Migraine & Mental Health

Migraine & Mental Health

Migraine and mental illness are often referred to as “invisible” diseases. Because they aren’t always easy to spot, migraine and mental health issues are often surrounded by stigma and misunderstanding. Stigma can make people with migraine and mental health issues feel invalidated or discouraged, and it can even cause people to second-guess their experiences and not seek help.

Patient & Caregivers

What to Know About Migraine and Mental Health

Whether you manage migraine or not, it’s important to understand how migraine affects mental health. Both migraine and mental health issues can have debilitating symptoms but are often hard to explain. Because neither condition is often openly discussed, they have the potential to isolate individuals from the things and people they love.

About 20% of people with episodic migraine also have depression or anxiety.

Between 30% and 50% of people with chronic migraine also have anxiety.

People with migraine are about five times more likely to develop depression.

87% of people with migraine think mental health would greatly improve from better migraine control.

The Link Between Migraine and Mental Health

Does migraine lead to depression? Can anxiety cause migraine? There are cases where mental health issues trigger or worsen migraine and vice versa, but it’s not always this simple. While the exact connection is still unclear, most healthcare professionals and people with migraine strongly believe mental health and migraine significantly impact each other.

Migraine and Mental Health Webinar

In this webinar, Dr. Steven Baskin discussed the common link between migraine and mental health, shared practical tips for the management of both and spoke on the importance of resilience. You can also read a summary of the webinar here. Dr. Baskin is the Co-Director of Behavioral Medicine Services at The New England Institute for Neurology and Headache in Stamford, CT, and a member of the Editorial Board of the American Migraine Foundation.

Migraine and Mental Health Treatment Options

It’s important to know that if you are experiencing migraine alongside depression and anxiety, you are not alone. There are many treatment options out there, like acute and preventive strategies, that can help. Other avenues include non-medication options ranging from lifestyle changes—like regular exercise and a healthy diet—to cultivating a supportive network and staying socially active. Speak with your doctor to find a treatment plan that addresses both migraine and mental health for you.

Self-Care Tips for Managing Migraine and Mental Health

Learning self-care techniques can help you manage migraine attacks and, in turn, improve your mental health.

  • Keep a migraine journal to track migraine days, sleep habits, triggers and other factors.
  • Maintain a daily routine that includes a regular sleep schedule, exercise, meal planning and dedicated time for rest.
  • Be mindful of your lifestyle choices like paying attention to what you eat and incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine.


If you are thinking of harming yourself or facing suicidal thoughts, please call 988, go directly to the ER or visit: https://988lifeline.org/

Resource Library

Subscribe to our newsletter for great monthly resources.

Find a Doctor