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Childhood Abuse & Mirgraine Headaches

Recent research is showing that people who struggle with migraine headaches and depression often have a history of abuse from childhood. The idea is that somehow the abuse “primes” the brain for migraine, meaning that people are more susceptible to them later as adults.

Her recent study published in the journal Neurology, reported that women with migraine and major depression were twice as likely to report childhood abuse as migraineurs without depression. The study reviewed the survey responses of 949 patients in six headache clinics around the country, including one at the University of Toledo.

If the abuse continued after age 12, the risk of migraine and depression was five times greater.

Clinically speaking, many mental health professionals think of migraine as part of a larger mood or anxiety disorder. Headaches generally can be physical symptoms of stress, with migraine being obviously a much more intense and severe problem.

Childhood Abuse & Mirgraine Headaches

Will Meek, PhD

Will Meek PhD is a psychologist in Vancouver, Washington, and writes weekly at his blog: Vancouver Counseling.

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APA Reference
Meek, W. (2007). Childhood Abuse & Mirgraine Headaches. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Sep 2007
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Sep 2007
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