Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chronic Migraine and Suicide Awareness Day

Today is Chronic Migraine and Suicide Awareness Day.

People with Migraine Disease (especially those that have Migraine with aura) have been shown to have an increased risk of suicide. Dr. Naomi Breslau published the results of a study that examined the risk of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation in four groups:  1) people with Migraine with aura alone, 2) people with Migraine with aura and major depressive disorder, 3) people with Migraine without aura alone, and 4) people with Migraine without aura and major depressive disorder. More about this study and the findings of the study can be found in this article, Migraine and Suicide: Introduction.

Last year, a dear friend of mine wrote a series for National Suicide Awareness Week and Pain Awareness Month that she started with a post titled, Migraine and Suicide. The topics include:  how to cope when you are close to the end of your rope, personal stories from those who have been there (Greater AppreciationWhen Living Seems Too Hard, and I Want to Live! But I Don't Feel Like I Am!), preventionon suicide and faith (and a personal experience, Perspective Determines the View), a post especially for loved ones (family, friends, caregivers), and links to other blogs/articles on Migraine and suicide. She does a wonderful job discussing such a difficult subject, and it's definitely worth the read.

Living life day-in and day-out with Chronic Migraine is difficult. Feelings of loneliness and hopelessness often creep in. Living life in so much pain makes you wonder how much living you're really doing. But... there is always HOPE!

I want to encourage you to reach out to someone - a friend, a therapist, a fellow sufferer, a hotline - if you're struggling with feelings of hopelessness, especially if you're contemplating taking your own life.

If you, or someone you know, is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


  1. I am a 43 year old social worker who was recently forced into early retirement because of daily chronic migraines that I have had for 27 years. These headaches ended my marriage, my carrer and on several occasiona nearly my life as the depression got so intense at times that I tried to kill myself. I have a pinched nerve in my neck which triggers the headaches and at times my neck and head will hurt at the same time causing pain so excruxiating that I've had to go to the ER and even morphine would only bring the pain from a 15 out of 10 down to maybe a 7. I've been to 3 different pain maanagement doctors but I feel like they think Im just some neurotic woman and they dont take me seriously. Ambien is a medication that can cause people to do things they would not ordinarily do with amnesia for the event. What does this have to do with this? In March of 2011 I took an ambien and slashed my wrists 3 times requiring 65 staples. Though I wouldnt normally do this I think there was some unconcious meaning behind the act. I could have done about a million other things but I didnt. I slashed my wrists and my throat instead. But I also someehow had the wherewithall to call 911. It wasnt until this year that I found a chronic migraine doctor and began seeing a counselor for chronic pain. I've done much better and may even be able to return to work. For others out there suffereing from these DONT EVER GIVE UP! Use this internet and find the resources you need!!

    1. I'm so sorry to hear all of this. Ambien can cause some strange actions, which is scary! I'm glad that you're doing much better, and I hope that you're able to return to work. I agree, DON'T EVER GIVE UP!

  2. When I was in first grade I got my first concussion, since then I've had four if not more concussions additionally. Im in pain every single day, and night. My migraines have been so bad that they scarred my vessels and arteries in my brain. I was then diagnosed with depression and A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder), in ninth grade, & then to add upon this list my parents then divorced soon after. School is difficult already with the amount of brain damage I've received and the learning disorder I was born with, but everyday I walk around trying, "pretending"- to live a normal life. My pain has only increased with my age, when I was younger I use to throw fits when I was seizing in pain, screaming, crying and yelling at my parents asking them why. I've attempted suicide twice, only to stop the pain, not my heart- for some reason I figured it was the only way out. Now being a junior in high school, (17)- only a year from adulthood, I'm scrambling to find a way to end my everyday struggle. last year alone I had missed or been tardy 45 days of school, that's more than a month of my education I miss every year at least due to the chronic pain. Atleast at this age I've learned throwing fits does not improve my pain but yet let me release it, instead now I sit quietly as tears roll down my face, I sit in my dark room and I sleep if the pain is generous enough to let me. I've received treatment at DENT neurological institute in Amherst NY for the past five years every treatment we try eventually dulls and the pain doubles back, I'm just lost as to where to go from this point, I just want my adult life to be healthy and chronic pain free. I wish the best of luck to any other sufferers out there, you are strong. you can fight this battle. you owe it to yourself.

    1. Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm so sorry to hear that you've struggled with such pain and struggles for so much of your young life. I truly hope that you find some relief, but even more, I hope that you find a way to enjoy whatever quality of life you have at each moment. Blessing to you.


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