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Creativity and migraine?

I’m going to write an article for a weekly paper about the relationship (or lack thereof) between disorders such as Migraine disease, bipolar disorder, depression, etc. and creativity. If anyone has any feedback they’d like to give, I’d love to read it!


Have a migraine as we speak, so I’m going to lie down again.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • themigrainegirl
    9 years ago

    I somehow never thanked you all for this feedback. It's always heartening to hear that we can connect to each other and get support from one another through this blog.

    Right now I'm waiting for my Imitrex to work and have a piece I need to write for a local website. It was good to read some of your thoughts on migraine & creativity during a time when I have a migraine and need to be creative! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Almost daily migraines for 3 years now…started out as "sinus infections" or so I thought. Three Neurologists, acupuncture, Botox, Trigger point injections, a three day chiropractic surgical procedure, a stint on "Dopomax (Topomax), up to 450mgs!, Beta blockers, anti depressants,yoga, meditation Gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, zero caffeine trails..all to no avail. Then there is the feeling sorry for myself, telling everyone I meet I am suffering…and all the well meaning ignorant folks who really just want to help but offer suggestions that are really insulting and insensitive, like " If you pursue therapy maybe the pain will subside", or "let me pray for you. Have you tried prayer?" UUUGGGGHHHH!!!
    Lately I have taken to working on acceptance of the pain…saving my precious Relpax for the days I work,and saying "I am great" when someone asks. Creative endeavors do help, as does ice packs, retail therapy if the pain is not too high, yoga, meditation, swimming, long showers, watching movies…Still, It is good to remember I am not alone. So many of us are suffering, silently, daily. God bless.

  • Katie H
    11 years ago

    Because being creative relieves stress, if my head isn’t too bad and I can write or cook or whatever I feel like doing it helps and I feel a bit better.

    But being in constant pain completely saps your energy, and sometimes I can’t do anything. And then I get bored, and more stressed. And frustrated that I can’t let my creative energy out.

    So it is kind of a series of different vicious circles depending on the situation.

    And then there are those times when I just feel like my brain is broken and I can’t even think- well, creativity just goes out the window completely then.

  • N. Ayad
    11 years ago

    Hi. Great blog.

    I also experience extremely vivid, extremely odd dreams during an attack. I’ve also noticed that occasionally during the prodome I get slightly more productive. I tend to have a long prodome so I think it may have something to do w/trying to get things done before the actual headache sets in.

    As for creativity during the headache. My theory on that is that it’s similar to how some people get inspiration when they’re half-asleep or in the shower, you’re either letting your mind wander or depending on the severity of the attack, are trying to focus your attention on other things. There’s quite a bit of literature on creativity/depression/bipolar disorder…I’m not sure how much exists on migraine and creativity. The migraine thing is fairly new to me. New Scientist mag. from the UK and Scientific American Mind might be good places to start if you’ve not checked them out.

    One thing that I would find interesting to see a list of artists, writers, musicians, etc… who suffer or suffered from migraines. e.g. I saw something in passing about one of the guys in Wilco that mentioned migraines.

    I’d also be curious to see what kind of coping strategies people have, especially musicians. (I know mine, but this post is kind of long as it is…)

  • Anonymous
    11 years ago

    Long time reader, first time poster here 🙂 So first: thanks for making this blog! It has made my life with chronic daily headaches and migraines a little easier to cope with.. And made me feel less alone! And I’m from Norway, so your blog is reaching across the pond 🙂

    But to give my two cents on your blog entry here:
    My head is often buzzing with creative thoughts and ideas (music, lyrics, art etc.) when I’m having a migraine, but of course I don’t have the strength to set the ideas out to life when in the middle of an attack, so I have to save them for later… I’ve always been a creative person, but I do think that it has been intensified by migraines these last 8 years of my life…

    And my dreams have become more vivid these last years as well! Weird, vivid dreams…

    Don’t know if that helps anything at all, but I hope it does 🙂


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