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Migraine, Head Bumps & Overreaction

As a nearly lifelong Migraineur, I’ve always been sensitive about getting bumped in the head. Definitely more concerned about it than your average Jane. But in the years since my Migraine Disease transformed from episodic to chronic, my worries about and reactions to head bumps (not to be confused with fist bumps) have become much more intense.

I think it’s probably pretty normal to bump your head from time to time. But dealing with frequent Migraine attacks makes me overly worried about how such routine incidents will affect my Migraine attack frequency and severity.

Migraine-associated symptoms like dizziness, vertigo and vision issues complicate matters by making it all too common for me to misjudge a situation and bonk my head or wipe out walking down the stairs in our house.

It’s actually to the point that my husband knows and accepts he’s not allowed to touch my head, face or neck at all without asking first. My gentle teddy bear of a husband, of all people.

But perhaps the most embarrassing part of this whole confession about head bump paranoia is how angry I feel when I have a mishap. Bumping my head getting in the car can quickly send me into a tailspin of negative, unproductive thoughts. Things like, “This is so unfair!” and “Why can’t I do normal things like a normal person?!” and “Can’t I please just get a break?!” I’m well aware of my tendency to catastrophize, and this issue certainly triggers that response in me.

So please tell me: Am I alone in any or all of this?

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.


  • 5nb7lv
    4 years ago

    I become infuriated when frightened, the loud clap, or sharp noise, especially if someone thinks it’s funny. I have to put a social face on it which can be really hard. I think I mean startle rather than frighten. Maybe I am usually in some relaxed state of mind beyond ‘normal’. Others don’t seem to mind it and will laugh.

  • tina gascon
    6 years ago

    My immediate family knows that touching my head even on a good day is not accectable and if i’m suffering an attack touching me at all is out of the question. Doesn’t it figure, when you need a hug the most you physically can’t bear it. My late husband at most would hold my hand. When I felt better I’d kiss him on the top of the head and thank him for everything.

  • claudiaglenn
    6 years ago

    I totally understand. I use a wheelchair so when people hug me they are reaching down and there is a rule in the family to not touch my head during a hug! It’s funny because before I had problems with migraines, I LOVED having my head rubbed- it was very relaxing and a sign of love from my husband. Now my head is completely off limits. Getting my hair shampooed when I get a haircut, I am always afraid that I will lose consciousness with a Basilar Migraine. No, you are not alone.

  • Ashley
    6 years ago

    The irony is incredible…. I bumped my head today and am now in the middle of a 7 out of 10 migraine. I knew it was going to happen…. Of course, it took a few hours to really flare up… And OF COURSE it happened while I was visiting my twins’ kindergarten classes. 🙁

    Long story short, I have 3 young daughters, a husband, 2 dogs, and 5 cats, and they ALL know not to touch my head. It sucks that it has to be that way, but they are very understanding! I love my support system!

  • blueskies
    6 years ago

    The first classic migraine I ever experienced came on at the age of 20 after I really banged my head against a very low door lintel. About 20 minutes later I had the visuals and then some peace for another 20 minutes and then the migraine hit. It was the worst head pain I’d suffered until then. I’m now 58, a chronic migraineur, and I still have moments of anxiety, blame myself for ‘over-reacting’ if I even bump my head on a kitchen cabinet door. I am so glad you wrote of this experience as it’s such a relief for me to finally mention this fear ‘out loud.’ I’ve never told anyone of the fear of bumping my head. It’s all a part of my fear of my migraines. I get through them, it doesn’t leave me a lot of life, can never commit ahead of time to doing anything (or when I do I start to feel very stressed about it), but despite this I still have some sort of life. I try to focus and remember the good days. But the fear never leaves, really.

  • body
    6 years ago

    You are not alone. My head is the most sensitive part of my body and after being married for 35 years my husband knows touching my head or neck is off limits :).

  • Amie Marie
    6 years ago

    Not unusual for me either. I am nursing a very bruised ankle and broken baby toe from me, meds, dizzy spell. My parents were helping my daughter with homework and I wanted to do something with her. Fell in kitchen, don’t know when I left the hall. Hit my head getting into the car two days before and got a headache. I have been down on myself since I fell, several days ago. Every time I wince I yell at myself.

  • vitamin_migraine
    6 years ago

    In my early days, before I knew what a migraine even was, I would have fainting auras. 3 concussions before I learned the precursors of a fainting spell. Even if I feel like fainting I’m still to embarrassed to tell anyone, especially to tell them it’s a migraine. I always feared the concussions complexified my migraines. I have chronic status migrainus of hemiplegic and basilar type. Imagine a 2 week long hemiplegic migraine where your main concern is not falling and hitting your head. When you’re not crying with a bag of frozen corn on your head that is. You’re definitely not alone. I usually tell myself things like even if I can’t feel the floor I know it’s there, don’t worry. Essentially, I try not to let fear run my life. Living with chronic migraines I have no choice. But anxiety and depression, while impossible to avoid, I do have a choice still. Separate the two arrows!!

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