This is a quick read explaining stats, symptoms, management etc.
This is for every one of us suffering from chronic pain and making it through another day. Stay strong and pat yourself on the back for being a warrior today.
Picture this….You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM!!, you’re struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt. It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.
During the warmer weather, two years ago, for a couple of hellish months, I’d been lucky to dodge migraines for a few days here and there. But, no time for celebration, as I was suddenly contending with these sudden ‘BAM!’ headaches as well. The pain was directed in the middle of my forehead, top of my head and covering my entire face, not a typical migraine for me, which are bilateral.
Yes, it felt as if I was handcuffed to my house.
Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? But for countless years, and at times even today, depression = dark fog and black clouds. Recalling my most difficult years of major depression, that’s the way things were.
My life was filled with such overpowering blackness; the black, muddy life of depression. The massive hands took hold of me and wouldn’t set me free.
Days upon days were spent just existing in my house, rarely venturing further than the end of the driveway. Appointments with my family doctor or psychiatrist became a major production; organizing what to wear, bus route times, what to discuss. As the months and years progressed, I became a depressive recluse. Outings with my husband for dinner or lunch were a rarity, as well as, a trip to the mall. Life was just too dark.
I lost contact with friends, triggering further feelings of abandonment and isolation; that coupled with not having any energy, just hating life itself, propelled these horrid feelings of “who gives a shit”. I grew comfy in my house, and never a “sleepy” depressive, I forever arose fairly early, planted myself on the sofa and spent the better part of the day there.
As a chronic migraine sufferer who has never given birth, I’m incapable of comparing pain. On a scale of 1-10 (as doctors insist on using), my excruciating pain sometimes exceeds 10+, but, I can envision childbirth close or equal. Let’s face it, any horrible pain is a horrible pain.
(people at random said)
3. Trigeminal Neuralgia
5. Serious Burns
6. Pudendal Neuralgia
“Living in Stigma” connects with everyone coping with chronic pain, mental illness, and all invisible illnesses.
My blog “Living in Stigma” was launched in 2007 and originally dedicated to all of us struggling with mental illness. I felt as if I was living in stigma with my own major depression.
Many forms of mental illness comprise of Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and much more.
I struggle with both mental illness and chronic migraines, and with news articles, social media, research and valued readers sharing comments and opinions on my blog, it’s a reality that invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, headaches, recurring back and leg pain, and so many more are also a vast portion of invisible illness stigma. Continue reading “Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With Invisible Illnesses”
It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!
You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.
We use the Spoon Theory. We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.
Sadly, a lot of health care pros lack knowledge in pain management because it is rarely part of their training. We often visit numerous specialists before receiving a proper diagnosis and wait months to years to see a real pain specialist for treatment. Doctors often fall victim to the cognitive error of underestimating another’s pain and a small number of doctors are willing to take the legal risks involved in prescribing powerful pain pills.
Same goes with the nurses. Finding a good one who can really understand and help us relieve the pain is hard! Luckily, there are some online schools like Sacred Heart University that are training future nurse leaders to overcome these issues in the future and provide better care for patients.
While you may think it’s crazy, we’re willing to travel further to find a good nurse with this kind of training and rave about it when we find one.
Thought my migraines were easing up but the month of June so far hasn’t been kind, sorry for the sporadic posting…..
“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release.
“For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said.
The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18.
“The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor and chair at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said in the news release.
Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraines, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found.
And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.
However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk.
Visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more on migraines.
SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, June 24, 2015
Existing with chronic migraines in February, March and April are normally unkind to me, lasting 24/7 at times. No cures for migraines, but I am used to the pounding pain which is mostly caused by changes in the barometric pressure.
I was up during the night watching TV, my migraine unbearable, and up pops an infomercial for the “cure-all” for migraines and back problems. My exhilaration quickly sunk when what appeared was……wires with small black pads, fastened to one’s forehead, then connecting to a “powerful” machine. The woman “patient” was amazed at how her migraine just “disappeared” in no time.
Hmmmm, wouldn’t that be magnificent! NOT! I’m somehow skeptical. I believe they were giving away 2 for the price of 1 for a limited time only. Gotta go, phone right now, 4 payments of just $49.99 + S&H.
So, bottom line….I will be posting a bit slower for the next few days.
I’ve included two articles on the subject of ‘Daith Piercing’, a positive and negative. Personally, I have never heard of this procedure before now, however, upon reading these articles, I’ve decided this wouldn’t be for me.
fourstateshomepage – by Kheslleen Dimanche ~ According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are an extraordinarily common disease that affects 38 million people in the United States. After several people posted their social media accounts that daith piercing has brought them relief, others are jumping for the fix.
“I’ve had a constant migraine for two and half to three years, and I heard it helps,” said Jenny Wagner, received daith piercing.
Wagner says since struggling with migraines, she and her mother felt piercing the daith was worth a try.
“Spending over a thousand dollars a month on doctors and then spending $40 on a piercing is way better,” said Wagner. She says prior to getting the piercing, she tried almost everything to get relief and nothing seemed to work.
“Some medication didn’t do anything, some made me like end up in the ER,” Wagner explained.
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 @
My triggers are:
The biggie always seems to be weather, also skipped meals and alcohol (can’t have any, and haven’t in years and years). Chocolate isn’t on the list, that’s has been a trigger, and I’m unsure if this is connected but, if I wake up suddenly from a horrible dream it’s accompanied by a severe migraine.
I’ve been scarce these last few months, coping with horrible migraines and wishing for any kind of treatment aside from popping pain meds.
I investigated and discovered that childhood trauma (PTSD) + anxiety or anger may perhaps kick off a trigger for migraines. Although I’ve been dealing with PTSD associated with Childhood Sexual Abuse, I never really considered the emotional abuse and hatred I had for my Narcissistic mother. The lack of empathy, validation and endless criticism was so destructive.
Well, I’m confessing, I have some type of “brain fog”, that I’m sure is related to these migraine headaches. Summer has been crappy. Writing thoughts are not flowing, and my fingers on the keys aren’t cooperating either, so I’m giving my head a time-out for awhile and taking a break from social media. I’ll be checking in, so feel free to leave comments.
I’ve lived with these migraines for over 40+ years, assessed by countless neurosurgeons and oodles of tests, end result: “You have bilateral migraines” and that’s that. Translation: Live with it. I take preventative meds and a med if I snag one coming on. Currently, zilch is helping.
Thanks to new followers/viewers for checking out this blog, and others that have taken the time to comment on my posts. Be back soon.
This describes my migraines lately. 😦
Poor sleep is associated with negative mood in women with bipolar disorder, according to researchers.
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The condition is marked by extreme mood episodes characterized as manic (highs), depressive (lows) or mixed.
Sleep problems are common in people with bipolar disorder, and poor sleep quality and bipolar disorder appear to exacerbate each other. Previous research shows that poor sleep quality is a symptom of depressive and manic episodes, and that lack of sleep can trigger mania.
#CMA Day – Niagara Falls will be illuminated 10:00 – 10:15 pm tonite to raise awareness
You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM, you are struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt. It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.
This was posted on Twitter.com (just today) by Chronic Migraine Aware @CMAware. Interesting for those who suffer with migraines, such as myself and now aware of how many blood vessels in and around the face area, which mine often go, and even wearing glasses is too painful.
This for me is hiding my depression and not showing how badly my head is throbbing due to horrible chronic migraines. Perhaps this is why people question why I remain on disability, as I appear to “look well”. I believe people have grown tired of my “headache” woes, as they seem to change the subject fast.
This could be said to anyone struggling with chronic pain, including mental illness where the pain is felt so heavily on the inside.
I posted this article a few years ago, but thought I would re-post due to the fact that I am a major migraine sufferer (this month has been utter hell, as I have had a migraine or “lighter” headache every single day of January). I’ve never thought that it was tied to my PTSD, as most of mine appear to be caused by the barometric changes, however it could be a possibility.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) — Adults who suffer migraine headaches are more apt to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the general population, a new study suggests. And having PTSD and migraine may lead to greater headache-related disability.
Isn’t waiting for a specialist (doctor) appointment enough to frost your socks sometimes?
The wait for the family doctor’s appointment, followed by the specialist referral, and then the anticipated wait for the phone call from the specialist’s office can be a lengthy drawn out process. I don’t know about you, but when the secretary calls, there is never a pen handy to write down information and directions on how to get to the appointment. Ending the conversation they say “we’ll be sending you some written instructions in the mail also.” The written instructions arrive and are even more confusing, with stuff that has been photocopied at least 100 times and barely legible, and for me not too bright with directions, walking into the hospital never matches up to the paper instructions.