How do you cope with the depression caused by having migraines

I have had migraines for many years rom 17 to 50 and managed to cope with it but over the last two and halve years the episode have become unbearable . They have impacted on my life to the point that I don't have one anymore , I finding it hard to work which has a knock on financial effect. I don't see my friends because I don't want to cancel due to having a migraine. I try keeping a brave face on for my family my mothers elderly and can't really understand migraines . My partner is a star but I feel so guilty , it's taken the fun out of our relationship . I've been on topiramate now up to200 mg daily I had two nerve blocks one in April and then one in May but it look like they didn't work for me so were back to increasing the topiramate and naproxen. I think it's the bleakness of it all there's no end and although I had some counciling early on this year they don't seam to understand how migraines impact on you from one day to the next.

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  • yes i agree i havnt been given any medication yet because i had an EEG test and it came back abnormal, so have to see another consultant. I either have headaches every day for about a month then I get vertigo everyday for about 3months

  • I am so sorry that you are suffering so badly. You must raise the issue of depression explicitly with your doctor and 'demand' that they find solutions for you. (Mine put me on antidepressants and switched my prophylactic which has helped.) I also really recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn's book The Mindful Way through Depression. It has been a life saver for me! I also really benefited from Vidyamala Burch's book Living Well With Pain and Illness, which gives advice on how to 'reclaim your life' despite chronic pain. It is extremely tough coping with pain and its implications, so don't be hard on youself! You are doing the best you can and, in all likelihood, this is a temporary phase in your life. I have personally found transformation in working through the trauma of incapacitating pain and, now that I'm a bit better, am finding that I appreciate life so much more. I know it will continue to be up and down, but I now accept that more easily rather than 'fighting' it. There is help out there and I really hope that you find relief to your situation soon.

  • Also, one of the (many!) doctors I've seen said to me I definitely should not try Topiramate if I was depressed. Everyone is an individual but you may want to raise with your doctor. I've tried amitriptyline (worked, lifted mood, but very tiring) and propranolol (made me lose interest in life) and atenolol (makes me dizzy but does seem to work, so am sticking w it for now).

  • Also, one of the (many!) doctors I've seen said to me I definitely should not try Topiramate if I was depressed. Everyone is an individual but you may want to raise with your doctor. I've tried amitriptyline (worked, lifted mood, but very tiring) and propranolol (made me lose interest in life) and atenolol (makes me dizzy but does seem to work, so am sticking w it for now).

  • Hi, I wonder if there are menopausal elements in there as well. My migraines both got worse and felt like a more depressing and dominating feature of my life when I was going through the menopause. It is a time when there is so much change in life and everything seems up in the air. Post menopause the migraines are no better but I am much more contented with life. I suspect that these changes are part hormonal and part about coming to terms with things. Doctors can help with some of the symptoms of menopause but there are lots of pressures in your life as well, having migraines and having to care for an elderly mother, work full time, be a perfect wife and keep up with friends is a lot to ask of yourself. Is there something you can let go a bit of - work fewer hours, see friends in a group so it is less important if you don't make it, ask others to help with your mother. One of the things that helped me was finding new older friends who are themselves frail and realise that we all have off days. That kind of companionship is very helpful. I still get depressed when I have a migraine, but it is much less likely to spoil the periods in between as well... I do hope you find some relief.

  • I can sympathize with you on this score, I truly believe that there is a connection when it comes to migraines and depression. Although there are all different kinds of depression, I feel that any thoughts/feelings of depression could be a direct result of a lowered serotonin being produced in the brain due to the medication. This could be a direct result of this. I have tried some migraine remedies that are natural and found them better to tolerate, I visited the chemist and tried a homeopathic remedy for migraine that can really work, without my body and brain being clogged up with chemicals and other toxins from the medication.

    I am not suggesting that you stop your medication, but think about an alternative way to deal with it.

    I really hope that you are feeling better soon, this can get to all of us migraine sufferers, when you get to the bottom of the migraine and what is causing it, you can then look at it in a slightly different way.

    Angela

  • I must admit I refused to touch topirimate after reading the studies - got discharged by a neurologist for taking them along and pointing out he meaning of number needed to treat vs treatment effects and why people dropped off the study. But get advice from a doctor if you are thinking about stopping

    The national migraine centre put me on a combination of nortryptilline and citalopram. Kept the severity of my chronic migraines under control and nuked my depression that I wasn't even aware that I had. It's easy to get low when you're in pain all the time. I also learnt to meditate using this book initially: amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-pr...

    But it's not a cure. I also had to learn to pace myself and how to live with a chronic condition. That said I just had 6 whole weeks without a migraine, still work 4 days and have a horse and manage to see my friends fairly regularly within reason - but it's taken nearly 2 years to get here. Reading 'how to be sick' by Toni Bernhardt was the turning point for me.

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