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Original Research

PBS. 2013; 3(4): 156-61

The levels of anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in migraine patients

Halit Yaşar, Hakan Balıbey, Semih Alay, Hakan Tekeli, Türker Türker, Nalan Bayar.

Objective: Psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, are seen more in migraine patients than general population. Establishing of these symptoms is important in terms of successful management. The aim of our study is to compare the levels of anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms between migraine patients and normal population and between migraine with aura and migraine without aura and to detect the relationship of the levels of these disorders with duration of disease and frequency of the attacks .
Method: We included 66 male migraine patients (13 with aura; 53 without aura) diagnosed according to the diagnostic criteria of The International Headache Society-2004 (IHS 2004) in our neurology outpatient clinic and 32 healthy males with similar age and education level. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Question List (MOCQL) had been applied to both groups by a psychologist. The frequency of the attacks in migraine group was accepted as rare if it was less than 4 in a month and frequent if it was more than 5 in a month. The inventory results of migraine patients vs. normal population and migraine with aura vs. migraine without aura had been compared and the relationship of the scores with the duration of the disease and the frequency of the attacks had been examined.
Results: The scores of anxiety were higher but statistically insignificant in migraine group. The scores of MOCQL were statistically insignificant between the groups, but depression was found to be significantly higher in the migraine group. There was no significant correlation between the duration of the disease and depression, whereas patients with frequent attacks (more than 5 in a month) had higher levels of depressive symptoms. All test scores of migraine with aura and migraine without aura are similar. There was no difference in terms of BAI and MOCQL between patients having frequent attacks and rare attacks. Depression and anxiety levels were significantly related to each other in a strong positive way.
Conclusion: Levels of depressive symptoms is high in migraine patients and its frequency increases as the frequency of the attacks increase. There is no relationship between levels of depressive symptoms and disease duration in migraine patients; whereas levels of depression symptoms and anxiety levels has a positive relation. It is important to examine and treat the anxiety and depressive symptoms in migraine patients.

Key words: migraine, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive symptoms

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