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Migraines and PTSD often occur together

Research at Drexel University has found that those who experience chonic headaches and migraines also have post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, more frequently than those who do not suffer from migraines. The research also suggests that patients who experience both conditions could develop other headache-related conditions. The study suggests that treating post traumatic stress in migraine sufferers can be an important aspect of their headache treatment.

Migraines are a specific type of throbbing headache that typically occurs only one side of the head, and can include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to sound and light. Migraines can occur several times a month, or less than once a month. The length varies from a few hours to a few days. The pain can be moderate or severe and debilitating.

Post traumatic stress disorder is a long-term anxiety disorder that develops after a traumatic event. Those who develop PTSD have typically experienced a life-threatening event including violent assault, natural disasters, human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. Symptoms include persistent thoughts and memories of the event, losing touch with reality, emotional numbness or detachment, emotional distance with loved ones, sleeping problems, and being easily startled.

The Drexel study, led by Dr. B. Lee Peterlin, looked at around 600 migraine patients and found that 30 percent of chronic daily headache sufferers also had PTSD. PTSD was found in 22 percent of 'episodic' migraine sufferers. It is believed that only eight percent of the general population has post traumatic stress disorder, showing that headache sufferers are considerably more likely to be PTSD sufferers.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
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Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability lawyer fee - what does an attorney cost?
Social Security Disability appeal status
The status of your social security disability or SSI case
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI tips
Maximum SSDI SSI Disability back pay
SSI disability back pay
How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
What if the SSDI Disability application gets denied?
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions
When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application
After you file and apply for disability
Applying for disability, the application process
Tips for how to get approved for SSDI or SSI
Social Security Disability SSDI SSI Tips
Proving Social Security Disability for a mental condition
SSDI SSI Eligibility Requirements and Criteria
Qualifying for disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)
How does a person qualify for SSDI or SSI disability, how are they eligible?