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Crying as migraine relief

One of the first times I talked about migraine with a fellow sufferer was when I was in my easy 20s. I’d been diagnosed with migraine at age 21 but didn’t have any friends (at least close ones I knew of) who had the same affliction.

But when I moved to Florida in 2002, I met a coworker who also had migraine. I vividly recall talking to her after a meeting one afternoon about migraine disease, amazed that someone in my small work group knew where I was coming from.. I was so surprised and relieved to talk with someone who knew what I went through I was bordering on giddy.

The parallels between us seemed too amazing to be true, though now I recognize the traits we shared as pretty typical hallmarks of migraine attacks. Sensitivity to light? She had that too! And feeling nauseated? Yup, happened to M. as well. Needing to hide away in bed for hours at a time? She also knew what that was like. I’ll never forget the immense comfort and camaraderie of finding someone who really understood.

Soon our conversation turned to treatments and remedies. At the time, we both had Imitrex prescriptions but, more often than not, relied on Excedrin Migraine to help us. I remember saying, “And you know how sometimes it feels like you need to cry, and if you could just cry a little, you know you’d feel better?”

“Um, no. That doesn’t happen to me.”

Oh.

But many times since that long-ago conversation I’ve wondered if anyone else has experienced that feeling, the feeling that shedding a few tears would release some head pressure and make the migraine discomfort a little better. Anyone?

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

Comments

  • Malachi Vinaccia
    4 years ago

    I find myself forcing myself to cry whenever I have a migraine. Personally, it clears it up almost completely! Also, I’m able to control the pressure in my head (moving the pressure to the left, right, front, back, or the bottom of my head) anyone else?? Whenever I use my pendulum (crystal pendulum) and I want the crystal to move left to right, the left and right side of my head begins to fill up with pressure, and then bam! the crystals moving left to right, same as front to back. Wondering if anyone has the same experience?

  • Hope
    5 years ago

    This may sound odd but I have noticed when I cry during a migraine my tears feel exceptionally hot, more then any other time I weep. My dear hubby gets concerned crying will make it worse, and yes being congested is not fun on top of the rest of the pain but sometimes I just can not cope and the tears spill out. I remember reading an article about stress hormones being released in tears and wonder if there is a connection. It does not however alleviate my migraine.

  • Dan Levesque
    7 years ago

    Crying for me relieves allot of pressure, but not enough to be able to cope with the pain. The other issue is if I do end up crying I cannot stop it until the pain is gone.
    As others have stated here, I am getting older and unable to cope with this pain as I used to. I have done all I can at this point, and running out of options.

  • Helen Si
    7 years ago

    Last night my son had migraine. He said he wanted to cry but I thought crying would make it worse. But actually after he cried, he said he felt much much better. Then he went to sleep. This morning he got up really early and everything is fine.

  • Lisa Brien
    8 years ago

    If I cry while I have a migraine it does help to relieve it some, so doesn’t pulling on my hair & ears. also diet pepsi with 1 oz of M&Ms helps. other than that it’s ice, darkness and nothing touching my head.

  • Elaine Axten
    8 years ago

    emotionally, yes. unfortunately I have tried it, and physically NO – crying actually makes my migraine worse and sets off what is either more migraine or an equally horrible sinus thing. GAH.

  • Nancy Ann Martin
    8 years ago

    Crying gives me a Migraine. If a cry during a Migraine, it makes it so much worse. I really try to avoid it.

  • Janice Worden Lamb Clemens
    8 years ago

    Crying makes my migraines worse, so I try really, really hard not to cry! Even when the pain is to the point of no return…..

  • Amy Kimes
    8 years ago

    crying is one of my triggers and I go out of my way to avoid it. boundaries and avoidance of feelings that could bring me to excessive crying.

  • Heather McGunigle
    8 years ago

    Cry when you feel like it. Then stop when you are done.

  • Alison Rolfe
    8 years ago

    Oliver Sacks states this as relief for migraines and calls this ‘lysis’. It includes vomiting etc etc.

  • Jewels Jacobs
    8 years ago

    I think doing the remedies, like crying, ice packs, etc only fits for sum and when found one stay went it ,,

  • Jewels Jacobs
    8 years ago

    man I just got over one but I mad they recalled my only aid pill excedrin,,,,,, and yes crying sumtimes works for the pressure,,, the hardest is for me I cant and scared to sleep wit my brain hurting so freaky bad.

  • Stacy Phillips
    8 years ago

    I have cried, and it just makes it more intense for me, and I agree with Darlene. Getting sick makes the pain worse initially, but then there is some relief.

  • Georgia Slesinger
    8 years ago

    Unfortunately, one of the miseries of migraine is needing to cry, but not being able to because it will make it worse:(( At least for me.

  • Christina Bosman Fulton
    8 years ago

    Crying almost always gives me a migraine.

  • Jane Ann Cantwell
    8 years ago

    If I cried…I would suffer soooo much more..I just got put on Trexemed…Miracle drug for me..Don’t get that hang over feeling once my headache is relieved. I also use 2 tylenol PM and a gkass of coke with alot of ice if I don’t want to use my meds..Don’t like to use them all the time so that I do’t build up a resistance to them. But I found having coco a cola with what ever I am using to take the headache away is always a plus..I know this sounds silly but I thnk the caffeine in the soda is a plus too.

  • Jaylene Ancheta
    8 years ago

    For me, crying will give me a migraine. If I already have one then it will get much worse. Sometimes, I can’t help it though because the pain is so bad. Then, I will let my self cry anyway…then I will feel better emotionally and I’m better able to handle the migraine pain until it goes away. I have this happen to me quite often lately…the older I get the less I’m able to tolerate pain and so I’ve been crying a lot more.

  • Sarah Hall
    8 years ago

    Sometimes it makes it worse for me

  • Anna Hendrix Warren
    8 years ago

    My RN migraine sufferer mother used to say to me, “Don’t cry, it’ll only make it worse!” I have found that sometimes crying does relieve a little pressure, especially in my eye. Even if it doesn’t take the migraine away, it often makes me feel better just to shed a few tears.

  • Darlene Jerman Rose
    8 years ago

    My comment was supposed to be *physically getting sick. I’m suffering from one right now, I know if I could get sick, the pressure would be relieved.

  • Dan Levesque
    7 years ago

    Yes getting sick does help a little with the pressure. But getting sick can make it worse as all the blood rushes.

  • Jane Ann Cantwell
    8 years ago

    ditto sister…but only for a while..sleep, sleep n more sleep is my remedy!!!!

  • Alison Rolfe
    8 years ago

    Yep, it feels like it would help, especially when I feel like there is someone inside my head poking me in the eye.

  • Darlene Jerman Rose
    8 years ago

    Crying has never helped my migraine go away, but physically getting

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