Migraines and the suicide risk
There could be more to your teenager's headache than you think. Watch out for these potential risks.
A study published in Neurology the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology found that 50% of teens who suffer with migraine are at greater risk of suicide and are also more likely to have other psychiatric disorders such as panic attacks and depression. 

Dr Elliot Shevel the chairman of the South African Headache society explains "during a survey at 5 middle schools in Taiwan where 7900 students age 12 to 14 were reviewed. A total of 121 teens were diagnosed by a neurologist with chronic daily headache and then screened for psychiatric disorders.

Nearly 50% of those with chronic daily headaches had one or more psychiatric disorders, with 21% having major depression and 19% having panic disorder. 20% were at high risk of suicide.

These numbers are much higher than those reported among the general population of teens of the same ages in Taiwan.

Researchers don't exactly know how underlying mechanisms may link migraine and psychiatric disorders, although they do know that migraine, depression and the tendency toward suicide are all related to problems with the levels of serotonin in the brain.

It is imperative that you get an accurate diagnosis, if the problem persists," added Dr Shevel. The longer the headache persists, the more damage will be done.

Dr. Shevel suggests getting to the bottom of the problem and resolving the pain permanently as this is possible in most cases.

To find out more about how migraines affect your child, call 0861 678 911 or visit www.headacheclinic.co.za.

Does your teen get migraines? Share with us in the comment box below.


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