Depression and Migraine

Both depression and suicidal thoughts are much higher among individuals with migraine, a new study found, and the prevalence of depression among those with migraines is approximately twice as high as for those without the disease.

More than 8% of men with migraines suffer from depression, compared to just over 3% of men without migraines, more than 12% of female migraine-sufferers experience depression, compared to less than 6% of women who do not have migraines.

In a paper published online in the journal, Depression Research and Treatment, investigators also reported that younger migraine sufferers were particularly a risk for depression.

The study investigated the relationship between migraine and suicidal thoughts. For both men and women, those with migraines were much more likely to have “ever seriously considered suicide or taking their own life”  People under the age of 30 had four times the odds of lifetime suicidal thoughts in comparison to people who suffered migraines aged 65 and older. Other factors associated with suicidal thoughts included unmarried status, lower household income and greater activity limitations.

“We are not sure why younger migraineurs have such a high likely hood of depression and suicidal thoughts,” said the co-author and former graduate student Meghan Schrumm. “It may be that younger people with migraines have not yet managed adequate treatment or coping mechanisms.”