A recent study has determined that emotional abuse during childhood could be linked to migraine headaches in young adults. The study findings showed that emotional abuse during childhood was a more significant factor in migraines later on than even sexual or physical abuse. University of Toledo in Ohio researcher Gretchen Tietjen, M.D., one of the study authors and an American Academy of Neurology member, stated that “Emotional abuse showed the strongest link to increased risk of migraine. Childhood abuse can have long-lasting effects on health and well-being.” The study used data that was collected on more than 14,000 individuals who were all between the aged of 24 years old and 32 years old. 14% of the individuals whose data was collected and then used during the study reported having migraine headaches.
During the study on emotional abuse during childhood and migraine headaches in young adults the study participants answered questions on whether they had experienced emotional, sexual, or physical abuse as a child. In order to evaluate whether emotional abuse occurred when the participant as a child the researchers would ask the question “How often did a parent or other adult caregiver say things that really hurt your feelings or made you feel like you were not wanted or loved?”. Physical abuse was defined according to whether the study participant had ever been kicked, hit with a fist, or thrown into things or down stairs. Sexual abuse was defined as forced touching that was sexual in nature as well as inappropriate or abusive sexual relations.