Q. Can depression cause tension-type headaches?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 01, 2022

Hi doctor,

For the past two weeks I have been experiencing very minor but annoying headaches through out the day. Is this something to worry? I am currently taking tablet Prozac 40 mg and Clonazepam 0.5 mg. Kinldy help.



Welcome to

Thanks for writing in, and I understand your concern.

The presence of mild headaches and the antidepressant prescription indicates most likely you have a tension-type headache, a common symptom among those suffering from depression.

I suggest managing the stress and observing the change following two or more sessions of stress management such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, or yoga. If you feel there is significant improvement following stress management sessions, the diagnosis can be considered final on the current stage.

If you do not see any significant improvement, kindly revert for further assessment.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply. I tend to worry about health problems quite frequently, which I am doing with these headaches. For the last few weeks, I have had a lot going on and have dealt with a lot of stress in my daily life. Can it be the cause of these headaches? And now the stress has resolved but I am now stressing out myself thinking about these headaches. Kindly help.



Welcome back to

Thanks for the follow-up and updates about the ongoing worrying behavior.

You are correct in saying that worrying behavior tends to follow a vicious cycle when one is preceded by another and so on. However, we need to understand that distracting oneself from these health issues often helps the individual and on the other side focusing on these issues often aggravates the problem. I mean to say that you need to distract yourself.

For instance, headache is one of the prevalent symptoms of anxiety as well as depression, and there is nothing to worry about it. Often the treatment of depression is sufficient to manage headaches. Although it is not part of your question, I am suggesting a few things for stress management. Although much can be done to manage stress, I am delineating a few things as a point of start.

1. Diet: Ensure intake of adequate quantity of fiber—two servings of vegetable salad and two servings of fruits (one preferable citrus fruit). A proper diet does miracles and rejuvenates. Orange is a good source of anti-oxidants. Avoid junk food and fast food, especially pizza, burgers, and excessive sweets.

2. Ensure adequate water intake: Follow the rule of one, which I usually advise. One glass of water one hour before and one glass of water one hour after every meal will ensure adequate water consumption. The recommended intake of water is two to three liters a day. Insufficient intake of water could be a contributing factor in the cessation of symptoms.

3. Early morning exercise: Brisk walking for 30 minutes at a stretch, preferably in the garden, will be very helpful. Walking is the best exercise, as it also promotes the release of endorphins (naturally occurring pain killers released in the brain) which cause mood elevation and a generalized feeling of well-being. Make it a daily habit and incorporate it into your lifestyle. It does wonders.

4. Avoid tea or coffee or nicotine and alcoholic beverages: If you want to drink something, drink fresh lime water. It is very much refreshing.

5. Start your day with a glass of Lemon water with two spoons of honey added. Have a good breakfast. Include a glass of milk and boiled egg in your breakfast.

6. Do not take work so seriously: We all have the feeling to excel in our respective fields and do not spend adequate time with our own; trying to understand our own needs. If the work pressure is high, take a short leave and hit the picnic spot you always wanted to go to. Spend time with your family and friends.

7. While working, take frequent regular breaks: Taking regular intervals will not waste time, but it will increase productivity, concentration, and reasoning. Take a break for five minutes every 30 minutes. Close your eyes and rotate the eyeballs for a couple of minutes.

8. Avoid late-night socialization.

9. Avoid starring for a longer time at the computer screen or television for a longer time.

10. Steam inhalation before going to sleep will be very refreshing.

11. Multivitamin and calcium supplement.

12. Meditation and yoga

I hope you find the reply useful.

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