June is Migraine Awareness month.
Chronic migraines are more than 15 migraines a month.
This is a long post and certainly not for everyone. But if it only helps one person to find a help for their migraine and or opens the eyes of one of those who didn't know much about it, the work put into this list was well worth it.
I know people mean well but if it helped your neighbour's aunt's dentist's daughter's teacher's cousin, I probably have heard about it already and also tried it with no success.
However, as a migraine sufferer, I am always interested in finding a solution or at least talk about what might and might not help. Therefore, I created a list in 2011 with links to anything that could be helpful for a sufferer like me. Even though I updated it constantly, there were so many new websites and article that I added another one in 2014. And here we are again, so many new articles that I'd like to share with my friends, and so many old ones that disappeared. Therefore, here is a new list that I will update from time to time. You can still go back to the old ones (2011 here, 2014 here and 2016 here) but I have not included any of the links here that don't work anymore.
Migraine and related Quotes:
"And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." Friedrich Nietzsche
"Chronic pain is just that ... CHRONIC. It never goes away, never cuts you a break and it changes EVERYTHING." N.N.
"Diagnosing a migraine involves analyzing the symptoms, conducting medical tests, and eliminating other possible causes of the headache." Chronic Pain Info
"I see myself as a migraine who sometimes gets to be a person." @thedailymigraine
"Having an invisible illness is like being a duck on a pond: On the surface everything looks normal, but what you can't see is how hard we are working just to stay above the water." Migraineur Misfits
"If you know someone who's depressed please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the otherside. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do." Stephen Fry
"Just because a person smiles all the time, doesn't mean their life is perfect, that smile is a symbol of hope & strength." Lauryn Hill
"Migraine is atrocious torment, one of the worst in the world, weakening the nerves, driving one mad, scattering one's thoughts to the winds and impairing the memory. So terrible are these headaches that I can do nothing but lie on a couch and try to dull the pain by sniffing ether." Guy de Maupassant
"Migraine is difficult to treat because symptoms are hard to evaluate and can change from one attack to the next." Migraine Research Foundation
"Pain comes in all forms: the small twinge, a bit of soreness, the random pain, the normal pains we live with every day. Then there’s the kind of pain we can’t ignore: a level of pain so great that it blocks out everything else, makes the rest of the world fade away until all we can think about is how much we hurt. How we manage our pain is up to us. Pain. We anesthetize, ride it out, embrace it, ignore it… And for some of us, the best way to manage pain is to just push through it." Grey’s Anatomy * (Suggestions like this are okay but once people tell me I should see the hundredth doctor who specializes in something I've tried already but this one is supposed to be the only one who can help and I only need to go there three times a week for a year and he only is three hours drive away and their mother's neighbour's cousin's daughter's teacher's aunt's hairdresser has tried it ... uhm, I see red!!!!)
"People who experience migraines feel, see, touch and hear the world differently all the time, not just during an attack." New Scientist
"The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do." N.N.
"We grieve what we were and mourn what could have been." Nikki at Brainless Blogger (see below)
"With chronic illness, we mourn who we used to be. We mourn who we might have been. We grieve lives lost and lives never fulfilled." Nikki at Brainless Blogger
Quotes by my Pain Pals *:
"A migraine is not a headache, it's more like a HEADQUAKE."
"Are you a vampire or migraineur?
1. Do you have an aversion to sunlight? *hisss, sun be gone*
2. Does raw garlic make you sick? *i do feel a migraine coming on*
3. Do the site of crosses make you flee? *not that I noticed*
4. Does Holy water burn your skin? *are you saying I need a bath*
5. Does the taste of blood excite you? *I do like my steaks very rare*
If you answer mostly YES, you may have a bigger problem than migraines." A funny note but it shows what we have to deal with
"I couldn't sleep, couldn't move or it would get worse, plus making the vomiting start up again, it was agony! ... I wish I could do things that normal healthy people take for granted and not have to pay for it later by getting sick! I wish there was a cure for all invisible illnesses!! I wish there was more empathy! This isn't what my life is suppose to be like! I am scared my daughter will grow up not knowing how to be empathic towards me or people like me! I hate what this disease takes from me! I am tired of fighting this battle only to get treated poorly when I finally do feel better! It feels like my body can't take much more! And if I push too hard after I 'think' I am better it just comes right back. But what choice do I have? I don't ask for this pain, I don't want this pain, and I sure as hell don't want pity because I get sick. I want understanding, caring and knowledge about migraines! And yes I want help, I NEED help! I can't do this alone anymore!"
"Please say a special prayer tonight for the man who still goes to work every morning with a smile on his face and comes with a laugh to share. For the man who picks up the pieces when I can't and doesn't complain about all the dirty laundry, dishes etc. that aren't getting done. This man runs errands to pharmacies, to fetch children and dinner and does it with his well known good attitude. He still believes in me, even when I forget to. He never tells anyone his problems, so none of you probably know that he has been single parenting A LOT. If you see him, shake his hand and tell him he is doing a good job. Thanks."
"Just because you see me posting online doesn't mean I am feeling better. I am in a ton of pain, but my choices are to sit and cry or try to distract myself. Posting encouragement for others or being encouraged myself is how I face one minute at a time when everything hurts."
"Migraine: All the side effects of getting drunk but with none of the fun."
"Migraines don't kill you.They just torture you enough to wish they did."
"PAIN is a four letter word!"
"Real happiness is painfree time."
About unsolicited health advice:
"So, why don't you go to that doctor that I recommended. It's only about twice a week for a year, my mother's neighbour's cousin's friend's daughter's teacher's wife did it and it helped her tremendously. And you only have to drive four hours every time. One way, that is ..." We've all heard this way too often.
"This experience w/ pain has made me waaaay more empathetic. i feel like i understand a world not many ever see or experience. like knowing an alien language."
"Oh, you have some unsolicited health advice? How about this? I challenge you to 24 hours with my Chronic Illness, while I sit back and observe, I could use the break ... and you could CERTAINLY use the lesson!!!"
If you know someone who has chronic migraines and never experienced one yourself, read this:
"I have a migraine attack 28 days a month. I tell you this not for pity or shock value, but to beg for a smidgen of your comprehension. I want you to understand that migraine is not a bad headache, but a neurological disorder that affects every system of the body. You see, the unbearable head pain that migraine is known for is only one symptom of the illness.
When I say "I have a migraine," I mean that I am horribly nauseated, dizzy, weak, and have flu-like lethargy and fatigue. My legs tremble so much my knees buckle. I cannot think clearly enough to write a coherent sentence, common words elude me, decision-making is nearly impossible. I am overwhelmed by mood swings, including suicidal depression. Light, sounds, smells and touch are magnified beyond annoyance. And the head pain is so severe that even moving my legs while lying in bed causes me to moan in agony. These aren’t all my symptoms, just the most notable. Nor does the list represent all possible migraine symptoms someone can experience - I am fortunate in that I don’t have endless vomiting or diarrhea,numbness and tingling in my limbs, temporary paralysis, or loss of vision.
The misunderstanding that migraine is just a headache that can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and a nap or avoided entirely by not eating chocolate or not getting stressed is not only wrong, but disregards the enormous suffering of the more than 37 million migraineurs in the US. Sure, some people could have a radical reduction in the frequency and severity of their migraine attacks with awareness, preventive medication, and lifestyle and behavioral changes. Many others, like me, strive tirelessly to improve their health to no avail. Chronic migraine, defined as 15 or more headache days a month, at least eight of which are migraine, has its grip on 2 percent of the world’s population. And that’s the bare minimum, some migraineurs have an attack every single day. In addition to the excruciatingly painful migraine days, every migraine also have a recovery day that can put alcohol hangovers to shame.
Again, I do not want your pity or even your sympathy. I want you to have even the tiniest grasp that migraine is not a headache. That your sister isn’t just trying to get out of Sunday dinner. That your coworker isn’t taking the day off to go shopping. That your wife isn’t a whiner who doesn’t want to do housework. Migraine is a real, systemic and debilitating neurological disease that no amount of positive thinking can cure. In fact, there is no cure at all; modern medicine doesn’t even know the full extent of the causes of migraine.
June is National Migraine Awareness Month and today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day. I’ve been doing a lot this month to raise awareness, but I realized I’ve been preaching to the choir on migraine-focused blogs, websites and Facebook pages. So I’m writing this letter to all of those without migraine. Though you may not personally suffer from the illness, there’s no doubt you know someone who does. If this letter had touched you at all, please let them know that you understand migraine is not just a headache. They may brush you off - that’s what you learn to do when you have an illness that’s so often viewed as an excuse - but I guarantee they will take your words to heart. And I hope you will, too."
Migraine related conditions:
1. Prodrome Phase (hours or days before the headache). Irritability. Depression. Euphoria. Fatigue and/or sleepiness. Yawning. Cravings. Stiffness and/or pain in neck. Dizziness. Changes in elimination
2. Aura Phase (minutes to an hour before the headache). Blurred vision. Clouded vision. Tunnel vision. Flashing lights. Dazzling zigzag lights. Eye pain. Numbness and/or tingling (esp. in arms and face). Ringing or roaring in ears. Decreased hearing. Vertigo (imbalance or spinning sensation). Olfactory (smelling) hallucinations. Difficulty finding the right word or words to say. Oversensitivity to being touched
3. Headache Phase. Pulsing, throbbing, or pounding headache. Often on one side only or worse on one side. Can start as a dull ache and get worse. Lasts from a few hours to a few days. Nausea with or without vomiting. Sensitivity to light or sound or both. Pale skin. Prominent blood vessels in temple. Neck stiffness. Vertigo. Tinnitus. Chills and/or Sweating. Difficulty thinking or concentrating
4. Postdrome (lasting up to several days) Impaired thinking. Difficulty concentrating. Less severe head pain. Muscle weakness. Neck stiffness. Fatigue and/or sleepiness. Euphoria. Depression or malaise.
(Headache and Migraine News)
Baxter, Blodin, Betsy "Migraine Expressions: A Creative Journey Through Life With Migraine"
Bernstein, Carolyn & McArdle, Elaine "The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health" (highly recommended)
Brink, Martin "The Migraine Revolution" Scientifi Guide to Effective Treatment and Permanent Headache Relife. What the current regime does not want your brain to know.
Bush, Catherine "Claire's Head"
Chino, Allan F., M.D.; Dille Davis, Corinne, Ph.D. "Validate Your Pain!: Exposing the Chronic Pain Cover-Up"
Cowan, Robert "Keeler Migraine Method: A Groundbreaking, Individualized Treatment Program from the Renowned Headache Clinic"
Davis, Stefanie M. "Through the Eye of Migraine"
Fontebasso, Dr. Manuela "Migraine and Other Headaches. Answers at Your Fingertips"
Frith, Alison "Coping with Headaches and Migraine"
Greenberg, Lynne "The Body Broken: A Memoir"
Griffin, Shelly L. "The Migraine Deliverance Planner"
Grossinger, Richard "Migraine Auras: When the Visual World Fails"
Hatak "Guided Tour of Hell In the Words of Migraine Sufferers"
Hutchinson, Susan "The Woman's Guide to Managing Migraine: Understanding the Hormone Connection to find Hope and Wellness"
Kabat-Zinn, Jon "Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness"
- "Mindfulness Meditation" **
Kamen, Paula "All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache"
Lane, Russell; Davies, Paul "Migraine"
Levy, Andrew "A Brain Wider Than the Sky: A Migraine Diary"
Lynne, Jean "My Life With Migraines"
MacGregor, Ann; Frith, Alison "ABC of Headache"
Marcus, Dawn A. Bain, Philip "The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause"
McCleary, Larry "The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms, and Boost Mental Energy"
O'Shea, Kathleen "So Much More Than a Headache: Understanding Migraine through Literature"
O'Sullivan, Susan "It's All In Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness"
Nicholas, Michael; Molloy, Allan; Beeston, Lee; Tonkin, Lois "Manage Your Pain:
Practical and Positive Ways of Adapting to Chronic Pain"
Peterson, Christina "The Women's Migraine Survival Guide: The most complete, up-to-date resource on the causes of your migraine pain--and treatments for real relief"
Podoll, Klaus "Migraine Art: The Migraine Experience from Within"
Sacks, Oliver "Migraine"
Sepp, Maia "The Migraine Mafia"
Servan-Schreiber, Dr. David "Healing without Freud or Prosac"
I have not read any of these, yet, but hope to get my hands on one or more of them soon.
Suggestions for more books about this topic are always welcome.
There are so many websites and blogs about migraines, I try to list a few and will add more over time:
"The Spoon Theory" - someone with a chronic disease explains how it feels to someone who is always healthy.
How to understand someone with Chronic Pain.
ACHE - American Council for Headache Education
Advanced Migraine Relief
American Headache & Migraine Foundation
American Headache Society
Chronic Daily Headaches (Mayo Clinic)
Chronic Migraine Awareness on Facebook
Chronic Migraine Awareness on Tumblr
Headache and Migraine News
Headache Network Canada
Health with Cannabis
International Headache Society
Migraine.com. "Real voices. Expert opinions". A very professional blog.
Migraine Action. A UK based charity.
Migraines & Headaches Health Center
Migraine Recovery Phase
Migraine Support on Facebook
Migrainetalk. A forum for those who suffer from migraine. Their Useful links to other Migraine Sites.
My Chronic Migraine.
National Headache Foundation. The world's largest voluntary organization for the support of individuals with headaches.
New Life Outlook Migraine
Relieve Migraine-Headache.com - It's time to fight back
Surviving Chronic Pain
The Daily Headache
The Migraine Revolution
Virtual Medical Centre
World Health Organization on Headache Disorders.
You Know You Have a Chronic Illness When ...
Unfortunately, there were some great blogs by some migraine sufferers but they have been shut down in the meantime. It would have been nice if they had just left the information so people could still get back to it but, unfortunately, that is not always the case. But these links are still working.
Abi's Migrainous Wanderings
Chronic Migraine Warrior. The personal journey of a chronic migraineur.
CMA Awareness - Spreading Awareness about Chronic Migraines. Blog by a fellow sufferer.
Elizabeth Swenson's Migraine Support Blog
Mind Splitters and other Migraine Fun. A great blog by a lady who knows a lot about this subject.
Still Searching to Get My Life Back ...
The Migraine Girl
The Migraineur's Companion. Thoughts on living with chronic migraine.
This is My Brain on Migraines
There used to be a great blog called "Brainless Blogger". Unfortunately, it disappeared. However, there are a few articles on other sites about Nikki who ran the blog. And they are interesting sites.
A Passion for Hobbies
Blogger of the Week
Counting My Spoons
How to Write a Character With Chronic Migraines
The Disabled Diva
1% Thursday: Warning Signs
1% Thursday: Hire Someone (when you can't afford it)
1% Thursday: Moderate
3 essentials to cure hangry medic syndrome
3 Things the Chronically Ill Wish Their Loved Ones Knew
5 People You Meet When You Have A Chronic Illness
5 Realities of Living with Chronic Pain
5 Reasons a Migraine is not "Just a Headache"
5 Reasons People Abandon a Sick Friend
5 Tough Choices You Face When Chronically Ill or in Pain
8 Things Only People with Anxiety will Understand
8 Things You Can Do to Live Well With a Chronic Illness
8 Yoga Poses to Help Cervical Spine & Neck Issues
10 Common Chronic Pain Myths
10 Life Lessons Learned From a Chronic Illness
10 Migraine Resolutions to Make for 2016
10 Things I Wish People Knew About My Migraines
10 Things NOT to Say to a Person with Migraines
10 Things to Tell Your Doctor
10 Tips for Effective Migraine Management Goals
10 Ways for Migraineurs to Sneak in Some Exercise
10 Ways to Help Someone with Migraine
10 Yoga Poses to Heal Migraines
11 Tips for Living With Chronic Pain
12 Tips for Living Well with Migraines
13 Things Not To Say To Someone With A Migraine
13 Tips From 13 Years Sick
14 Migraine Prodrome Symptoms
15 Diseases, Disorders and Syndromes That Go Along with Migraine
15+ Gift Ideas for People With Migraine, Curated by People With Migraine
16 Texts From Your Migraine That Will Make You Laugh Then Cry
18 Signs You're Having a Migraine - Sometimes you get them all at the same time.
21 Thoughtful Things to Do for Someone With Migraine
22 Things About Migraines You May Not Know
23 Tips For Men on Supporting a Partner with Chronic Pain
29 Things Only Someone with Severe Migraines Would Understand
34 Truths People Who Get Migraines Wish Others Understood
After a Migraine: Vision Problems and Stroke Risk?
All About Headaches
A Love Letter to Anyone Who Struggled to Shower Today
A Migraine Is Not a Headache, Not Even Close; 17 Struggles Only Migraine-Sufferers Understand
A Not-To-Do List for the Chronically Ill
A Patient Education Day: "Take Control of your Pain"
Are Migraine Researchers Preoccupied with Pain?
Art Taught Scientists About Migraine's Pathophysiology
A Sleep Gene Has Surprising Role in Migraines
Block Migraine Pain With a Back-of-the-Head Injection
Botox for Migraine
Brain Changes May Explain Stroke Risk in Migraine Sufferers
Caution on Mixing Herbal, Migraine Meds
Chocolate for Migraine?
Chronic Migraines: A Tidal Wave of Activity in the Brain
Chronic Pain Can Damage Brain
Chronic Pain Not Only Hurts, It Also Causes Isolation and Depression. But There’s Hope.
Coffee Painkiller to Target Headaches?
Colic in Infants May be Early Sign of Migraine Headache
Don't Believe the Headlines (and the News)
Does BPA Trigger Migraine?
Does my Child Have Migraine?
Electronic Headband Prevents Migraines With Tiny Jolts
Epilepsy and migraine 'could have shared genentic link'
Everything You Need To Know About Migraines (In Under 4 Minutes!)
Evidence Depression Isn't Just 'All In Your Head' - The Toll Depression has on the Body and Mind
Excedrin Tension Headache
Exercise as Potent Medicine
Exercise for Chronic Pain
Exploding Head Disorder
FDA Approves Device to Treat Migraine Headaches
Fight Migraine with our HeadWay Community
First Drugs To Prevent Migraines In Final Stages Of Testing
Five Lessons I Learned From Dealing with Depression
From Migraine to Mygraine
Full Ibuprofen Dosage Information for All Ages
Getting to Sleep with Migraine
Gluten-free, Casein-free Diet f- for Migraine?
Headache from WiFi? Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Headache Migraine Depression Connection
Headaches and Migraines: What's the good news?
Heat and Headaches
Hope for Migraine Sufferers as 'Ground-Breaking' Injection to Prevent Attacks is Shown to be Successful
How a Wandering Brain Can Help People Cope With Pain
How Can I Help a Friend Who Seems Depressed?
How Chronic Pain Changes Your Brain and Personality
How Dangerous are Migraine Drugs during Pregnancy?
How Disabled is Your Child With Migraine?
How I Manage Living With Migraines
How the Spoon Theory helps those suffering Chronic Pain and Fatigue
How to Cope When Chronic Pain Affects Friends, Family & Social Life
How to Cope When Your Spouse Has Migraines
How to Cope with Pain
How to Destroy Your Headaches
How to Support a Friend Who Has a Chronic Illness
How to Survive Chronic Pain, One Moment at a Time
How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain
How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain - Chronic Body Pain
Hypoglycemia and Headaches
Identifying and Avoiding Your Migraine Trigger
I Had Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
I'm Chronically Ill and Afraid of Being Lazy
Insensitive Things That People Say When You Have an Invisible Condition
I Smell a Migraine
Is Stress a Migraine Trigger?
It’s not a migraine unless it is a migraine
Learn How To Recognize Dangerous Headaches
Let's Talk About Migraine
Letter to People Without Chronic Pain
Life With an Invisible Illness
Limb Pain May Be Unrecognized Manifestation of Migraine
Living in a Big Black Hole: My Experience with Depression and Anxiety
Living with Migraine
Massage for Migraine
Medication-Overuse Headache and the Brain
Migraine: A Worldwide Crisis?
Migraine and Depression: Shared Genetics
Migraine and Epilepsy - Shared Mechanisms within the Family of Episodic Disorders
Migraine and REM Sleep
Migraine and Stroke in Young Adults and more
Migraine: Are Blood Vessels to Blame After All?
Migraine Associated Vertigo Symptoms
Migraine Can Be Life-Threatening
Migraine Disorder Comes With Its Own Set of Clues to Preventing Pain
Migraine Guided Visualization
Migraine Headaches Pictures Slideshow: 14 Non-Drug Treatments for Migraines
Migraine Headache Surgery
Migraine is Associated with Variations in Structure of Brain Arteries
Migraine Patients Find Pain Relief in Electrical Brain Stimulation
Migraine Research: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do
Migraines Can Cause Permanent Brain Damage, Study Finds
Migraines ... Headaches You Were Born to Have - and the best cure may be a cup of coffee or two
Migraines Linked To Genetic Regions
Migraines Linked to Structural Changes in Brain
Migraines May Be Mini-Strokes That Cause Brain Damage
Migraines, not really "headaches"
Migraines: Simple Steps to Head Off the Pain
Migraine study 'opens door' to research into a cure
Migraine sufferers many times deal with social stigma as well as pain
Migraines With Neck Pain
Migraine Symptoms: Sneaky Signs Before Your Head Hurts
Migraine Symptoms: Transient Aphasia
Migraine Triggers: Track them Down
Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to All Stroke Types - Migraines & Headaches Health Center
Migraine with Aura
Migrainous Infarction - A Stroke from Migraine?
More Than Just a Headache: Battling Migraine Stigma
Mysterious Changes Identified in The Brains of People Who Get Migraines
Natural Migraine Relief: the Best Strategies
New Drug to Fight Migraine Shows Promise
New Migraine Drugs Bring Relief to Sufferers With Pain Prevention, Not Just Treatment
New Migraine Drugs Promise Relief - But at a Steep Price
New Migraine Treatments Show Promise
New Theory on Cause of Migraine
Niagrara Falls Illumination
Niagara Falls on Chronic Migraine Awareness Day
No One Talks About the Fear
Not a Stroke Just a Migraine
Not Just a Headache: How Migraine Changes Your Brain
Nutrition for Migraine Prevention
On Wishing and Hoping for a Migraine Free Future
Optic Nerve Plays a Major Role in Migraine Pain
Potential Migraine Phases and Symptoms
Professors Delve into Mysteries Behind Chronic Pain, Migraines
"Proof" That Headaches are Caused by Stress?
Relaxation Techniques for Migraines and Headaches
Robbins Headache Clinic Treating Anxiety
Sex Matters in Migraines
Share Your Migraine-Fighting Recipe!
She Changed How I See My Disability With a Pair of Socks
Sick Building Syndrome May Be Linked To Migraines
Silk Ring Theory - How Not to Say the Wrong Thing
Six Common Misconceptions about the Chronically Ill
Sleeping Sound with Chronic Pain
Status Migrainosus - When the Attack Doesn't Stop
Still Searching To Get My Life Back
Suicide and Chronic Migraines
Suicide Headaches: 5 Realities Of The Worst Thing Ever
Suffer From Migraines? Device Worn on the Head may Prevent Them
Suffer From Migraines? Try and Sit Up Straight: Hunching Over Computers and Not Getting Enough Sleep Could Be to Blame
Suicide Headaches: 5 Realities Of The Worst Thing Ever
The 19th Century Doctor Who Mapped His Hallucinations
The 7 Psychological Stages of Chronic Pain
The Extra Burdens Faced by Young People with Chronic Illness
The Hidden Ingredient in Your Painkillers
The Link Between Depression and Migraine
The Mighty - Kerry Hussey
The Migraine Dirty Dozen - Things Not to Say to a Chronic Migraineur
The Migraine Warrior Toolbox: IceKap Review
The Phases of Migraines and Getting Through Migraine Postdrome
The Pressure to Say You're OK
The Reality Of Chronic Pain Is Different From the Movies
Theramine for Migraine
Theraspecs - Glasses that block unwanted light to provide immediate and lasting relief
There's nothing funny about getting a migraine
The Silencing Effect of Chronic Illness - The Daily Headache
The Top Migraine Triggers
The Traveling Migraine Diary
They Don't Give You a Headache - but 'silents migraines' can be even more shattering
This Migraine Preventing Space Tiara Was Just Approved by the FDA
Those with migraine still stigmatized
Top 7 ways to stop Weekend Headache
Top 10 Brain-Damagine Habits
Top 10 Migraine Triggers
Top Ten Things You Should Know if Your Spouse Has Chronic Migraine
To the Husband of the Wife Living With Chronic Illness
To the Person With a Chronic Illness Who Feels Like a Burden
Trapped by my Prescription Drug Coverage
Unusual Botox Treatment for Cluster Headache
Vitamin D: An Important Migraine Treatment?
Weight Loss Benefits: Study Says Losing Weight Can Prevent Migraines
What are Silent Migraines?
What Are The Best Places To Live For Migraine Sufferers
What Causes Migraines? The Common Triggers Plus Best Treatments
What Do You Tell Your Doctor?
What is Migraine
What Migraines Really Feel Like, From People Who Get Them
What's Tylenol Doing to Our Minds
What the Chronically Ill DON'T Want to Hear
What the Healthy Can Learn from the Sick
What You Need to Know about Migraine in Emergency
When a "Toothache" is Really a Migraine
When Dizziness is Serious
When People Ask How I Do My Job With My Chronic Pain
When People See My Pills and Say, 'You Know That Stuff Is Poison, Right?'
When Using Triptans, Do You Make This Mistake?
Where Is the Cure for the Migraine?
Why I Do Things That May Make My Chronic Pain Worse
Why Migraines Deserve More Attention
Why Spitting It Out Could Stop Headache Pain
Word of Mouth - Can dentists cure migraines?
Yoga May Help Feet, Ease Migraine
Animationsfilm: "Migräne? Hab ich im Griff!"
Deutsche Migräne- und Kopfschmerzgesellschaft e.V.
Migräne, eine Erbkrankheit?
Ratgeber Migräne. Informationen für Betroffene und Interessierte
A Migraine in (Animated) Action
Chronic Migraine We are Not Alone
Migraine Pain is 'Indescribable' by Cindy McCain
Migraines: Not Just Another Headache
Migraine with Aura
Stress Release! I'm About to Whip Somebody's A**! Song of a Duck
Slideshow: Celebrities with Migraines
The Faces of Migraine 2013
The Frightening Impact of Chronic Migraines (Huffpost)
The Mystery of Chronic Pain
The Postdrone: Migraine's Silent Sister
Yoga for Complete Beginners - Yoga Class 20 Minutes
Other Pain Articles:
4 Foods That Can Fight Depression
5 Things I learned From Helping My Dad Die
7 Big, stupid, destructive lies depression tells you
10 Simple things you can do today that will make you happier, backed by science
Aneurysm and Headache
Book raises alarms about alternative medicine
Cities with the most digitally-connected seniors
The Dangers Of High-Functioning Depression And Anxiety
Depression can be migraine's tipping point
Depression is a common occurrence in a chronic pain condition, and insomnia is quite common in depression. Do you take an antidepressant to help you sleep?
Good Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain
Five Lessons I Learned From Dealing with Depression
Higher Rates of Migraine Headaches in People With Celiac Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
How depression feels for some people.
How to find out which foods are making you sick
How to stop an anxious thought in its tracks
If You Know Someone Who's Depressed - What Depression Is Not
'Just Snap Out of It' - Four Hidden Truths About Depression
Positivity is Bullshit When You Have Cancer
Six Common Misconceptions about the Chronically Ill
Stroke has a new indicator
Symptoms of Depression
The Connection Between Migraines and Skin Temperature
The Myth of Eight Hour Sleep
The Science of Sleep: Dreaming, Depression, and How REM Sleep Regulates Negative Emotions
Three Fascinating Depression Articles in Recent News
Yoga for Complete Beginners - Yoga Class 20 Minutes
Cefaly - FDA Approves New Device to Prevent Migraines
Migraine Relief Wrap
MigraLens - Helps effectively manage & soothe light sensitive migraine
These products have been recommended by some sufferers, I have not tried them.
Migraine and Art:
Migraine Art - National Headache Foundation
"Migraine Art: The Migraine Experience from Within" by Klaus Podoll, Derek Robinson, Oliver Sacks
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Unfortunately, Nikki from Brainless Blogger has not only stopped posting on her website but deleted it completely. She always had fantastic advice. Luckily, I had copied a very important one. Should anyone here know whether Nikki is on another site now (I have not found one), please, let me know.
So, here is the post:
Chronic pain: changes to the brain
I feel this study that came out of Australia (see here: How Chronic Pain Changes Your Brain and Personality) has some important lessons for us to think about for our coping with chronic pain and that is why I felt the need to mention it. As well as some previous research I remember coming across.
Chronic pain can change the way your brain processes emotion, scientists find
It was a small study, as scan studies tend to be, where they looked at the brain scans of 19 individuals with nerve pain and jaw disorders compared to the scans of 19 healthy individual control subjects.
The main finding is that those with chronic pain had lower levels of glutamate which is an important chemical messenger between brain cells that helps regulate our emotions.
What this means for us is pretty important:
"[It] means their brain cells can no longer communicate properly and therefore their ability to process positive emotion is jeopardised," Associate Professor Gustin said.
As a result, people in chronic pain can have personality changes where they are "prone to feeling tired, unmotivated and constantly worrying on a daily basis", she said.
You can see how these results are pretty important to our coping with pain when we already have to deal with being tired, unmotivated and worried. Unmotivated is the one in particular that concerns me. We need motivation for many of the daily things we need to do to cope and it is extremely hard to muster that up. And one does wonder why that is.
The researchers found that the greater the decrease in glutamate the more chronic pain people showed pessimism, fatigue, fear, and sensitivity to criticism.
And I know fatigue can be something that is immensely difficult to deal with. As is fear when it comes to fear of activity or fear of the future. And we do tend to constantly fight a pessimistic attitude and we are very aware of that.
Clearly, they want to see these results replicated in a larger trial.
"We know that almost half of people with chronic pain have mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and these findings may well be an explanation," she said.
"The research could help change the way we understand and respond to chronic pain."
There has been previous research on motivation
That motivation thing and what to do about it and it references a study done on mice that showed a disruption on the reward system of the brain. The mice with chronic pain, even treated, had no motivation to seek the reward they knew was there. And maybe there is a connection. The chronic pain was causing more than just lack of motivation but also fatigue, fear, and pessimism… they just gave up on that reward.
When you think of chronic pain and motivation with these issues:
It makes sense and it explains a lot. Chronic pain makes living life and doing things a Momentous effort. And it does seem that our own brains are constantly sabotaging us. And one way is the motivation problems we can have… like we have to Force ourselves to Do things and hope that will eventually give us our motivation back… but it never does. Instead, we are constantly exhausted… just all the time and everything seems like so much damn effort.
And that compromises our capacity to cope and manage chronic pain. We may have a routine of things that help us cope… but it never becomes a routine because motivation lacks so much or fatigue is just so intense. It is a struggle to do the things we know make us feel a little bit better, even though we Know those things help. And that makes our mood suffer. Why can’t we just Do the things we need to Do that help us feel better and cope better? Well, don’t knock yourself… our brains, apparently, are just not helping us in this.
So I do believe the research is onto something. We know already that chronic pain isn’t just pain. It comes with symptoms as well.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Withdrawal from Activity
Increased Need to Rest
Weakened Immune System
Changes in Mood: Hopelessness, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Irritibility
So consider all that when you are trying to cope and set up routines and habits to help you cope. It is a challenge. We will falter from time to time. It is going to happen and we shouldn’t feel guilty about that, just try again the next day. It takes a lot to fight our brains on this and deal with the chronic pain at the same time.
What it essentially boils down to is that chronic pain is complex and difficult to manage. Difficult to treat as well. And one of the reasons why is that these other symptoms do not help us with struggling to engage in our own treatment but rather compromise it. And it can be a real struggle for us to stay on the track we want. Or feel like we are getting any results at all. That pessimism we can have can make us halt any treatment believing nothing works or will ever work. I have been there. However, that was because I had that pessimism, the fatigue and depression rolled into one. And yeah it felt futile. And at those times it does seem like a break from ALL that is the best I can even do. But eventually, I get some motivation back to find the energy to work at different coping strategies and develop new habits and routines to help me cope. Hoping I will not compromise my own coping again, knowing it is very possible I will. Sometimes the best we can do is just cope the best we can when we can.
I have checked and rechecked all these links but there are always some that disappear from one day to the next. Please, let me know when you find that a link does not work anymore.
And, if you know of a good link that I did not include, definitely let me know, as well. Thank you very much.
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