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Migraine as a living, thinking entity

Do you ever think of your migraine as a sentient being, as a character in your life who comes and goes as she pleases?

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When thinking about migraine, I find that I am thinking of “my” migraine. Without realizing it, I’ve created this personal for my migraine and react to and rationalize with it as if it’s a living, thinking being. I’m not sure when this started, but the more I notice my habit, the more it seems to be happening.

The other day I awoke with a migraine. While brushing my hair, I looked in the mirror, eyes slightly upturned so they were looking at my eyebrow (often the center of my migraine headache) in the mirror. “Not today. You need to go away,” I said, mouth full of toothpaste suds. I’d spoken aloud without having planned to. I was talking to my migraine.

As I said, this happens to me a lot. I find myself bargaining with this entity: “Today is a really important day. If you go away today, you can come back on such-and-such day when I don’t have any obligations.” I tell it (though usually in my head, not aloud) that it’s not fair to visit me so often. That I eat well and drink well and exercise and take care of myself—so I don’t deserve its creeping up on me yet again.

Do you ever find yourself talking to your migraine as if it can hear you? I’m wondering if this happens more with chronic migraineurs than with occasional or episodic patients. Does it help you to think of your migraine as something that has willpower that can listen to you, or do you feel a little crazy? I’d love to know.

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.


  • Karen Rudd
    4 years ago

    Now that I’ve read this, I realize that I have always thought if my migraines as separate from me personally, and as an adversary residing in my head. It’s the ‘not today you don’t’ or ‘just give me a few minutes of peace, please’ school of thought. When i was younger (11ish or so) and the migraines started, I told my pediatrician it felt like men with pick axes were mining in my brain. All these years later, that’s still a pretty accurate description even though my knowledge and vocabulary have expanded exponentially.

  • Zev
    7 years ago

    I may not talk to my migraines but I do find them to be an entity of their own. I actually wrote a poem about it on this website think. “I am pain” Zev Meyers.

  • David Lavigne
    8 years ago

    Having a migraine can be a very hard, especially when your employer or the people in you life don’t understand the syptoms you are experiencing are unbearable.

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