People With Migraines Are Three Times More Likely To Have Anxiety

BY, Marsha Derek MD.

So it’s not much of a surprise that the pain and other side effects can end up having an impact on your mental health, too. New research from the University of Toronto has found that people with migraines are three times more likely to develop generalised anxiety disorder than those who don’t have migraines. Which is pretty rubbish, actually. Having anxiety is bad enough without the horror of migraines, too. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Researchers analysed mental health surveys from more than 2,200 adults with migraines, and nearly 20,000 adults without migraines, and found that while 2% of the people without migraines suffered from generalised anxiety disorder, 6% of those with migraines also have generalised anxiety. Interestingly, this correlation was stronger in men. Men who had migraines were two times more likely to develop anxiety than women with migraines.

Researchers reckon that this may be down to men being less likely to ask for help or take pain medication, meaning their migraines may be more severe and, therefore, more likely to induce anxiety. (Picture: Mmuffin for Metro.co.uk) It’s not clear why there’s a connection between migraines and anxiety. It could be down to emotional factors, the environment, biology, or that the brain chemicals that affect anxiety also bring on migraines.

MORE: HEALTH Why hundreds of teens marched on Westminster for free periods What it’s like to have an eating disorder at Christmas Vegan body building week 8: When training goes wrong and confidence is shot But one thing the study did find is that the two main anxiety-inducing factors for those with migraines are chronic pain and difficulties getting on with everyday life.

Another key factor was found to be a lack of social support. People who didn’t have at least one friend they could talk to about their pain were five times more likely to have anxiety – so clearly, it’s incredibly important to talk.

 

Interestingly, this correlation was stronger in men. Men who had migraines were two times more likely to develop anxiety than women with migraines. Researchers reckon that this may be down to men being less likely to ask for help or take pain medication, meaning their migraines may be more severe and, therefore, more likely to induce anxiety.

 

 

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