A brain sweats nervously as it runs on a hamster wheel as lightning bolts of stimuli surround it

How an Overstimulated Brain Triggers My Migraine

Over the years that I’ve suffered from migraine disease, I have had many triggers present themselves to me. Some were more obvious than others, of course, and avoiding them was not too difficult.

I have learned that tomato-based products can be a trigger for me. I usually get hit when I eat something with tomato sauce on it, like pizza which is a favorite of mine. Luckily not all tomato sauces trigger a migraine attack, so I pretty much know which ones to stay away from, or I just make my own, so I control what goes into it.

Overstimulation has been a tough trigger

One trigger that I am having a really tough time with lately is having my brain overstimulated. It makes it tough to be around groups of people where there is a lot of talking going on as well as harsh lighting, sharp, loud sounds, and lots of commotion. These things can be very hard to avoid.

Work was different

When I was working, I could always seem to handle these things almost effortlessly. I managed a team of dozens of employees and was able to keep clear-headed most of the time. There were days when it was difficult. I was able to multitask and keep the whole team moving in the right direction, but this just stopped for me one day.

Until my migraine became intractable

As my migraine attack cycles became more frequent and consuming, I became less and less able to handle the stimuli all around me. At that time, my migraines were becoming intractable, and this really was making my life a challenge, to say the least. I eventually had to leave my job and retire early to focus my attention on getting my migraine disease to a manageable state.

Working to find control

Since that point, I’ve worked closely with my headache specialist, who is also a neurologist, and the rest of my medical team to help me gain some control over this disease.

My medication arsenal has helped

I was able to find medications like Emgality, Nurtec ODT, Nerivio, and chiropractic care that have really helped with this.

But overstimulation is still a problem

I still cycle through migraines daily, but they are far less painful than in the past. For that, I am grateful. I am still plagued with the problem of overstimulating my brain, though. It has caused me to really withdraw from life. I do this to shelter myself and at least make me feel like I have some sort of control over this trigger.

Family gatherings are hard

I frequently have to separate myself from family gatherings as there is often just too much going on for my brain to process anymore. It’s like I’m being overloaded by everyone talking, laughing, and just doing what comes naturally at a family gathering. I have a large, sometimes loud family. I love them dearly, but I just can’t seem to find a way to calm my brain down so I can enjoy the time with them.

Quieting my brain

I only go out when I have to avoid the commotion, sounds, and lighting of stores. I try to keep my mind focused on why I’m out, and that helps me get through it most days. I need to find a way to quiet my brain, so it just lets things be as they once were. I do meditative relaxation every week in an effort to try and retrain my brain to calm down. I am hoping that it will help me. I know I’m not alone out there with this issue, and I hope to have it under control again someday.

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