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Migraine and high-school

I’ve had migraines for as long as I can remember but November 10th 2013 I got a terrible migraine and it hasn’t gone away. This static migraine now reigns over my life.
I am 17, a senior in high-school. I’ve always been a good student (responsible, bright, respectful, etc.). But since my headache I haven’t wanted to do anything. I just want to sleep and not wake up till it’s gone. Ive managed to keep my grades up but I’m no longer proud of my work. It’s sloppily done and I obviously do just enough to end up with an A at the end of the year. At the time my migraine hit, I was leader of three school clubs (debate, 4-H, and entrepreneurship). I had so much passion for them; I spent so much time working for these clubs and loving it. But now I dont want to look at a screen long enough to research for a debate, no matter how many people i get to argue with. I stepped down from my presidency in 4-H because I believed a reduction in stress would help my migraine. It didnt.
I dont know what causes my headache, stress is the best guess ive gotten. My doctors ordered all the scans and tests, nothing comes up, so it must just be me. I stress my self out too much, thats what everyone says. But i dont feel stressed. The most stressful thing I have is my migraine. Obviously, i have stressors like applying to colleges, scholarships, family, grades, but every professional ive seen tells me I deal with it perfectly, and I agree. I dont feel stressed.
I dont know why i have this migraine, but everyone else seems to blame me, or just not believe me. I wish people could see it. I think anyone reading this knows that feeling.
I feel like I’ve done something wrong to deserve this, but I know I haven’t I just wish I knew why this is happening to me. It hurts every second of every day. I’ve fantasized of every single way to mutilate this terrible muscle that gives me all my pain. All my problems seem small and silly when I compare it to my migraine, but I love my other problems because they are a distraction.
Im terrified this wont go away. Im scared that if it does theres nothing i can do to make this last year of pain worth living. I have to be ambitious, because I need to know I’m hurting for a better future.
I’ve gone through it all before, the anger and the depression and the anxiety and the hope. I guess Ive just been full circle, maybe my headaches lasted too long, but I’m feeling hopeless again. I want some assurance that I wont have to spend my college years with this pain, that it will just end when my high school stressors go away. But if the problem is me, how will it go away? I want to be able to enjoy my life again, the way Im living now is so unsatisfying, i want my old self back. I’ve developed a negative outlook on life i used to despise on others, but i cant help it, as far as i know all there is is pain, reasonless pain.
Every one tells me to stay positive, i just dont understand how they think its that simple.

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.


  • Megan
    5 years ago

    I am so sorry that this is happening to you. I can somewhat relate to you as I have had a couple of migraine attacks in high school recently.

    I am in grade 11 and my first attack was 2 months ago. I was super stressesd and I didn’t get a lot of sleep the previous night. I was in math class when it all began. My teacher uses a smart board to do her lessons and I think the bright light may have triggered it. First I go a mild headache but I brushed it off and hoped it would go away. Then things got weird. I started seeing bright lights in the right side of my vision. And my arms and legs got tingly. A few minutes passed and I went to wish my friend good luck on her math test and I literally could not speak properly. The words were all jumbled and I was just so confused. I remember feeling scared because I had no idea what was happening. I decided to keep my mouth shut for the rest of class and hoping the teacher (or anyone for that matter) wouldn’t call on me. At lunch my dad picked my up. At this point I was in so much pain and I felt nauseous. My dad knew exactly what was going on because he used to got them often when he was younger. When I got home I puked a few times and them went to sleep.

    I feel for you and I hope your migraines go away. They are such a burden and only few people really understand what it is like.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Migraines are NOT your fault. It is a disease that affects 36 Million Americans. Here are some articles that give some facts and stats you can share with people who don’t understand your issue.

    You seem like an extremely well-adjusted, smart and compassionate person who is working hard at making the best out of life. Stress can be a factor for Migraines, but so can certain foods, weather changes, allergies, hormones and the fact that Migraines are a disease! It’s not something you want or are using it as an excuse. Don’t ever let anyone tell you any differently!

    With your Migraines being so severe, it is so important that you take precautions to try to prevent them or learn new coping skills to manage the pain you have. There are so many variations of medications, pain management and natural remedies. It can take a lot of trial and error to find what works for you, but having the right doctor on your side can help you through this. Here are some other links about Headache Specialists and different types of treatments:

    I hope some of this helps you!
    Best Wishes,
    -Katie Moderator

  • Chronicmigraine18
    5 years ago

    Hi I want you to know that my situation is very similar to yours. You are not alone. With my migraine I have not been able to be in school. It’s amazing that you do all that you do with a migraine. People who don’t feel the type of pain that comes with a migraine can’t understand your situation. The best way I have found to deal with people who can’t understand is to try and show it to them and not hide the pain. I wish there were an explanation for why our teenage years are so filled with this pain but I haven’t found it. Give yourself a break and know that you are not doing anything wrong, you are doing the best you can. And the best right now may not be the level you’re used to but that’s how it is right now. Stay strong.

  • mharmon
    5 years ago

    So sorry for your situation. I posted this the other day. It helped me a lot.My migraines are nothing compared to what other people suffer through so I am grateful for that.

    I have had migraines for about the last 12 years. Sometimes as many as 3-4 a week. They last for about 12 hours and go away. The migraine comes back the next day and we do it all over again. Rarely does it come back on the third day but does on occasion.

    Generally starts out with just the slightest pressure above and behind the left eye. Left uninterrupted it can take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours to reach maximum strength. I have only had auras twice and nausea once.

    Out of desperation I went to a medical provider who had me do some blood work for food sensitivities. It is called MRT testing, short for Mediator Release Testing. The test checks your reaction to a list of common foods and additives broken into groups by Chemicals, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Flavor Enhancers, Grains, Seafood, Meat/Poultry, Beans/Nuts/Legumes and Miscellaneous. The reaction level for each of the foods tested is color coded into colors of green, yellow and red. Green is nonreactive, yellow is moderately reactive and red is highly reactive.

    I did an elimination diet for 6 months where I only ate from the list of foods that they check reaction for. You are only supposed to eat foods that you are not reactive to, avoiding all of the others, along with whatever foods are your normal migraine triggers. My test showed me that I am moderately reactive to Tyramine so I also followed a low tyramine diet while I followed this MRT diet.

    My spices for 6 months were salt and pepper. I was eating to live as apposed to living to eat. It was pretty tough but I learned to get by. I lost 20 lbs. I saved a lot of money not being able to go to ANY type of restaurant.

    In addition to the above diet she had me start taking a probiotic, a B complex vitamin, a daily vitamin and fish oil. My testosterone was on the very low end of the chart for my age so she also prescribed that.

    Migraines that go to full scale have been cut down to one every 1.5 months or so. Consumption of immutrex is way down. I may have to take a quarter of a tablet once a week, maybe none for 3 weeks depending on how it’s going.

    For me, interrupting the migraine at the very start appears to be key. My supply of 50 mg immutrex tablets is rationed. Since I was rationed on my immutrex, I would wait to take one until I was positive that the migraine was unavoidable. At this point the immutrex might work but too often did nothing.
    My solution was to cut the tablets into quarters. I take a quarter of a tablet if I am even suspicious that I might be in the process of starting a migraine. Wait a half hour and see what I feel like. If I feel no sign of a migraine then I have dodged the bullet for that day. If there are still symptoms then I will take more immutrex. The quantity taken at this point depends on how I feel. Sometimes I get away with just another quarter and sometimes not.

    When the immutrex fails and I am completely desperate I will drink caffeinated diet coke. This can take the migraine away in as little as 15 minutes. Typical dose is 1-3 large sodas. That’s a lot of soda and it’s not good for you but neither is the migraine. The soda is effective even if the migraine is full blown.

    If that fails it’s an ice bag and bed in a dark room.

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