Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Can Headaches Be A Symptom Of Depression

What If Treatment Doesnt Work

Physical Symptoms of Depression

There are many different ways to address headaches. When you start a treatment program, keep track of your results. A headache log can help you measure progress.

Ask yourself:

  • Are my headaches less frequent?
  • Are they less severe?
  • Do they go away faster?

If you dont notice an improvement, talk to your doctor at the next follow-up exam. You may need to try something new.

What Triggers Headaches And Migraines

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

Understanding The Relationship Between Migraine And Mental Health

Migraine is linked to both depression and anxiety. In fact, people with migraine are about five times more likely to develop depression than someone without migraine, according to Dawn Buse, PhD, the director of behavioral medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center and an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Its very logical when youre living with a chronic disease like migraine, which is affecting your life in such a big way, that youre going to feel sad, down and frustrated about how its affecting your life, she says.

Buse says that about 20% of people with episodic migraineheadaches on 14 or fewer days per monthmay also have depression, and that number goes up as the number of headache attack days per month increases. Similarly, about 20% of people with episodic migraine have anxiety, and between 30% and 50% of people with chronic migraine also have anxiety.

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Depression And Anxiety More Common In Migraine With Aura

The strongest association between the two mood disorders and migraine is in people with migraine with aura, she adds.

About a third of people with migraine get aura during their attacks. This can be a visual aura, or more rarely a sensory aura or an aura that causes weakness, she says. People with this type of migraine seem to be even more vulnerable to the anxiety-depression link, she says.

Preventing Tension Headaches From Anxiety

Aches and Pain can be Depression

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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Can Depression Cause Headaches

Up to 80 percent of adults experience tension headaches throughout their lives sharp throbbing pains that can occur throughout multiple regions in the head. Occasionally, people with depression experience headaches caused by their condition.

Research shows that there is a link between tension headaches and mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety. One study indicated that up to 11 percent of people with mental health disorders also suffered from migraine attacks, and other research reports that 40 percent of people with migraines also suffer from depression.

Service Connection For Migraines And Depression

To establish service connection for migraines or depression, the veteran generally must produce three things:

  • A current diagnosis of migraines or depression
  • An in-service incident, injury, or event that caused or aggravated the migraines or depression and
  • A medical nexus linking the current, diagnosed migraines or depression to the in-service occurrence.

Importantly, the veteran does not need to have an official diagnosis of migraines or depression during service to be eligible for service connection. The veteran may be diagnosed after service and still receive a grant of service connection, so long as they can indicate that the migraines or depression are related to service. A medical opinion is often the most successful way to establish the link between the condition and service.

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Headache Disorders And Mental Health

Headache disorders are common among the population but especially common in people who have depression, anxiety, or both.

Many people who experience migraine are also more likely to have depression or anxiety. Chronic pain and stress that migraine causes can lead to mental health problems.

There are specific imbalances with chemicals called serotonin and dopamine that may underlie depression and migraine. However, researchers still need to explore the specific connection between the two.

Headache Symptoms And Severity

Depression symptoms can be subtle

The symptoms and severity of a headache when you have cancer may range from mild to severe. For example, a tension headache usually causes a dull ache, as if it wraps around your head. On the other hand, a migraine may have several other symptoms, including:

  • Nausea

Additionally, an infection of the sinuses may cause a sinus headache.

Here are some factors to note and discuss with your care team:

  • When the headaches occur
  • How often you get them
  • How long they typically last
  • Possible triggers
  • What the pain feels like.
  • Where they occur

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What Is The Role Of Sleep In Migraine Depression And Anxiety

A sleep disorder, which can include difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, can have an impact on migraine, depression, and anxiety, says Strauss.

People with migraine are between 2 and 8 times more likely to have a sleep disorder, and people with chronic migraine report having almost double the rate of insomnia compared with people with less frequent headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Not enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep increases the chances that a person with migraine to have a mood disorder.

Some medications used to treat migraine can have an impact on sleep, says Mueller. For example, certain antidepressants can make you sleep more, while others have an activating effect, making it harder to go to sleep or stay asleep, according to a paper published in 2017 in Current Psychiatry Reports.

Make sure you share any sleep issues with your doctor so that it can be factored in when deciding on a treatment strategy.

Theres also good evidence that cognitive based behavior therapy can be helpful for insomnia, adds Strauss.

Can Headaches Or Migraines Be Cured

Treating health problems that cause headaches, such as high blood pressure, can eliminate head pain. Recently, there have been several new advancements in our understanding of what causes headaches. Although we are closer than ever before to a cure, at this time there is no cure for primary headaches. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing future episodes.

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Types Of Anxiety Headaches

Doctors don’t have a separate name for a stress or anxiety headache. But the most common types of headaches all have a link to anxiety.

Tension headaches. Almost everyone gets one at some point. When you hear people say they have a headache, it’s usually this kind. Typically they’re not too painful.

Tension doesn’t mean stress in this case, but refers to how the headache feels, which may be like a tight band around your head. It can be triggered by anxiety, but it’s not clear why this happens.

Migraines. These are more severe headaches that can cause painful pounding or throbbing. They can last for hours or even days. Besides pain, migraines can also make you vomit and feel sensitive to light and noise. They’re very common in people who have anxiety disorders.

Cluster headaches. They aren’t as common as the other two. They’re very intense and tend to give you a burning or piercing pain, usually behind the eyes.

They’re called cluster headaches because of how they happen. You might get them a few times a day for a few weeks or months, and then they just go away. They may not come back for months or years.

People with cluster headaches are more likely to have anxiety — typically in the months of downtime between bouts of headaches. Doctors aren’t sure how cluster headaches and anxiety are connected or which one causes the other.

What Is A Sinus Headache

Depression and Headaches: Coping With Depression

When experiencing a sinus headache, you will likely also have pain around your forehead, cheeks, and nose this is where your sinuses are located.

Sinus headaches are not typically linked to depression, but frequent sinus headaches can be debilitating and affect your quality of life, which might make depression symptoms worse.

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Symptom #3 Funny Tummy

Ever totally lost your appetite, felt queasy, or had a churning stomach when you felt anxious or were going through a tough time? A persons digestive system is incredibly sensitive to emotions.

For those with depression, stomach and digestive issues are often an ongoing concern, especially in kids and teenagers.

Nausea, diarrhoea and constipation can all be symptoms and studies have shown up to 60% of people with irritable bowel syndrome have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety.

Incorporating Physical Symptoms Into Treatment Goals

As with any general medical disorder, full remission should be the long-range objective in the treatment of mood disorders. Many physicians consider a patient to be in remission from depression when his or her acute emotional symptoms have abated, but residual symptoms, including physical symptoms, increase the likelihood of relapse. Physicians should move beyond simple treatment of acute symptoms to a model in which patients are treated until full remission is achieved a virtually asymptomatic state rather than simple response should be the ultimate goal of therapy. Many patients treated with antidepressants fail to achieve full remission, and the costs, both social and economic, of relapse or residual symptoms are high.

Numerous studies have shown that patients with major depression who have residual symptoms after treatment have higher relapse rates and they relapse earlier than do those without residual symptoms. In fact, relapse rates are 3 times higher in individuals who have residual symptoms after they have achieved significant improvement than in individuals with no residual symptoms. One may infer, then, that the likelihood of relapse is significantly reduced in patients who attain asymptomatic remission.

The Relation of Residual Symptoms to Relapse in Depressiona,b

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Relationship Between Migraines And 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.

Do People With Migraine Have Panic Attacks

What Causes Depression?

People with migraine are more likely to have generalized anxiety disorder, which can be an ongoing on edge feeling, rather than have panic attacks, says Mueller.

There are some people with migraine who do have panic attacks, which may be related to an underlying problem with the autonomic nervous system, she says.

Thats why you get the palpitations, high heart rate, and something like a surge of anxiety with the panic attack, she says.

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Symptom #7 Irregular Weight

Given the impact depression has on appetite and motivation, its no surprise that the condition can lead to weight loss or even weigh gain.

Losing weight is quite common, as people simply lose interest in food. But for some people, they experience weight gain which is thought to be because they may not be as active, or they use food as a response to the emotional stress and sadness.

Morning Headaches Linked To Depression

Frequent Morning Headaches May Be Sign of Mental Disorder

Jan. 12, 2004 — Frequent morning headaches may be a sign of more than just poor sleeping habits. A new study shows that chronic morning headaches are frequently associated with depression and anxiety disorders.

Researchers say waking up with a headache has traditionally been associated with sleep disorders, such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and snoring. But until now researchers didn’t know how common the problem was in the general population or if it was associated with other conditions.

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Fatigue Or Consistent Lower Energy Levels

Fatigue is a common symptom of depression. Occasionally we all experience lower energy levels and can feel sluggish in the morning, hoping to stay in bed and watch TV instead of going to work.

While we often believe exhaustion stems from stress, depression can also cause fatigue. However, unlike everyday fatigue, depression-related fatigue can also cause concentration problems, feelings of irritability, and apathy.

Dr. Maurizio Fava , Director of the Clinical Research Program at Bostons Massachusetts General Hospital, points out that depressed individuals often experience nonrestorative sleep, meaning that they feel sluggish even after getting a full night of rest.

However, because many physical illnesses, like infections and viruses, can also cause fatigue, it can be challenging to discern whether or not the exhaustion is related to depression.

One way to tell: While everyday fatigue is a sign of this mental illness, other symptoms like sadness, feeling hopeless, and anhedonia may also be present when you are depressed.

Diarrhea Upset Stomach And Ulcers

Headaches: Causes, types, and treatment

Your brain and gastrointestinal system are directly linked. Depression, anxiety, and stress have been shown to affect the movement and contractions of the GI tract, which can cause diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.

Your emotions also appear to impact stomach acid production, which can increase the risk of ulcers. Theres some evidence that stress may cause or worsen acid reflux.

There also appears to be a link between gastroesophageal reflux disease and anxiety. Depression has also been linked to irritable bowel syndrome .

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Definition Of Major Depression Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder are the following:

Depressed mood or loss of pleasure/interest in daily activities for more than two weeks plus at least five out of nine symptoms below, present nearly every day.

  • Depressed or irritable mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report or observation made by others
  • Eating too little or too much, which may lead to unintended weight gain or loss
  • Change in sleep
  • Change in activity
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or more indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or has a suicide plan

The Most Common Symptoms Of Low Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or chemical, that plays the important role of sending signals from the brain to the body. It is produced naturally in different key sections of the brain and is important for functions such as motor skills, cognitive abilities, and reproduction.

This neurotransmitter spikes in anticipation of something important which is about to happen, plays key roles in the bodys reward and motivation system, and also affects memory.

Dopamine performs these important functions despite making up only a small percentageless than 1% of the brains neurons. In the right amount, this neurotransmitter is crucial for brain function, but when this amount is lowered beyond a prescribed point, it can just as equally have an unintended consequence on the body. Dopamine deficiency has been linked to neurodegenerative conditions in the body.

To understand the effects of low dopamine, well first examine the signs and causes of this condition. Then, well learn about the conditions most commonly linked to dopamine deficiency for a keener understanding of its effects. Finally, we’ll share the ways you can maintain your bodys production of this important neurotransmitter.

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