The physical health toll is large but potentially equaled by the mental health damage. People with migraines often report increased feelings of depression, anxiety and hopelessness associated with their symptoms. People feel trapped by their migraines as if they are a prisoner in their own home. Perhaps, you feel fearful about going into the community because you never know when the next migraine could strike. The lack of positive experiences only reinforces feelings of despair and pessimism as depression convinces you that symptoms will never improve.
Mental stress from migraines is common. Awareness and understanding is essential to combat the impact. Learn about depression and anxiety from trusted resources online or a mental health professional. Therapists and psychiatrists that recognize the connection between migraines and mental illness are available to you. You treat the physical, so why not treat the mental?
Be active by listing, exploring and engaging in familiar, positive experiences. Resist the urge to “rest” at home. Try new things, be adventurous, accomplish goals and change your thinking to improve your mental health. Don’t let your depression and anxiety trick you into staying close to home.
The hopelessness, fear and despair associated with depression and anxiety can reduce your spiritual health. People with a chronic medical condition, like migraines, often report questioning or losing faith in their spirituality. People wonder how could God give them such terrible, unrelenting pain. During times of crisis, faith is challenged, as your questions don’t seem to have answers.
People typically report that a strong spirituality is a benefit when dealing with any medical condition. If your faith and beliefs no longer seem to make sense to you, seek answers actively and directly from appropriate sources. Speak to your religious official and ask for his understanding of your situation. If this does not satisfy you, look for other explanations and other interpretations. Look outside of your previous affiliation if you find yourself feeling unfulfilled. The benefits of a strong feeling of spiritual health are worth exploring.
The pain, depression and anxiety make it more difficult to leave the house. Not leaving the house makes it more difficult to maintain old and start new relationships. Your social health suffers as friends no longer think that you are invested in the relationship or that your inconsistency is not worth the benefit of the friendship. Functioning social health serves as protection for you against the risks associated with migraine.
Relationships are needed by all people but especially by those with a chronic medical condition. Communication is the key to maintaining friendships and making new ones. Assertively let your relationships know what you are going through and what they can do to help. As long as you present the information in a way that is respectful, realistic and honest, you will be more likely to extend the friendship. Clear communication is also effective for accurately defining the relationship. If you tell a friend that you need more encouragement to get out of the house when migraines strike and they have not done so, it is likely an indication that they are no longer interested in maintaining the relationship. The loss will still hurt but it is better than assuming they were your friend.