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Anyone have talking that causes migraines?

So, one of the problems that I have with both my migraine and hemicrania continua is talking and having conversations with people. I recently had a cousin that flew in here from Arizona and she stayed with us a couple nights. I was so anxious to catch up with her and spend time with her but as usual, within a couple of hours I began to get a severe migraine. I was so sad and frustrated.
I woke up the next morning and it was still there but I pushed through about one hour and then I had to take a shot and go to bed
again for awhile.
It never went away the whole time she was here and it took two more days before I got any relief and even now it is not taking much before I am feeling it wanting to come back.
One thing I have noticed is that ANY amount of talking really puts a strain on my brain and even just not talking and nodding my head, it will trigger a migraine. I have had this for years and wondered if anyone else has trouble with talking.
As my migraine gets worse, I will begin to stutter and sometimes I just can't talk at all.
Does anyone else struggle with this? I am getting very discouraged because it is getting worse for me this way.

  1. Hi - good to hear from you. This is a great question to pose and I hope it will inspire a good discussion in our community. My gut reaction is that perhaps the reason for the flare-up during conversation is due to the amount of mental and emotional engagement you are spending in listening to someone else and articulating yourself. Both these tasks tax our brain in various ways and when we live with a migraine brain, it often doesn't take much to tax an already exhausted system and result in a flare-up. I know when I try hard to focus on a task for any length of time the result will generally be a migraine. I similarly believe it's due to overtaxing an already overly taxed neurological system that's under demand so frequently due to migraine. Brain fog is a known symptom of migraine - when we are experiencing that, focusing on tasks (even listening and talking) can become exceedingly difficult.

    Regarding the difficulty in speaking, it sounds like you may be experiencing something called Aphasia. This is a symptom that can accompany migraine and basically refers to a challenge in speaking and finding words. Here's a resource that can shed more light on this issue and brain fog:

    Let me know if this resonates with you and thanks for starting the discussion! Warmly- Holly team

    1. As always you have a lot of good things to say and you are exactly right.. I was definitely overtaxing an already exhausted neurological system. Thanks for your kind words! I was feeling so down because once again, my migraine was getting in the way, and I was so afraid my cousin would feel she was to blame and not come visit me again, but she assured me she would. It was discouraging because I can't not talk to people for fear it will cause a migraine. But then when the migraine does come, then I can't talk. It is hard to find a balance. Thanks again for your kind words😀

      1. I love what you are getting at here. How do we find a way to place limitations on ourselves that we know will ultimately help us avoid a flare up- when we are at the same time fearing the social repercussions of doing so? What a conundrum! Ultimately, I tend to believe that communication is key - just as you illustrated in the example with your cousin. She was able to assure you that you had not offended her and that she would come again to see you. So perhaps as we get more confident in the fact that migraine is a complex neurological disease that we did nothing to cause - and never asked for - we can come to see we are living with a condition that must be managed proactively. Therefore it's on us sometimes to raise the awareness of those around us to understand what we're up against. And that means, at times, that we must excuse ourselves early when guests arrive - in order to find a quiet place where we can calm our systems and regain ground that is constantly being lost to this disease. I would hope that those who have compassion in their hearts- and love for us- would understand our need to do so. Perhaps they'd even be relieved to more fully understand the condition and not take it personally when we get sidelined from participating in events and gatherings. We can help them know that we would so prefer to sit and listen and talk with them for hours, but this darned condition prevents us from doing so and makes us need to pace carefully so that we will be more likely to be of use the following day. Does this resonate? So glad you're with us! Keep up this depth of reflection- it's good for all of us! Warmly- Holly team.

    2. I have chronic daily migraine and on bad days just saying a simple sentence makes me feel worse. Other people talking in the same room also makes me feel worse. It can be unbearable.

      1. So sorry to hear this is an issue for you as well- but glad you can see you are not alone in this reality. I do believe the situation you described can lead to a sensory overload when we are constantly being drained on these fronts by migraine. Have you found any way to help others understand this challenge so they understand it is related to migraine and not to take it personally- and so that you can excuse yourself easily without guilt? Warmly- Holly team.

    3. I spend everyday living in my bedroom, so I don't see anyone except my parents when they briefly pop in.

      1. Ah, I see. I have lived that reality myself before. These windows of deeply challenging times that migraine brings ask so much of us. I'm so glad you found us here where you can hopefully see you are not alone in this situation. Are you working with a migraine specialist? We understand and are with you in this. Please know we are here to give you compassion and support anytime. Warmly- Holly team.

      2. I hear how frustrating it is to live with migraine disease, you're not alone. As mentioned, are you working with a true expert who treats migraine and headache disease? Please forgive me if I've mentioned this before. I've found working with these doctors can have a huge impact in our care. General neurologists may be fine doctors but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat many conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and more. A true migraine/headache disease doctor treats migraine and headache all day, every day and have additional certification in headache medicine not all general neurologists have. Here is more information on how these doctors are different and how to find one;
        Will you let me know what you think and I'm sending you pain free wishes, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

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