Migraines and Mental Health Awareness Month 2012
This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, a health observance all of us with Migraine should note since Migraine disease and mental health conditions are so often comorbid.
Mental Health America continues the tradition of Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM), which began in 1949, with two themes this year:
Do More for 1 in 4 is a call to action to do more to help the one in four adults in the U.S. who live with a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition. This campaign:
- Provides informative content about the most common mental health disorders, how to find treatment for them, and how family and friends can be supportive.
- Provides information five different types of the most common mental health disorders so people can use the information to recognize the symptoms in themselves or others. It also includes information about combating stress and comorbid disorders.
- Includes information on seeking help from a mental health professional as well as how to support someone close to you who is experiencing the symptoms of a mental health disorder.
- Provides information regarding how common mental health disorders are and a call to action to help the one in four who experience them.
Healing Trauma's Invisible Wounds focuses on the impact of traumatic events on individuals and communities. It centers around asking the person-based question, "What happened to you?" not, "What's wrong with you?" The key messages of this campaign:
- The aftermath of trauma is costly to victims and to the whole community.
- Healing from trauma is possible. Validating the trauma and establishing trust and safety are the first steps.
- Trauma survivors need healing, not just treatment.
- Addressing trauma is key to successfully treating self-harming and risky behaviors.
- Coercive and disempowering practices in traditional behavioral health treatment and in schools, correctional facilities, foster care, jails and prisons can re-victimize trauma survivors.
- Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives and treats symptoms as reflecting this experience.
- Screening for trauma is essential, especially for high-risk and vulnerable populations. The key question to ask is “what happened to you?” not “what’s wrong with you?” Mental health systems, correctional systems, and other local human service agencies are revamping practices to adopt trauma-informed care.
- Data supports the need for broad-based programs and policies that help to reduce child maltreatment as well as enhance positive family functioning.
Since so many of us with Migraine and other headache disorders often deal with mental health disorders such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and others, I would add a third theme for us:
Taking Care of ALL of Yourself would remind us that all aspects of our health impact the others. Key messages of this campaign:
- Migraine and mental health conditions are often comorbid, which means that we can have them at the same time, but neither causes the other.
- If you've been diagnosed with a mental health condition, now is a perfect time to review your treatment with your doctor, especially if you feel that your treatment isn't as effective as it could be.
- If you haven't been diagnosed, but think you may have an undiagnosed mental health condition, there's no better time than now to make an appointment to discuss it with your doctor.
- Just like Migraine, mental health conditions are diagnosable and treatable.
- If you need treatment for a mental health condition, it may be helpful to know that some of the same medications used to treat them can be helpful in Migraine prevention.
I hope you'll take some time to consider all three of these Mental Health Awareness Month themes. For more information on the first two, visit the Mental Health America site. Regarding the third theme, Taking Care of ALL of Yourself - I hope you'll really take some time to consider this one in particular. We deserve to feel as well as possible, and to do this, we have to take care of all of ourselves. If you need help, please talk to your doctor.
Here's some information about Migraine and mental health conditions:
- Migraine and Depression May Be Linked Genetically
- Anxiety Disorders Associated with Migraine Disease
- PTSD More Common Among Migraine Sufferers
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