Britt Talley Daniel M.D.
7777 Forest Lane Suite B-220
Dallas, Texas 75230
Approximately 40% of persons who have migraine will have stress or anxiety issues. The most common medical diagnosis here is called generalized anxiety disorder which may be abbreviated as GAD. Migraine and GAD are comorbid which means that they occur more likely statistically together than would be expected. Migraine is said to be a genetic problem while anxiety is discussed as familial.
Many persons will say, instead of admitting anxiety, that they have “pressure or stress or worries” but all these are really about the same thing. The DSM-IV is the large standard diagnostic text book from the American Psychiatric Association which lists psychiatric diagnoses and the check list below details how a doctor might diagnose GAD.
DSM-IV Criteria For the Diagnosis of GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
The patient experiences excessive anxiety and worry
The anxiety is difficult to control
The anxiety is on several subjects
Symptoms occur for more days than not (or > 50% of the time) for the past six months
The patient experiences significant distress or social impairment (withdrawn, sees no one)
There may be at least three ancillary symptoms:
Restlessness/mental tension (time pressure)
Irritability (for intrapersonal relationships)
Muscle tension (tension in neck, shoulders, back, teeth clenching or grinding)
Focus of anxiety/worry is not another disorder (for example, panic disorder)
Not part of a mood disorder, psychotic disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder
Not substance related
DSM-IV= Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition