09 January, 2007

Life: Migraines and Rocket Science -or- I Told You I Was a Woman

Scientists have discovered a relationship in women between migraines and the blues. It seems that women who get fifteen or more headaches a month are four times more prone to major depression.

This is not exactly ground-breaking news, but it is nice to hear that the two are related. They deal in their article with the obvious possibility that the migraines are the cause of the depression. Who wouldn't be depressed?! But they conclude that there is a common neurobiology between migraines and depression. Neither causes the other. They both spring from the same root.

As I am now emerging from a really rough time (and I am emerging, thank you,) I have found my migraines to be both less severe, and less frequent. In my case, I can pretty much tell you when I will have a migraine. It's simple. If a major negative event happens in my life, and I don't get a chance to cry out loud about it, I'm going to have a migraine some time the next day. No kidding. If I feel depressed, and I soldier through it, I will have a migraine the next day. If I get alone and cry, I will be fine the next day.

If I were the sole experimental group, they would find a definite correlation between the blues and the migraines.

Even more interesting is something is yet ANOTHER statement at the end of the article. (Scientific American seems to have a lot to say in their last two paragraphs!)

She noted that researchers have already submitted a second paper on findings of a link between sexual and emotional abuse in childhood and chronic disabling headaches.

Yes. My personal, anecdotal experience is that there are a wide, wide range of symptoms that abused women display in their bodies. Headaches are one. Fiber Myalgia is probably the biggest, but migraines seem to attend almost everything. And marital abuse seems to be as common a cause in these diseases, as childhood abuse.

Anyway. It's a blog, and these are just opinions, but I had to point up the study.


Milly said...

Some of that seems to be a duh depressed because your head hurts more than not. Wow. As for not releasing stress or emotions yep that’s for sure.

I’ve had them my whole life, when I was a kid they’d hit me suddenly like someone smacking me with a hammer. I’d go from being tired to throwing up. As I got older I began to seem more symptoms. I use to fear strokes, grandma had them and I’m like she was. I considered hitting my head with a hammer or sticking a knitting needle in my head. That’s depressing. Now that I have doctors who listen to me about the pain and try to help it’s so much better. The fact that others understand us helps too.

I can’t trace my head aches to anything for sure I’ve read the list of foods and read about the stress and hormone stuff. I’ve tried charting them but never found anything to link it to. I’ve had a scan to see if I had a stroke or something when I was hit hard at church one morning and couldn’t see out of one eye for a while. I felt like I was looking into a water fall. Everything looks fine.

It’s a relief to know others understand I didn’t feel like that when I was a child.

codepoke said...


Almost all of my closest friends experience migraines are something equally bad. So, I have to conclude that you need to drop me as a friend as quickly as possible. ;-)

I'm sorry, but no, you are definitely not alone out there. And the docs are finally beginning to understand just how little they know about this stuff.

karen said...

For a time I got several migraines a month...I get an ocular aura that blinds me for about 30 minutes...great when you're on the freeway! I would take Feverfew and a cup of coffee and that would nick 'em. Then, I started getting sinus migraines, with the aura...the pain is bad, but I guess I'm used to it. I have fibromyalgia, with lupus, so it's one part hurts, or the other part...I like variety ;-). I don't get them so much anymore. They say depression goes with many chronic disorders. Duh. So, here's some hugs! {{{cp}}} {{{milly}}} I feel your pain!

Milly said...

I'll take a banger over ditching a friend any day. It's not like you gave them to me. :-}

Sorry Karen I don't know first hand what it's like for you but I'm praying that you have relief.

codepoke said...

I do the aura, Karen, and then I'm stupid for a day or two, but no severe pain. The part I'm good at is the depression. :-)

So, I'll take the depression hugs, and return some gentle hurty hugs. Sorry.

karen said...

cp...after the aura...is that why I'm stupid? ;-) Seems to last more than a couple of days for me!! :-)
Milly, it's not bad...we all have pain of one sort or another.

BarBarA said...

migraines are horrible. so is depression. glad you are doing better.

sometimes when i am in emotional pain it hurts physically - like a real heart ache - our bodies and minds are so closely linked..