Crying as a migraine trigger
By The Migraine Girl—January 30, 2012

In a previous post I mentioned how, at times, it seems as if crying a little bit will help ease the pressure in my head.

I’m not sure if that’s a real phenomenon or an imagined one, but there’s one tear-related thing I know triggers a migraine for me: really hard sobbing.
While I cry at the drop of a hat (a Hallmark commercial or a bad movie will sometimes get me faster than real-life sadness will!), I don’t often have long sob-fests as I did when I was a kid or a hormone-filled teenager.

Cue the grave illness of my sweet baby cat and her death a few weeks later, and things changed: I felt (and occasionally feel) the inconsolable sobs that I’d not experienced in many years. After Wally’s initial heart disease diagnosis but before her death, I was crying a lot but mainly holding it together, tear-wise. My mind was not in the bookstore very well, which was difficult as Christmas holiday shopping season was fast approaching and I needed to be at my job many hours a day. But when Wally died the first week of December, I started to sob and felt I barely stopped for days. Being at work helped since I could immerse myself in distraction, but being at home where I was constantly reminded of her absence just led to more tears.

Of course many things contributed to my few days of migraine in early December—a migraine is often the result of a perfect storm of triggers, as we well know. But I can say for sure that sobbing over Wally’s death pushed my slight discomfort into full migraine territory. My nasal passages got all stuffed up and my eyes were so puffy I didn’t quite look like myself. Jim continually encouraged me to try to calm down, especially because I was working myself up and increasing the chances of a full-fledged migraine. But it was hard to stop.
Things are a little better now—yesterday I went a whole day without crying over Walls (with the exception of some teary-eyed moments). It seems to be getting better, but I know I’ll always miss her.

Have you ever cried so hard you triggered a migraine? And/or has the stress of losing someone close to you spun you into a migraine episode?

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About The Migraine Girl

Bookshop owner & migraineur Janet "The Migraine Girl" Geddis moved around a bit in her early 20s before deciding to make Athens, Georgia her home

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