Headache due to depression

Does depression lead to constant headache?
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Doctor Answers (1) on Headache due to depression

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Dr. Divya Shree K.R
10 yrs. of exp | Bangalore | Psychiatrist
Headache is the symptom of pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck.There are several causes of headache and to understand whether or not depression causes it, we need to understand what depression is and how to say whether or not depression is the primary cause of the headache faced by you. Now Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. It has been proved that depressed individuals also develop headaches.Frequent headaches can affect relationships and employment,there is also an increased risk of depression in those with severe headaches. The depressed patient often presents a wide variety of complaints that can be categorized as --> Physical --> Emotional and --> Psychic. Emotional complaints include feeling “blue,” anxiety, and rumination over the past, present, and future, psychic complaints may include suicidal thoughts and death wishes while the physical complaints could include chronic pain and headaches.There are more than 200 types of headaches. Some are harmless and some are life-threatening.A headache secondary to depression is usually considered a tension-type (muscle contraction) headache.Tension-type (muscle contraction) headache is believed to be due to sustained and/or tightened muscle contraction of the scalp and neck muscles. The patient will present with a persistent and vague headache, for which no organic cause can be determined. For the patient, the physical symptoms are more socially acceptable than the anxiety or depressive symptoms; many patients are certain there is a somatic basis for their pain. Certain details about the headache may indicate an underlying depression.These headaches usually --> Appear at regular intervals in relation to daily life --> Occurr on weekends, Sundays, or holidays, and on the first days of vacation or after exams. --> A depressed person will describe his/her headache as lasting for years or throughout life. --> A depressive headache is usually dull and generalized, characteristically worse in the morning and in the evening. In making the diagnosis of depressive headache,you must be certain to rule out organic causes such as cervical arthritis, discogenic bony anomalies of the occipitocervical joints, basilar invagination, chronic mastoiditis, malocclusion of the temporomandibular joint and possibly a posterior fossa lesion in the brain.These terms may be difficult for you to understand and if you do have a depressive headache, you could note these points and ask your consulting physician to rule them out. There may also be a relationship between depression and migraines. Researchers have reported a weak but significant relationship between migraine and depression. They noted a high correlation between depression and migraine in relation to weakness, sensory disturbance, difficulty with speech and loss of consciousness. Hence, yes, depression can cause a headache.If you have been diagnosed to be depressed and are experiencing headaches often then it is of utmost importance to consult your nearest physician.
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