“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure but, no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends but, hate socializing. It’s wanting to be alone but, not wanting to be lonely. It’s caring about everything then caring about nothing. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzing numb.”  author unknown

As I listened to Dawn Buse, PhD, this week during the World Migraine Summit, I was struck first by her, kindness and caring, for migraine patients who also suffer with depression and anxiety. Her entire being radiated her passion, for what she does, and how very much she cares for her patients. I would love to have her for a therapist! Then as she began to talk about the correlation, of depression and anxiety, between those with migraine. It quite boggled my mind! The stress of chronic daily pain, upon the body and the mind, should really be of no surprise to me. I have clinical depression, as well as, anxiety disorders. Yet the statics, where mind-boggling, more than fifty percent of those with migraine, have with either depression, anxiety disorders or both. In patients with chronic migraine, those numbers go up.
This is her web page for anyone interested, in seeing what she has to offer online, and there is quite a lot!

I have dealt off and on, with depression and anxiety, since my migraines went chronic in 2001. At this time, I lost my job, our best friends moved away, our oldest son moved out on his own, I had a Total Hysterectomy and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, in the space of six months. It was a very stressful time in my life, I was in constant pain and hadn’t at the time found a headache specialist. So I was being treated by my PCP, his advise for the fibromyaligia was to take hot showers! One can only stay in the shower so long. I felt so hopeless and alone, I had no one to turn to for support. Thoughts of suicide began to enter my mind, to the point that I made a plan. In doing that, it scared me so badly that I called my physicians office, and spoke with the nurse practitioner who was in the office at the time. He was a voice of calm, in the middle of my storm, and set everything up so that I could go directly to our inpatient intake counselor, to admit myself. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself! I stayed there a week and learned so much, no it wasn’t easy, it is very hard to open yourself up to a complete stranger. Tell them all your fears, sorrows, pain, emotional and physical. But that psychiatrist did more for me, than my PCP had been doing. He treated my emotional, anxiety disorders, as well as my physcial pain. At that time, in the moment, that was what I needed, and he got that. I believe with all my heart, these actions saved my life.

I wish I could say that depression and anxiety, is no longer a part of life, alas I cannot. I have clinical depression, which runs heavily on my mother’s side of the family. So I got the double whammy! My mother also dealt with anxiety disorders, and what nasty little buggers they are. Panic Attacks are the worst, sneaking up on you out of the blue, with a big knot in your belly, you need air, where is the damn door I can’t breathe! I think my heart is going to gallop right out of my chest! Dawn Buse suggested a one minute breathing technique, when you feel a panic attack coming on. Take a deep breath in, then exhale, forcefully, repeat for one minute.

These are diseases and disorders that travel with the beast, we cannot will, wish or pray them away. We can learn coping mechanisms, to make life more bearable with them. Relaxation techniques such as, biofeedback, mindfulness mediation, and therapy. Whether it be talk or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT), which I will be starting very soon. Living with migraine requires us to do, everything we possibly can, to make life somewhat better. To live it to its fullest and keep hope alive.

“In the dead of night at dawn or in the depression or the emotion of any afternoon, whoever you are, respect your own changes and transitions, it can be painful to know that you do not please everyone, but it is refreshing to realize that you honor yourself.” author unknown

Live with hope,