If you have migraine, you don’t struggle only with the physical symptoms, such as horrific pain, nausea, aura, weakness or cognitive numbness. You are also likely to struggle with the impact that migraine has on your relationships or your job. You are probably overwhelmed with the feelings of helplessness, guilt and anger, for not being able to meet the deadlines and be productive at your work, or for missing the precious time with your loved ones when the attack comes. You are highly likely to suffer from insomnia, anxiety, depression, and frequently even suicidal thoughts. In other words, there is an enormous mental health component to migraine. However, your physician will probably not address any of these issues during the consultation.
It is said that mental health issues and migraine are highly co-morbid, which means that they often come together, but they actually do not cause each other. I firmly believe that this is not true. They actually heavily influence each other, and both can be causes of the other one. Mental health problems, unresolved emotional pain, trauma and adverse childhood experiences are known to be causes of migraine. Moreover, living with a chronic disability, such as migraine, will inevitably trigger depression, anxiety, insomnia and plethora of other mental health issues. Therefore, they are deeply intertwined on many levels. In either case, they make each other worse. Why, then, psychological healing is almost always excluded from the treatment of migraine?
Psychological treatment is not just recommended, it is necessary for the person to get hold of the migraine. And, when I say this, I don’t mean just taking antidepressants and hoping the feelings will pass. I mean therapy – looking deep inside and resolving all the emotional pains that are either cause or a consequence of the migraine. When you resolve emotional issues, you will stop feeling helpless, you will be empowered and boost your self esteem, boost your coping skills, calm down your nervous system, and as a result, there will be less for the migraine to trigger. This is how you will master the migraine. And perhaps, even let it go for good. I did. You can do it too.