Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

How can you explain?

How can you explain the daily pain of migraines to someone? How can you explain the stabbing knife feeling to your head or the pain that’s shooting from front to back? How can you explain the bright lights, noise, fatigue, dizziness, spots in your eyes or the nausea? How can you explain that you think at times you’re going crazy, that this isn’t really happening? How can you explain what all of the pain and medication has done to you? How do you explain that you just can’t get up today? How do you explain that I want to go be with you but I can’t today? How do you keep family close when migraines tend to push them away?

Just how do you explain that kind of pain?

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.


  • Luna
    3 years ago

    These are questions we all search for the best way to answer and answers can depend on the person one is trying to explain to. My relatives were helped by understanding that migraine is a neurological brain dysfunction that manifest in migraine attacks. I have read some good articles explaining what little science has learned about the migraine brain. This is the only article I can find at the time. Hope it helps you in some way.

    I have a friend that has fibromyalgia and other terrible pain. Our pain isn’t the same but she understands the struggle to survive through pain. Am glad to have some one in my life that really gets the inability to function and some days just not having the energy to carry on except to hold a piece of furniture down. Courage.

  • Yuze
    3 years ago

    @Luna, that was a great article; thanks for posting it.

    @Migraine as usual!
    I’ve been having migraines for 50 years. I don’t think you can explain what migraine is to someone who hasn’t had one. I guess I’m lucky(???) both my parents got migraines, so I didn’t have to explain anything to them. My wife understands pretty well from years of observation and she’s marvelously accommodating.

    As for people who have no idea what a migraine is—I wish people would stop referring to it as a “migraine headache.” As all of us know, a migraine is not a headache, though, again, as most of us know, the headache symptom of a migraine can be the most immobilizing, though not necessarily the most agonizing, symptom included in the gift bag of migraine.

    It’s not a headache; it’s a (for many of us) completely debilitating illness. The best thing, in my experience anyway, people around us can do is understand we are terrible ill and that it will take us some time to recover and until we do, leave us alone in darkness and quiet.

  • Poll