A recent study led by U of T professor Esme Fuller-Thomson has found an association between suicidal ideation, migraine, and depression.
Migraine is a chronic recurrent severe headache. It is estimated that 25 per cent of the adult population in North America suffers from migraine. The exact cause is not yet completely known.
Depression is a state of low mood that affects the patient’s well-being, activities, and thoughts. Lethargy, chronic pain, and headaches are the common complaints of depressed patients.
The study extracted and analysed data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, conducted in 2005, and found that the probability of depression and suicidal ideation is increased in migraine patients after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and disability status. Younger, unmarried patients with more activity limitation showed higher risk.
This study highlights migraine as a cause of depression, and marks the combination of the two conditions as a major threat for the patient’s life by creating suicidal thoughts and ideation.