Research shows Fibromyalgia and migraine can worsen depression

And I am, like, a damn case study for this. Given I had Fibromyalgia first, then chronic migraine, and then depression. That depression near killed me. And migraines going chronic decreases functionality substantially.

I can see how comorbid migraine and fibromyalgia increases the risk of depressive symptoms. It is a matter of painload. And when painload gets high and inescapable depression comes knocking.

In fact, I had learned and adapted to coping with fibromyalgia fairly well. But when the migraines hit and became chronic I really, really struggled. I couldn’t cope. I just tried to push through and that just makes things worse. Then the depression sneaks in there. Which creates a sense of hopelessness. It sucks motivation. You feel worthless and guilty. And it becomes so much harder to try and function with the pain. Until you just wonder why you should have to function like that? Or exist like that.

Research shows Fibromyalgia and migraine can worsen depression

The Study: Fibromyalgia in migraine: a retrospective cohort study In the Journal of Headache and Pain

Migraine is comorbid with Fibromyalgia and occurs in 18-35% of people. I had actually read this may be larger since headaches are common in Fibromyalgia and so the migraine diagnosed is missed. Either way, it increases our disability.

Previous studies have shown those people with fibromyalgia, migraine with high frequency of symptoms, have worse fibromyalgia symptoms when compared to the group with tension headaches.

In this study, they were looking to see if people with fibromyalgia and migraine experience more “depressive symptoms, headache-related disability, or higher headache intensity, than patients with migraine only” Fibromyalgia News today

Study set-up

There were 157 people in the study with migraine and fibromyalgia and 471 control patients with just migraine. It took place from 2012-2017

They looked at patients for a headache database and took note of their frequency of migraine, body mass index, duration of migraines, the age they first had a migraine, and who was chronic (more than 15 migraines per month)

They also looked at the factor of migraine disability utilizing their MIDAS (Migraine disability Assessment scale) score. And they looked at those with depression using PHQ-9 (Patient Healthcare Questionaire-9)


Patients with both fibromyalgia and migraine had Higher PHQ-9 scores. Which means more depressive symptoms overall and more intensity of symptoms.

They also demonstrated a risk of developing more intense migraines

However, MIDAS score amount the group and the control group had no differences.

When they looked closely at disability severity, however, the group with comorbidities had a higher level of migraine disability.

“The presence of fibromyalgia has been correlated with lower quality of life in patients with migraine, making it important to know when to screen for symptoms of fibromyalgia in the migraine population,” the team said.

“Our findings suggest that it is important to inquire about comorbid fibromyalgia as this needs to be taken into consideration with regards to creating an optimal individualized treatment plan.” Fibromyalgia News today

Other posts to check out:

Depression twice as likely in migraine

Migraines, fibromyalgia and suicide research

Fibromyalgia: sleep, quality of life, and vit D

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