General Discussions

being an introvert

  • By zippy36

    I just read a post on facebook, 27 things introverts say. I laughed but realized that I am indeed an introvert. The more I thought about it the more I realized I have had to be. Too much stimulation DOES give me a migraine….Is this true for others?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi smkirchdoerfer,

    Generally speaking people with migraine have overly sensitive brains. Our migraine attacks are triggered by certain stimuli such as changes in the weather, certain foods and smells, lights, sounds, hormones, skipping meals, problems with sleep and many other things. So in a sense if we are “over stimulated” with our triggers we will get a migraine.


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  • By zippy36

    Thank you for your reply. I am thinking more on the lines of social stimulation. If I am at a party or a wedding and there is a lot of noise and movement it usually triggers a headache. I can’t say for sure if there isn’t any other triggers happening at the same time but I know just the commotion is enough to start my head thumping. I do tend to try and avoid large crowds.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    smkirchdoerfer – There are many ways to think of our triggers. Sometimes we can assume something is a trigger, but it’s related. For example:

    Many people think stress is a trigger, however it has been removed from the ICHD-II’s list of triggers. Most people find that when they are stressed they do things (like alter sleeping or eating patterns) that otherwise trigger their attacks. They’re stressed and not necessarily thinking about it though, so confuse the trigger of not sleeping or eating right etc as stress.

    The same may be true for crowded situations.

    Like you, I avoid them. I actually like being with people, but the sounds, noise, smells, even flashing lights coming from between people as they mill about, etc get me pretty quickly. My hubs used to think that it was the crowd I was avoiding, but when I explained that it was what happens IN THE CROWD that was my trigger, he got it. Have you thought about the things that happen when you’re in a crowd as potential triggers? Many of these things are very likely to take our over-sensitive brains into over-drive 🙂


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  • By Chris Hicks


    I like the way you frame it as “…what happens IN THE CROWD…”.

    I have definitely noticed that the triggers for me related to being in / around large groups are very much about noise (lots of it and at high levels), smalls, and a general heightened level of all sorts of stimuli.

    Migraine runs in my paternal family. My father and I have often theorized about a higher degree of sensitivity in those who suffer from migraine. I don’t know if this theory feels right for everyone, but it certainly feels right for me.

    Another example of the support and validation we can get from sharing our experiences with this group!

    Take Care,

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  • By Cindy Boily

    I often get a chuckle when it comes to being an introvert or extrovert as I can not decide which I am. My understanding of the definitions is that introverts need time alone to re-charge where extrovert get energized from being around others. I think I am a extrovert wannabe. LOL

    I really love being around others (in smaller groups not large crowds for all the reasons mentioned above) and most times walk away feeling energized (if I ignore the pain) but I really do need my alone time, especially at night. At one point, during a difficult period I isolated myself and that did not work for me at all.

    What works for me is I try to pace myself with smaller groups or individual social occasions for a few hours at a time, to re-energize me. 🙂 I also find in larger groups I can not keep up with conversation etc and I actually shut down as it is too much for me. I only do large crowds when necessary, weddings, parties, or even shopping centres and I always plan a slow day the next day to recover.


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