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Cursed: Migraine in a word

Another word that stood out to me among the responses to our recent request that you describe how migraine disease makes you feel in one word is “cursed.” I have a confession to make: from the time I started having migraine attacks as a child (somewhere around age 6), I thought they were evidence I was being punished for some kind of deficiency. In a nutshell, I felt cursed.

migraine feeling

When you suffer debilitating pain, extreme nausea and disorientation as a child, there are a few natural reactions to this. One is to never, ever tell anyone you sometimes didn’t know where you were or why you were there despite being at the studio for dance lessons where you went every single week. Another is that you search for an explanation for your suffering because it doesn’t even occur to you that someone could be feeling this way and not have done something to deserve it. I liken it to the way kids tend to believe their parents’ divorce is their fault despite a complete lack of evidence to support that view.

Now that I’m all grown up I know a lot more about my migraine disease and have more information about why I live with it. On a basic level I completely understand it’s a bad combination of the right genetics (most likely on both my mom and dad’s side of the family) and really bad luck. But I must admit there is still some part of me that remembers the feeling that I’ve brought this on myself like it was yesterday and still sort of buys in to it. I know it’s irrational and unhealthy and just plain wrong. But it’s hard to let go of something so deeply ingrained.

Can anyone else relate to feeling as though migraine disease is a curse? Have you ever felt like you must have done something to bring this on yourself?

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

  • Caterina Roseanna Castaldi
    8 years ago

    thank you peter…i will talk to my doctor next week when I see him…

  • Peter Meade
    8 years ago

    I’m a 50 year old male and I’ve had chronic migraines since I was very little. Missed a lot of school, didn’t go to college because I knew it could end up being a long, expensive waste of time in my case, and I have spent a fortune on doctors over the years. Fall is always the worst time, though the past few years it seems it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Cursed — over the years, yes, that’s how I’ve felt. But I’ve been determined to do all I can to minimize the effects by aggressively treating my pain. I’ve had a bleeding ulcer from the massive amounts of Excedrin I used; ergotamine poisoning from overuse of Cafergot; been on and off narcotics for most of my adult life and wear a narcotic pain patch now. Imitrex has been my godsend, even if I have to use it several times a week. I’ve consistently held a job since I was a teenager, thanks to the understanding of my employers, but I don’t know how long I can keep working as I feel my strength wearing down, and I’m missing more and more work. I’ve been told going on disability for migraine is almost impossible. I could use some advice on this. I’ve developed temporal arthritis, diverticulitis, and recently struggled through a bout of shingles. Add almost daily level 8 or 9 migraines, and you get the picture. I’m worn out. No longer cursed, just burdened — as are my wife and family members who feel helpless for what I go through, and suffer in their way. I don’t feel cursed, I feel burdened and that I am a burden.

  • Caterina Roseanna Castaldi
    8 years ago

    I have been miserable with my migranes nothing really helps and I get depressed alot from the pain…

  • Noreen C. Richards Frederick
    8 years ago

    Not cursed, but depressed and helpless when I am having one, since there are no doctors near where I live that deal with them, and I can’t get any real help, with any meds that will help. Been on just about every anti-dep. there are, quit them when they didn’t work anyhow!

  • Peter Meade
    8 years ago

    Imitrex has been the most effective reliever for me, and I’ve tried everything out there in the past 30 + years. The side-effects are minimal, and the injections take effect within 10 minutes. If you haven’t tried it, please do. There’s a generic now that is 1/10th the cost and works just as well.

  • Susan Baird
    8 years ago

    Not cursed so much as despair. They are debilitating even with medication and I feel I can never achieve my potential as long as they hang around.

  • Krista
    8 years ago

    Migraines do feel like a curse sometimes. I have a hard time beating myself up for not being the “perfect patient.” I fear that it might be fault for getting so many migraines. Part of me knows this isn’t true, but emotionally, not so much.

  • mich1
    8 years ago

    Devastating!

  • Kelly, FlyWithHope
    8 years ago

    This is really great insight, especially for parents of children with Migraine. As you said, even as an adult, I struggle to wonder “What did I do?” It is hard mind-set to change…especially when things are so severe and perspective is blurred.

  • Nikki Albert
    8 years ago

    I never used to think I did anything to bring it on myself, but a couple decades with chronic migraines I feel insanely guilty about them. I can in sick to work and feel guilty about it, ashamed for being crippled by pain even though I work full time so 90% of the time I am in pain and going to work. But my feelings of guilt are all tied into my work. Sometimes because employers certainly put the blame on the individual, our lifestyles or something we are not doing or whatever. Plus all the guilt trips on how I am letting them down, my co-workers down, my customers down… after awhile that sticks to a person and you just begin to think it is your fault, as in, if you only had the perfect lifestyle or a better pain tolerance it would not be an issue. And the times I’ve had to be on leaves from work, just more guilt, because then I feel useless and unworthy. Kind of damned if I do, damned if I don’t situation. Definitely cursed in the sense there is not escape from the pain for sure.

  • Nikki Albert
    8 years ago

    No worries. I’m happy enough. I know I can be happy and be in pain, although some think that can’t be true, but when we have chronic pain we figure it out. I’d rather be in the moment happy, even if I am in pain, even if I am at work, than dwelling on the pain itself, or the pain tomorrow or feeling guilty about being ill. But sometimes I dwell. Sometimes I rant. Sometimes I’m frustrated. Sometimes I’m insanely tired. Sometimes I contemplate becoming a heroin addict. But mostly I laugh and distract myself in any way possible.

  • Guy Albert
    8 years ago

    Today is another day yesterdays migraine is yesterdays today you can decide to be a victim or you can decide to be happy… I know that is soooo hard to do but it does work, if you can have fun at work go for it it is better to be happy than sad…. I love you

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