, anxiety, and problems with speech and memory.

It primarily affects children and teenagers. But the causes and triggers are still unknown, and an extensive study is still needed on ACM. This is one such migraine where the headache with brain fog is pretty prominent.

An average episode is approximately 5 hours. Immediate care is needed for someone suffering from an ACM attack. After an attack, people dont even remember much of the event. A case study in 2012 shows that ACM can also be treated using common migraine medications.

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Pain Is Another Way Your Brain Communicates

If you feel discomfort identifying and talking about distressing emotions, like sadness, anger, and shame, this could cause feelings to manifest differently in the body.

If youâre experiencing any of these physical symptoms for a prolonged period of time, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or nurse practitioner. If you donât already have a provider, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.

According to the American Psychological Association, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting 14.8 million American adults each year.

Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, exposure to childhood stress or trauma, and brain chemistry. People with depression often need professional help, like psychotherapy and medication, to fully recover.

So at your appointment, if you suspect these physical symptoms might be more than surface level, request to be screened for depression and anxiety. This way your healthcare provider can connect you with the help you need.

Article originally appeared on September 10, 2018 on Bezzyâs sister site, Healthline

Preventing Tension Headaches From Anxiety

To prevent tension headaches, finding ways to reduce anxiety is essential.

Although each persons cause of anxiety is different, there are some general anxiety reduction strategies that could result in preventing headaches altogether. :

  • Make sure that you are exercising, eating healthy, and drinking plenty of water. Poor eating habits and inactivity generally lead to more anxiety and thus could contribute to tension headaches.
  • Learn anxiety reduction strategies to manage the level of anxiety experienced, as the more anxiety one feels, the more intense a tension headache may be. So, it makes sense that. tension headaches are more easily treated when mild. As soon as you start feeling stressed, start deep breathing or practice a progressive muscle relaxation exercise. These are ways to intervene when the pain is still manageable.
  • Always try to get enough sleep. Sleep is essential to mental and physical health and one of life’s main coping strategies. Lack of sleep contributes to increased stress, and further eye strain .

While there are ways to manage anxiety and the associated headaches, meeting with a mental health professional still may be recommended vital to explore and identify the underlying cause of anxiety.

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You Drink Too Much Caffeine

Caffeine causes vasoconstriction in your blood vessels, meaning they get a little narrower. If you drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks every day, your body gets used to it, Dr. Hutchinson explains. So when you skip it one day, your blood vessels don’t become constricted and can make your head hurt. It becomes a vicious cycle, slugging back a mug to find relief, and just further deepening your need for caffeine. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic says that adults can safely consume up to 400 milliliters of caffeine per day , butkeeping in mind that everyones tolerance is differentafter that, your body might begin to rebel.

Fix it:“It’s unrealistic to tell all headache patients to avoid caffeine,” Dr. Hutchinson says. Instead, she recommends moderationa maximum of two caffeinated drinks in one dayto avoid that withdrawal headache when you go without.

Is Depression A Factor In Your Chronic Daily Headaches

Do Migraines have a Connection to Anxiety or Depression?

Physical pain and depression often go hand-in-hand. Individuals who suffer from any type of chronic illness that involves constant pain are much more likely to be diagnosed with depression than others who dont have similar conditions.

While depression can be caused by things other than pain, being constantly uncomfortable may add to the symptomatology, especially if the pain in question is a migraine or

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The Prevention Of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches can take a heavy toll on your life. In addition to causing pain, they can also cause you to miss days of work, or impair your ability to function at work. Or they may cause you to be irritable with friends and family. If any of these things are happening to you, then you want to be sure to take one or more of the many available steps you can take to prevent tension headaches.

  • Exercise – this will relieve stress.
  • Learn to Detect When You Are Pushing Yourself – much of the stress and tension that we experience in life comes from pushing ourselves too hard. Learn do detect when you are pushing yourself, and then learn to gently stop yourself pushing yourself. And dont judge yourself when you find yourself pushing yourself. Just let it go.
  • Biofeedback Training – biofeedback training will teach you how to stop making the muscular responses to stress that cause your headaches.
  • Psychotherapy – go into therapy to find out why you are feeling stressed and/or anxious. Once you find out why you are feeling stressed, you can take measures to reduce your stress.
  • Meditation – meditation will help you see why you are feeling stressed and learn to let it all go.
  • Mindfulness Training – mindfulness training will do the same.
  • Create a Life That is an Expression of Your True Self and Your Deepest Values – this is the best way to stop stress and anxiety. Be yourself. Believe in and love what you do.

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How Are Headaches Evaluated And Diagnosed

If you have headaches often or if they are very severe, reach out to your healthcare provider. You can usually start with your family physician, where the diagnosis process will begin. Its important to diagnose headaches correctly so that specific therapy can be started to help you feel better. Your healthcare provider will complete a physical examination, discuss your medical history and talk to you about your headache symptoms. This conversation is part of a headache evaluation. During the headache evaluation, your provider will ask you about your headache history, including:

  • A description of your headaches.
  • What the headaches feel like.
  • How often the headaches happen.
  • How long the headaches last each time.
  • How much pain the headaches cause you.
  • What foods, drinks or events trigger your headaches.
  • How much caffeine you drink each day.
  • What your stress level are.
  • What your sleep habits are like.
  • If you have any work issues.

Your headache can be more accurately diagnosed by knowing:

  • When the headache started.
  • How long you have had the headache.
  • Whether there is a single type of headache or multiple types of headaches.
  • How often the headache occurs.
  • What causes the headache, if known .
  • If physical activity aggravates the headache pain.
  • What events are associated with the headache.
  • Who else in your family has headaches.
  • What symptoms, if any, occur between headaches.

Clinical description of headaches

History of headache treatments

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Symptoms Of Depression Include:

A persistent sadness, anxiousness or empty mood that lasts every day for two or more weeks.

  • Fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Changes in appetite and weight.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Restlessness or irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions. Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness.

Some people might feel sad or negative or have frequent feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. They might have low self-worth and low energy levels or be moody and irritable. Others may feel anxious, excessively worried or feel separated from the rest of the world. They may have trouble sleeping. Their brain may seem foggy and they might have trouble making simple decisions. Many feel that their life is somewhat askew, dreary and lackluster. It is like a grey cloud persistently hangs over them.

Do these symptoms sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. More than 19 million suffer from clinical depression every year. You are also in good company. Marlon Brando and Truman Capote to Barbara Bush and Winston Churchill and thousands of other famous individuals. Depression is not something to be ashamed of and is not a character flaw or a sign of weakness. There are many types of depression but regardless of the type, the cause of depression can often be found in changes in brain chemistry.

Relationship Between Migraines And Depression

Headaches as a Symptom of Depression

Research into the relationship between migraines and depression has indicated that people who experience migraines are five times more likely to develop depression than those who do not experience migraines. Migraines are a chronic condition and can often cause a significant amount of recurring pain. Experiencing migraines routinely can cause a person to feel angry, sad, or defeated and may lead to depression.

Conversely, people who have depression may begin to experience migraines. In this case, the depression is not a response to the migraines, but rather the migraines occur as a symptom of depression. This can happen after a person has been living with depression for some time. Anxiety caused by migraines, such as worrying about when the next migraine attack may occur, can also exacerbate depression and depression symptoms.

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You Have A Sinus Infection

Sinus headaches are not that common, Dr. Hutchinson notes. “Most sinus headaches are just migraines with sinus symptoms,” she says. So if you have recurrent headaches in your sinus or facial area, chances are it’s a migraine or a tension headache. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 90 percent of people who see a doctor for sinus headaches are found to actually have migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic.

While both migraines and sinus infections cause pain when you bend forward, sinus infections dont typically feature nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light, the Mayo Clinic says. But if your headache is paired with fever, phlegm, or any other indication you might be sick, an underlying sinus infection may be to blame.

Fix it: If you do have a sinus infection, the headache should go away after taking antibiotics to knock out the infectionso pay a visit to your physician.

How Common Are Headaches In Adults

If your head is throbbing, youre not alone. Headache is one of the most common pain conditions in the world. Up to 75% of adults worldwide have had a headache in the past year.

Headaches are a major cause of absenteeism from work and school. They also take a toll on social and family life. For some people, continually battling headaches can lead to feeling anxious and depressed.

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Other Mental Health Conditions And Migraine

Since experts have found that migraine may be linked to and worsened by stress, any mental health condition that has the potential to exhaust your mental energy can contribute to headaches and migraine, says Sehat.

People living with generalized anxiety disorder, those who have difficulty with stress management, and those living with bipolar disorder are most commonly associated with migraine, she adds.

For some, depression alongside migraine can make it hard to live your life in the way you want to. This is understandable, but there are resources that can help.

What Triggers Headaches And Migraines

Causes and resolution of chronic headaches

Common triggers of tension headaches or migraines include:

  • Alcohol use.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are the most severe type of primary headache. Cluster headaches come in a group or cluster, usually in the spring or fall. They occur one to eight times per day during a cluster period, which may last two weeks to three months. The headaches may disappear completely for months or years, only to recur later. The pain of a cluster headache is:

  • Intense with a burning or stabbing sensation.
  • Located behind one of your eyes or in the eye region, without changing sides.
  • Throbbing or constant.

New daily persistent headaches

New daily persistent headaches come on suddenly and last for more than three months. They typically occur in people who werent having frequent headaches before. The pain of NDPH is:

  • Constant and persistent without easing up.
  • Located on both sides of the head.
  • Not responsive to medications.

Sinus headaches

Sinus headaches are the result of a sinus infection, which causes congestion and inflammation in the sinuses . People, and even healthcare providers, often mistake migraines for sinus headaches. Symptoms of sinus headaches include:

  • Bad taste in mouth.
  • Pain that gets worse with sudden head movement or straining.
  • Mucus discharge .

Medication overuse headaches

  • Headaches becoming more frequent.
  • More days with headaches than without.
  • Pain thats worse in the morning.

Headaches in children

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What Are The Symptoms Of Depression Headache

When you have a normal headache, you may feel pain in your temples or forehead. But when it comes to depression headache, the pain is more often located in the back of your head. And instead of throbbing, the pain is usually described as a dull ache. It might be difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the pain. But yes normal headaches and depression headaches are different.

There are other symptoms that come along with a depression headache, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Jaw pain

These symptoms can make it hard to carry on with your normal activities. And in some cases, the pain is so severe that it can lead to disability. In fact, studies have found that people with depression headaches are more likely to be unemployed.

It is really important to understand the difference between a regular headache and a depression headache. This is because the treatment for each is different. If you think you might be suffering from a depression headache, it is important to see a doctor. They will be able to give you the proper diagnosis and treatment. Because if you dont treat a depression headache, it can lead to more serious problems.

Can Migraine Cause Depression

People with chronic migraine often experience depression or other types of mood disorders due to the tough nature of the condition, says Sehat.

They often live with stress, low productivity, and reduced quality of life. All these factors can lead to depression, she says. Chronic migraine can lead to depression if they are recurring and high in intensity.

You may find that the severity of your migraine attacks can worsen depression symptoms, particularly if the pain and sensitivity make it more difficult for you to participate in activities that help you feel better, like spending time with loved ones.

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