Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No


Many of the patients I see for mental health problems are also suffering from migraines, and it’s not a coincidence. Studies have shown a scientific link between the two conditions.

This article cites a few of the studies: One found that women suffering from migraines have a 50 percent greater risk (though it could be as high as twice the risk) for developing depression, and another suggested 4 in 10 people with chronic migraines are depressed.

There’s an obvious surface-level connection. It’s hard to be cheerful when your body is experiencing severe, debilitating pain. But it’s deeper than that. Researchers believe the link goes both ways: Depression can increase your risk for migraines.

It’s not clear why, though it’s likely genetic (read: your family passed on a risk for both). The connection could even be tied to the size of your brain.

Like with so many health conditions, exercise, diet and stress reduction can go a long way in treating both migraines and depression. That’s why I believe so strongly in a holistic approachto your mental health: It’s inextricably linked to your physical and spiritual well-being.

If you’re experiencing both migraines and depression, find hope in the fact that as you work on healing one of those, the other will likely improve as well.

Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Mental Health Solutions, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Smart Phones and Baby Care

It’s true that there have always been countless distractions around us, but smart phones have taken that to a new level. A 2016 study showed the effects of continuous interruption on infants.

Spirituality and Eating Disorders

According to some research, strong religious beliefs coupled with a positive relationship with a higher power are connected to  lower levels of disordered eating and body image concern. 

Depression and Aging

Depression tends to worsen with age. Now, during isolation and COVID-19, it is even more important to help our elderly maintain their mental health.