Anxiety Disorders Associated with Migraine Disease

by Teri Robert, Lead Expert

As researchers investigate the connection between Migraine disease and other conditions, we're learning that there are connections between Migraine and other conditions — conditions that are invisible, about which there remain many myths and misconceptions, and conditions that are even more difficult for us because those around us often don't understand them.

"...Painful conditions like Migraine and arthritis could increase a patient's anxiety about the pain, or panic attacks may be mistaken for asthma attacks... Physicians are becoming more aware of the importance of recognizing and treating depression... Our study shows that Migraine is also very common and that similar efforts are warranted." ~Dr. Jitender Sareen

We've already learned that while major depressive disorder affects 17 percent of the general population, it affects 47 percent of Migraineurs.

A new article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports on a study that investigated the connection between Migraine disorders and physical disorders as well as the impact of that connection.


"The negative impact of comorbidity of depression with physical illness has been well documented, and evidence has been emerging to show that Migraine disorders are associated with several physical health problems..."

There is a growing body of evidence that Migraine disorders are often comorbid with physical disorders, but there have been limitations to previous studies because of potential sample bias and patient assessment having been performed by lay interviewers rather than mental health professionals. To avoid such limitations, Sareen et al used the German Health Survey (GHS) to study the relationship between Migraine disorders and physical disorders. The GHS was the first study to assign Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) diagnoses using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, said diagnoses assigned by physicians based on interview, physical examination, and laboratory assessment.

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