Anyone else turn into an emotional train wreck during/after a migraine?

I feel like my migraines have turned me into a person I never wanted to be – sometimes they make me depressed/withdrawn, sometimes I cry and feel I’m having a nervous breakdown, other times I get extremely irritable and angry – literally everything bugs me and I even lash out and snap at people, get super impatient, curse, hit walls, etc. That’s NOT the real me; the real me is meek, quiet, shy, and a nice person who cares about others and never wants to hurt anyone. But when the pain or even the postdrome get to me and my emotions go all over the place, I feel like it’s beyond my control – especially when I’ve had many attacks or especially severe ones lately.

I hate being angry, bitter, sad, hopeless, etc. – all these horrible feelings that a migraine brings, but worse, I hate feeling that there’s no way to stop it. I hate not feeling like I have control over my body or my emotions. No matter how I try to rationalize with myself and calm myself down, I feel helpless against it – even though I know I’m only making it worse and/or setting myself up for another attack. Does anyone else have this problem? Are there any solutions for stopping something that you feel totally powerless against no matter how hard you try to overcome it?


Community Answers
  • docthehalls
    7 months ago

    LizShelton,
    There are times where I’ve screamed, torn things apart, thrown things, hit walls, etc., and some where I’ve cried for hours on end.
    I think irritability, anger, rage, crying spells, and all that is pretty common, at least from what I’ve heard. I totally understand feeling like there’s no control over emotions during and after migraine attacks.
    For me, I pull the classic “dark-small-space-with-no-sound-or-light” trick at the peak of my migraines. I usually sleep or bundle up with a blanket and my black Misfits t-shirt over my head and eyes. I tend to calm down in total darkness and silence.
    Napping and cuddling my puppy is the best -and sometimes only- thing I can do. Since the worst of my migraines come towards the evenings, I usually try to take my prescribed sleeping medications in between four to eight pm. Well, if I can make it downstairs without falling, fainting, puking, or breaking a bone.
    Also, I hope you darlings feel better and don’t have to experience that miniature Satan with a jackhammer in your heads as frequently.

    Napping away the pain,
    Doc

  • Kyky Knight moderator
    7 months ago

    LizShelton,

    I so relate to both your, and Nancy’s experience! I feel like a totally different person sometimes before and after a migraine. The pain during can definitely make me feel impatient and short, as I am seeking relief and overwhelmed, but I have noticed that I also experience these tendencies predrome. Thank you for the comment about gaining control and stopping it from poisoning attitudes, as well, always a needed reminder to aspire to for me!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi LizShelton,

    I DO!! It’s not uncommon for me to become anxious, irritable and downright nasty before a migraine attack. Unfortunately, these symptoms can all be part of an attack. We have information on this here; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-symptoms-anger-irritability/.

    I wonder if it would be helpful to track these symptoms for a few months and see if they happen on a regular basis before each migraine attack. If that is the case, you may want to discuss treating them in hopes of stopping the migraine attack from progressing. Some people have found if they are able to identify their prodrome symptoms and treat early they can possibly avoid the migraine attack.

    What do you think?
    Nancy

  • LizShelton author
    7 months ago

    I never realized it was a predrome issue…I don’t really get predome symptoms, or at least none that I’ve noticed as such. Generally I just get an attack without warning, or a gradual increase in pain, and that’s my only sign. Sometimes I get so cranky, impatient, etc. for no real reason and over the stupidest things…I thought it was hormones, but I had no idea it could be predrome! Thank you for the insight and the linked article. You have given me a lot to think about and now maybe I can figure out how to gain control over it and stop it from poisoning my attitude!

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