I thought this was an excellent infographic explaining all forms of PTSD and displaying the horrific impact it has on a person in the future.
I thought this was an excellent infographic explaining all forms of PTSD and displaying the horrific impact it has on a person in the future.
Time for another post about Fibromaygia for Awareness month. Fibromyalgia is more than widespread pain Primary symptoms Primary symptoms are the areas used to diagnose someone with Fibromyalgia because they happen to a degree in all of us. Chronic widespread pain Yes, there is chronic widespread pain. It is often the symptom people think of. Yes, […]
Yes, it felt as if I was handcuffed to my house.
Sounds dramatic, but I was at the time.
For countless years, and at times even today, depression with its dark, unforgiving black clouds still hover over me. Eventually, I recovered from those darkest days.
Recalling the arduous years of major depression, I was housebound and felt isolated from the world. Blackness overpowered my life; dark and muddy, depression was unrelenting, and the massive hands took hold of me demanding each full minute of my day.
Days upon days were devoted to gazing out my living room window and enduring life in the house, rarely venturing further than the end of the driveway.
Appointments with my family doctor or psychiatrist developed into an enormous production; quizzing what to wear, panicky about riding the bus or mixing up route times, and what to review with my doctors.
(I originally wrote this poem years ago, but it took a lengthy healing journey in therapy to finally reach the point where I felt strong and believed in myself).
YOU know you are strong inside despite what mental or chronic illness has dealt you.
YOU know you are doing the best that you can, with what life has handed you.
YOU can pat yourself on the back right now, for a job well done. Mastering and surviving each day with an illness, in my eyes, is a full-time job.
Only YOU will know when it’s time to return to the working world; if that’s your goal. It’s alright to be coached and nudged, but you are really the best judge.
Only YOU know the blackness felt during depression – how the thick black mud swallows you up and is unforgiving.
Maybe YOU don’t know how very precious you are, and that you didn’t ask for this illness, and didn’t choose to be ill, and that mental illness is not a character flaw.
YOU will find society’s thinking and attitudes on invisible illness stigma still remain, but with education, perhaps people will alter their opinions and/or judgment.
But YOU know YOU, and that is all that is important.
(Edited and reposted)
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019
I’m unsure of the author of the above infographic, but I thought it showed a few examples of some regrettable symptoms of C-PTSD.
For me, to this day I experience triggers and flashbacks! Recalling my childhood, should I spot a man who has dirty fingernails it will literally send me back fifty years with horrid memories. My abuser/neighbor used to work underneath the hood of his old car daily and always had dirty hands and filthy, greasy black fingernails. It makes me want to vomit recalling him placing his hands on me.
You will find 10 distinct types of personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, (DSM-V). The different personality disorders are put into one of three clusters based on similar characteristics assigned to each cluster:
Cluster A personality disorders – odd, eccentric
Cluster B personality disorders – dramatic, emotional, and erratic
Cluster C personality disorders – anxious, fearful
It’s common for people to receive a diagnosis of more than one of the personality disorder types, most commonly within the same cluster. As we explore further, you’ll begin to see how the four common features come together to manifest in the different personality disorders.
Here I go again; the dance of acceptance. I have a pattern of every so often “forgetting” that I live with PTSD. I’m not sure if it’s mental gymnastics that I perform with gold medal perfection, or that it’s normal when living with a chronic illness to experience fluidity of acceptance. I deal with and […]
Where would you be if it weren’t for mental illness or depression?
In the mid-1990s, mental illness first tossed me into a life of bleak, depressive despair, feeling hopeless and helpless, coupled with hospitalizations, countless medications, and ineffective ECTs.
I found myself apologizing for being ill, but why? Apologizing for an illness?
I felt guilty for my deteriorating attitude, the considerable burden I placed on my husband, absence and imperfection at work and primarily failing myself. The slightest bit of self-confidence achieved throughout the years coupled with the status at my current job dwindled now appearing threadbare. I was losing myself.
Depression focusses on the negatives.
For one, I kissed my livelihood goodbye. As a well-paid accounting supervisor, enjoying my job and colleagues, I imagined a lengthy career with this company, but, unfortunately, due to the constant absences caused by the illness and hospitalizations, I had no alternative but to leave my position.
Government disability followed after a lengthy two-year wait. You discover swiftly how to become thrifty.
Back then, both hubby and I lived on comfortable salaries and jetted off to balmy climates once or twice per year; it was a routine. I was able to afford fashionable apparel, household furniture or other articles on a whim without fussing over budgeting our money. Peculiar how you take vacations for granted, as of today we haven’t been on an actual vacation in almost 20 years. (Not a priority actually).
Luckily, I worked through some issues in therapy, medication was stabilizing my depressive moods, and I was capable of returning to the working world after nine years absent.
The job I accepted was a call center position (collections), but with a prolonged absence from working for nine years, it was a daunting, rocky road in the beginning. I was appreciative that this company gave me a chance at employment even with a spotty resume.
I survived six years with this company, only to find myself ill with depression and severe migraines, leaving me with no choice but to accept long-term disability. But at the same time, I wouldn’t have realized the enormous extent of stigma in the workplace.
I have progressed to the point that I’m no longer hospitalized and can function daily. Extensive psychotherapy has resolved the heaps of painful issues that have been haunting me most of my adult life.
I envisioned participation in the writing field in some capacity. It has forever been a passion of mine since I was a child, jotting daily in my diaries.
It’s doubtful I would have been invited to appear on a radio show, speaking engagements, ghostwritten articles for other bloggers, or requested articles as a guest writer discussing mental health, depression, bipolar, etc.
I also wouldn’t have this fantastic blog (since 2007) that has allowed me to express my feelings about my experience struggling with PTSD and depression.
If not for mental illness, I’m uncertain I would be the compassionate, understanding, and accepting person that I am towards others now. I have enormous patience when speaking with anyone struggling with mental illness or other invisible illnesses. Also, a thirst for knowledge on subjects related to medical information, and if not afflicted, I may not have researched.
I continue to struggle with depression on an odd day with frustration, regrets, and tears – but that’s not unexpected, I suppose. We’re courageous, but must forge onward, and be strong.
We’re in this together, you and I, and we must never apologize for our illness.
(edited and reposted)
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019
I’ve written many posts about my PTSD (childhood sexual abuse); which was a ‘dirty little secret.’ Have you ever held on to secrets for years and years?
Also, who are we protecting? The abuser? Our parents or caretakers who were supposed to be caring for us? Why were we supposed to be the ones to “keep the secret”? We did nothing wrong. Seems so unfair and convoluted, doesn’t it?
As I recollect my past, at around eight years old, as my friends and I freely played in our front yard, the evil predator would either sit next door on his veranda, relaxing, puffing on his cigarette or in the driveway repairing whatever under the hood of his old car.
I felt panicked for both my friends and me, wanting so badly to warn them of this sexual deviant and express to them of the sexual abuse at the hands of this man, yet at the same time felt compelled to “keep the secret.” I had a secret; an ugly little secret, to something that I didn’t cause – or did I?
There was the distressing apology, forced by my parents to blurt out and recite with sincerity to this predator for abusing ME. That sincerity was met with confusion and bewilderment while apologizing to this revolting man, wondering how I wronged him in the first place. All kinds of feelings swished around: hate, helplessness, and frankly, I was humiliated. My parents, warning me, never to tell anyone about this.
I learned this bit of wisdom from my therapist during one of our many sessions discussing my narcissistic mother. She explained it very clearly how a parent has children (plants); she waters some and helps them grow and flourish, yet the others who aren’t so lucky receive less attention and ignored. I now understood how my mother cared and treated my brother vs. myself. Do any of you feel this way?
(This was very popular when first posted in April/2017, being one of the favorite quotes I wrote about narcissistic mothers.)
I think about this statement often, and when someone utters these words, it pisses me to no end.
What precisely does it mean, and why do people say it? Are they so narrow-minded, wrapped up in religion, or in another world?
Does it mean when there is a world disaster, a plane crash due to a mechanical issue, a school shooting, childhood sexual abuse, people diagnosed with an illness, cancer, kidnapping, serial murderers and rapists, riots, war veterans killed or any other horrible occurrence, it happened for a reason? Please explain.
For me, it goes way back to my very ill years struggling with major depression and my mother once commenting the ever so “everything happens for a reason” words. Really, mom? You mean the sexual abuse, which led to therapy, which led to depression, which led to hospitals, a myriad of meds, which led to suicide attempts, countless ECTs, which led to losing my career, almost foreclosure on my house, hubby losing his job, losing friends and let’s include the horrible migraine headaches etc. What exactly do you mean?
I don’t believe people recognize how much these words can sting, it’s almost a “whatever”, said in a flippant moment. IMO, just support that person, show comfort and most of all keep your trap shut.
Edited and reposted
Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy 2019
NEVER forget that this was a desperate connection be it a friendship, a family connection or what we believed was love. We can NEVER return to the chaos, manipulation, betrayal, blame, fear, pain, rejection, etc., EVER AGAIN. From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with […]
Working as a speaker and writer in the mental health field, I hear a lot of things over and over. Stigma, for example, comes up a lot, as do various analogies for different diagnoses. Obviously, I don’t agree with everything I hear, but sometimes…
I’ve just created a Quiz on Migraines! Hope you will try it out!
What a wonderful and compassionate idea. This would be very soothing for someone experiencing a treatment, and I’m sure it made their life a little less painful if only for a few moments.
The project began about four months ago and I don’t foresee an end in sight. The blue wire basket sits on the table by the pharmaceutical window at the cancer center. It holds painted rocks with inspirational saying written on them in paint pens. Some rocks have hearts and flowers drawn on them because I […]
It’s a peculiar feeling knowing that other people share the same personality trait as yourself. Odd, yet comforting in a way!
It’s exhilarating (perhaps I’m a bit dramatic) to discover that there are 16 Personality Types and one type that illustrates your traits. My scores, after undertaking two different tests, both conclude that I’m an INFP Type Personality, with their qualities so ‘dead on’ to my own. It’s almost spooky!
With various personality traits, I often considered of myself as an oddball; unique from others who rarely mull over or sense things the way I do, or perceive the world and people.
I’ve been in therapy for some years (PTSD) and have discussed the way I operate day to day, and now there is a name for it!
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I wrote this quote referring to my narcissistic mother. She fails to recall the days of ignoring me, criticizing or showing no empathy, nor caring about me the way a mother should. Her emotional abuse has had an enormous impact on my life, and I remain in psychotherapy to this day.
Now she is elderly, feels isolated and displays signs of illness questioning “Why don’t you ever visit or come over for lunch because it’s lonely every day in this apartment?”. Hmmm, I wonder why? Typical narcissist, not recognizing their own personality.
I finally went NO CONTACT three years ago as I was tired of her never-ending abuse. Best decision I ever made.
While reading this article below, I immediately thought of myself and the difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life with friends. For me, I believe it’s been a huge trust issue and becoming over-sensitive during many of my friendships.
At times, due to a phone call or an e-mail not being returned, I interpreted this as my mother disregarding me when I was younger, and now friends not giving a hoot about me either. Many other traumatic instances during my childhood came into play, thus losing many friendships.
While rarely mentioned, one common legacy of an unloving mother is the daughter’s diminished ability or total inability to form close and sustaining friendships. This is a significant loss since friendship plays an important role in many women’s lives: our girlfriends are often the people we turn to in times of joy and trouble, when we need company or support, or we just need someone to truly listen.
Unloved daughters often have trouble forging these bonds or maintaining them; the emotional isolation they felt in childhood is often replicated in adulthood when they find themselves with few or no girlfriends, or women they can actually trust.
Why is that? Our mothers are the first females we know in close proximity and we learn, for better or worse, not just what it means to be female but how females connect and relate. As children, we absorb the lessons our mothers model through their behaviors, accepting them as normal—we have nothing to compare them to, after all—and these become the unconscious templates for how we believe women act and relate in the outside world.
Even though we’re unaware of them and their influence, we carry these scripts when we go out into the world as children, adolescents, and adults, and make friends with other girls and, later, women.
The internalized voice of the mother—telling you that you are unlovable, unlikeable, unworthy, inadequate—can become especially shrill when you’re in the company of other women, whether they are neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances or even girlfriends you actually long to be close to.
Gleaned from many conversations, here are four pieces of the maternal legacy that directly affect female friendships.
Lack of trust
A loving and attuned mother models live in a world in which people are trustworthy and that extending yourself—leaving yourself open and vulnerable to another person—has great benefits. The unloved daughter learns the opposite and, even worse because her mother never acknowledges her behaviors, the daughter not only distrusts other people but her own perceptions and feelings.
In friendships, she may be dismissive or wary or in need of constant reassurance and proof that her friend is really on her side. Either way, how she acts—even though she may want and need the friendship desperately—effectively sabotages it.
Absent the validation of self a loving mother provides, unloved daughters have difficulty recognizing what constitutes a healthy boundary; they may vacillate between being overly armored and being much too clingy. While this is partly a result of the daughter’s lack of trust, it also reflects her ongoing unfulfilled need for love and validation. “I think I exhausted my friendships when I was in my twenties and thirties,” one daughter, 48, reported. “It took me a long time to recognize that my friends needed space and that, sometimes, my constant demands for their attention were too much. Therapy helped me see that all I was doing was focusing on my needs without understanding the give-and-take friendship requires.”
All unloved daughters have trouble managing negative emotions—they have difficulty self-regulating and are prone to rumination—and, if their mothers have been dismissive, combative, or hypercritical, are always vigilant and self-protective. A friend’s comment or gesture that wouldn’t even appear on a securely-attached daughter’s radar can be totally misunderstood and blown out of proportion by an insecurely-attached one. These can be small things—an unreturned phone call, a late invitation, an offhand remark—that become triggers and flashpoints.
It’s often hard for the unloved daughter to acknowledge her feelings of competition because the culture tends to look away from or minimize rivalry between and among women. Thinking about sisterhood is so much more pleasant, even though the word frenemy has been around since the 1950s when it was coined to describe politics, not rival girlfriends.
Susan Barash Shapiro’s book Tripping the Prom Queen paints a more realistic picture of the complexity of female connections.
Alas, the loneliness of childhood may be unwittingly extended into adulthood unless conscious awareness is brought to bear on a daughter’s reactivity
I was never aware of this type of therapy so thought an interesting topic to include for information. It especially received my attention when it mentioned chronic pain such as migraine/headache treatment.
Biofeedback therapy involves training patients to control physiological processes such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.
These processes usually occur involuntarily, however, patients who receive help from a biofeedback therapist can learn how to completely manipulate them at will.
The three most common types of biofeedback therapy are:
Biofeedback is particularly effective at treating conditions brought on by severe stress. When a person is stressed, their internal processes such as blood pressure can become irregular. Biofeedback therapy teaches these patients certain relaxation and mental exercises which can alleviate their symptoms.
Therapists can measure a patient’s performance by attaching electrodes to their skin and displaying the processes on a monitor. Eventually patients learn how to control these processes without the need to be monitored.
During a biofeedback session, electrodes will be attached to the patient’s skin, which sends information to a monitoring box. The biofeedback therapist reads the measurements and through trial and error singles out mental activities that help regulate the patient’s bodily processes.
Sessions are typically less than an hour long – most people will begin to see positive results after 8 sessions. However, some patients may need a as many as 50 sessions.
The remainder of this post @
This is an excellent site flyingmonkeysdenied.com for articles on Narcissism and PTSD.
I found this post “How to Leave a Narcissist: Four key things to expect (step by step)
How to leave a narcissist.
Step one — understand walking away means planning to lose not only their half of the money and personal possessions, but also what they own.
Know they will do whatever it takes to destroy you socially, financially, psychologically, physically, and emotionally — more so if THEY were 100% at fault for the demise of the relationship (not less).
Expect zero help financially, physically, or with moral support; offering closure or remuneration to a victim is something a Narcissist resists, noting that even the process of grief will be interrupted repeatedly in order to make sure a target does not have it.
Step two — Plan you budget based on your own ability to produce income — not theirs.
Understand if you set your budget based on what you yourself can cover that you will never end up short; conversely, if you expect alimony and child support and rely on a dime to pay your bills that you yourself will have given them a highly effective manipulation tool to harm you directly each and every month a payment arrives late or never comes in.
Step three — Prepare to have your heart broken as they will perpetually strive to estrange children, family members, your entire emotional and social support network, and friendship circles from you with bonus points for their own ego if they can throw a home-town very public smear-campaign into the mix. Continue reading “Do you know How to leave a Narcissist?”
If my parents had of believed me when I was eight years old, I wouldn’t have been in therapy for 20 years healing from the impact of their ignorance.
Thank you, Mom and Dad
This is an informative list for incest survivors, however, Trigger Warning!!!
Source: Incest Survivors’ Checklist
No light at the top
No one saving me
Just black dreams
Feels like a prison cell
Feeling the fog between my fingertips
No treatments working?
No doctors helping?
What kind of life is this
Black death sentence
Written & copyright by Deb McCarthy
My guest poster today is J.E. from her blog “This is My Silence”. (Trigger Warning)
Hello, I am J.E., 23 years old, and a PTSD survivor.
I’m married to a wonderful man who has been my rock and encouragement throughout those days when I didn’t believe in myself, nevertheless, he believed in me. I’m also delighted that I’m a working mother of two children (‘superheroes’), as the joy I see in their faces every day provides me with every reason, now realizing how past abusive years has an enormous impact on your life.
Writing is cathartic for me, and I’m using my healing journey to perhaps healing others. “This is My Silence” is my first blog, and here is my story.
A Little Piece of Me
Typing and deleting, typing and deleting. As I am sitting on my couch, I’ve come to a realization that this is now my second draft and remain struggling with a conundrum. It’s challenging to write about your journey, even though you may have memories floating around inside your head, writing them down on paper (computer) is difficult.
So, Where is my beginning?
I lay my jars of memories around me and search, and peering into each jar I take a moment to remind myself to breathe for a moment after each one. As I continue my search, slowly opening and closing each jar, I come to a standstill, noticing that every single one of these memories speaks my story, but only one conveys the beginning of my life. So I will begin like this:
(I’m reposting this article from last year, as it was edited and updated)
“Deb, we talk about your weight almost every day and you’re still not losing any. You are just not listening to us. Just remember, if you ever want a boyfriend or get married then lose the weight.” OR
“Deb, I don’t have time to read your “1st Prize” essay right now, I’ll read it later, I’m busy with my knitting and then I have to make supper. Just go and read a book or something”.
Other cruel communications were endless during my childhood, getting to the point where the words went in one ear and out the other ear or I disassociated.
Those words continue to sting until this very day, for I lived in a household with toxic parents, and I’m the unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother. I blame her for the viciousness, lack of empathy and relentless criticisms. Growing up was hell, and she accomplished that.
This well-written article below is from Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. onNarcissistic Parents from PsychCentral.com/Psychoanalysis Now (blog)
Over the years I have often been asked what is the most harmful thing a parent can do to a child. There are many harmful things a parent can do, too many to point out. It is easier to focus on the kind of parent that does the most harm.
The most harmful parents are the parents who have a narcissistic need to think of themselves as great parents. Because of this need, they are unable to look at their parenting in an objective way. And they are unable to hear their children’s complaints about their parenting.
I was a fraud, a nomad, wandering through the medical waste lands. There was no physically evidence of bruising, breaks, bulges of bone or muscle or discs. Everything was set in place… Mostly, as it should, but the pain, there was physical pain… Warm burning, sharp stabbing, dull aching pains in most places, places I didn’t even know you could feel pain, like the tip of your ear or behind an eye. The pain was very real, although completely invisible to the naked eye, felt only by me and seen by none. So I found myself in this strange state, outwardly I looked fine… healthy even… but my reality was juxtaposed with that.
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My guest post today is from Mariah’s blog “Recluse“.
I remember the day I realized that I was in an abusive marriage. I called my mom, who lived 800 miles away blurting out my abuse and fear. I will also never forget how she responded. Mom expressed her opinions and words, and it was if blinders were removed from my eyes.
That was the day I recognized that my husband was violent and things weren’t about to change.
When I was in my first marriage, I was very young. I was 20 when we were married, and I had been with him since I was 17. Needless to say, I was hell-bent on making it work, because I was “an adult now” and that’s what “adults” did. They kept their promises, paid their bills and took care of their responsibilities. Except when they don’t things begin to change.
Soon after getting married, my ex-husband slowly started to show his true colors. Long story short, he was emotionally and verbally abusive, manipulated our finances, was addicted to pornography and video games, had drinking problems, and he had an affair outside of our marriage.
I’m proud that you are voicing your words now.
I have words to speak, but my tongue is
still numb from the flavour of your lies.
I have a truth to tell, but i’m not sure
whetherto swallow it.
Keep it buried where it’s
Who I really am, living in my
making a home behind my ribcage,
stifling my wings.
I have a decade of stories, bursting behind
swollen lips and flustered cheeks, shame
carriedin my face.
I want to find my voice, but I think it got
buried beneath yours in my throat and I
can’t remember what I sound like.
A women-only spa in Toronto, Ontario, Canada took some massive criticism and triggered a social-media outcry last week, that prohibits some transgender women from using their facilities.
On Facebook, a woman stated that she refused to revisit the spa on account that they canceled her friend’s (who is transgender) appointment due to their spa’s policy which states “no male genitals” rule.
The spa explained, “because we are a bathing-suit-optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors.”
The backlash was extreme from the public, transgender and LGBTQ communities. However, the spa further clarified that it’s a ‘single-sex facility with full nudity, and unlike other facilities.’ They stated they supported these communities, but the spa has policies to adhere to.
This describes me. As a person with PTSD, I always feel “on guard”, and automatically scan a room if it’s a gathering with friends, a crowd of people or anywhere outside my home. Perhaps it’s a trust issue or maybe I don’t ever feel completely comfortable. Does this describe you?
I had to write this quote as it reminded me of a relative who visited me in the hospital. Perhaps she assumed I lost my marbles along with the depression? Perfect example of stigma.
This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who has suffered the impact of maternal narcissistic abuse and now your mother is a grandmother to your children. Perish the thought!
If you have children who have been exposed to your narcissistic personality disordered mother, protect them from further exposure.
How can people live with themselves when taking advantage of others? I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I was ripping off a relative.
Financial abuse is a form of abuse that often goes hand in hand with other abuses. It’s also an all too common form of elder abuse. Anyone who is frail, sick, in an institution or unable to handle their own finances completely and with understanding, is vulnerable to financial abuse.
Frequently, financial abuse is a part of domestic abuse, being employed as a way of controlling the victim and preventing her from being able to escape the abusive relationship.
Financial abuse is often a part of another abuse such as domestic violence or emotional/psychological abuse or even bullying. It can result from drug or alcohol addictions too.
Financial abuse is any abuse involving money. It can be perpetrated by an individual or an organisation. If someone forces you to take money from your account to give to them, takes money from you, pressures you into giving them money, borrows from you and refuses to repay the loan, forces you to sign something without explaining the full implications or allowing you to read the small print, takes your benefits or charges for services you have not received or requested, it is financial abuse.
Financial abuse can also involve cowboy traders who undertake work and leave a substandard job after receiving payment.
A must read! An excellent post by a blogger who is writing to her narcissistic mother.
These words have been very hard to write and I have postponed this post for awhile. It is personal, heartfelt, dark and honest. I am releasing my inner most honest heartbroken feelings. I need to let go of the pain & heartache I carry with me. It is no secret that I have a very difficult with the one person who should be my biggest fan. I have and always have had very deep, dark & painful feelings about our relationship. I don’t remember every feeling like you wanted me. I feel like you had expectations of who and what you thought I should be but I’ve never measured up to what you wanted. So you used me as your proverbial verbal punching bag.
I was a good kid. I did pretty well in school. I never got in trouble at school and maintained the honor roll through High School. I have never done drugs. I have never even gotten drunk. Even as an adult today, I will have…
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Did you know you could have what’s called a ‘silent migraine‘ without actually having a headache? Surprisingly, migraines can occur without the classic pulsing head pain. In fact, about 3 to 5% of people with chronic migraines experience such headache-free migraines, known as “silent migraines.” But how can you know when you’re having one if you’re not in pain?
Silent migraines occur in older adults who have previously suffered full migraine symptoms, headache and all.
In other cases, adults over age 40 develop these headache-less migraines out of the blue. Here are six names associated with silent migraines: