21 Migraine Horror Stories That Are Real AF
"Literally, it feels like waves of pain breathing in and out of your head. One wave goes in, one wave goes out and repeat."
1. "It's like someone (The Hulk, really) has wrapped their hand around my spine and is squeezing it. It then travels up and over my head like a thick tar. I feel sick and like I'm suffocating.
"At its height, a migraine has me rolling on the floor truly believing that I'm haemorrhaging. I'm certain that I will die. I can't see properly and, what's worse, I can't speak properly either. I start slurring like I'm drunk, or I've had my mouth numbed at the dentist. And whatever has been in my head recently starts going round and round and round like a broken record in a sort of uncontrollable cyclical hallucination (last time it was a documentary I'd watched about Charles II and the Treaty of Dover). And all the time the fist is squeezing your neck and the tar is inside your brain blocking out light and oxygen." – Fran Sims, Facebook
2. "If you've never had an aura before, it's terrifying. I get tunnel vision without warning. A wall of black will slowly start to close in around my eyes until my vision is too blurred to see anything. Sometimes it will only happen in one eye. As the aura lifts, it will be replaced by debilitating pain, like my head is being stepped on by an elephant.
"Having a migraine, for me, is also pretty similar to the time I had a Grade 3 concussion. The pain settles behind my eyes and makes me feel like my face is swollen, even though it isn't. Looking at things causes flashes of pain. Along with the pain I get very sudden, very high fevers too, so everything hurts and I literally feel like I'm on fire, which is fun. Fevers with migraine are really uncommon outside of childhood but someone forgot to tell my body that." – Nikki Glassley, Facebook
3. "It feels like a nail being plunged into one of your eyes, causing constant pressure and pain. It means you can’t concentrate on anything and start to feel physically ill." – babycallaghan
4. "The first time I had a migraine, I thought I was having a stroke. The left side of my body went numb, starting in my leg, spreading up into my back, then my arm, then my neck, and my face. My facial muscles drooped, even my tongue went numb. I tried to explain what was happening to me, but aphasia means that I can't use the words I want to, I can't remember words, and I can't make my body say them for me. And after that, the pain starts.
"It is like an ice pick is being stabbed into the base of my skull, along with a constant headache, the worst you've ever had. I throw up. I am unable to keep any food down, or any liquids in my system. Usually that means I go to hospital now, because I need a drip to keep me hydrated, and to give me painkillers. I had to stop driving. Never sure when I would suddenly go numb and lose control of my body. I had to stop wearing sunglasses, tying my hair up, dying it, even washing it too often, because any and all pressure or touch on my head or scalp is excruciating. The aphasia is the scariest. I couldn't remember my cats' names, or what a seat belt was. Afterwards I am weak, exhausted, everything aches. It takes days to recover properly, to my version of normal." – Kitty Morris, Facebook
5. "For me it feels like someone is constantly slamming my head into a wall, or smacking me with a bat. My vision gets blurry, and its very difficult to walk straight. Think walking when you're drunk, but your head also happens to weigh 200 pounds. It then usually spreads in pain to the stomach, where I feel like I want to throw up from nausea, but my body won't let me. Needless to say, its not a fun time." – Kissi Frost, Facebook
6. "Just because I'm still standing and functioning doesn't mean it's just a bad headache. Everyone's pain tolerance is different.
"I don't get nauseated or numb and it doesn't affect my speech, but I am extremely sensitive to light, strong smells like perfume or cologne, and the pain in my head is so bad that it hurts to touch my hair. Working in offices with fluorescent lighting is always fun. And it feels like someone has my head in a vice and keeps tightening it. Thankfully I found a preventative medicine that seems to be working, and I only get them a few times a month, and they're not as severe." – Michele Buccheri Pelham, Facebook
7. "The pain occurs in the middle of my forehead and directly behind my eyes. I've only ever been able to describe it as though it feels like something inside my head is taking a pickaxe to my skull and trying to break free, whereas behind my eyes it feels like some terrible insect with claws is shredding the backs of my eyeballs.
"I've yet to feel a pain worse in my whole life, and the only thing I'm grateful for is the aura, so I know it's time to start preventing it. Mostly I down something drowsy and immediately get to taking a nap. Sleeping is the only thing that kills it; I've yet to ever stay conscious through a whole one." – Joe Purcell, Facebook
8. "I always get blind spots in one of my eyes, then I slowly start going numb in my pinky finger which spreads to that whole side of my upper body. Then slurred speech and difficulty remembering words. Then comes the migraine that lasts up to 12 hours!! The first time I had one I was 18 and that I was having a stroke!" – jillianh4546df340
9. "It typically starts with flashing lights that wake me up, combined with a severe icepick headache that radiates across my face, nausea, double vision, vertigo, and feeling extremely hot but being very clammy.
"It progresses into vomiting every 15 or so minutes, whether or not I have anything in my stomach, muscle spasms in my legs, and an uncontrollable need to move. I usually end up laying in a weird position that is only comfortable when I have a migraine, and shaking back and forth, until I get dizzy and nauseated again, while I wait for my rescue med to kick in." – marleep3
10. "It feels like someone digging their fingers through my skull into the back of my brain. I'm exhausted but can't lie down because being horizontal makes the pain 100 times worse. Every movement sends throbs of pain from the fingers in my brain all over my body. I just have to sit perfectly still and upright and wait for it to pass." – Sarah Elizabeth, Facebook
11. "It feels like when you are upside down and all of the blood is rushing to your head and scooping your eyeballs out with a spoon. Every sound makes your head hurt worse, and lights are your worst enemy." – icecubesunday
12. "My migraines usually last up to five days. I feel my heartbeat in every part of my body but mainly, it completely takes over every single process in my head. I also feel like I’m going to fall over whenever I bend down to tie my shoes or so. Usually light and sound don’t bother me so I consider myself lucky that I can stay in bed and read. Not everyone is as fortunate!" – v4498afa53
13. "First, without any warning, I go blind out of one eye (especially fun if I happen to be driving at that particular time). Then, out of my other eye, I begin to see lightning bolts that seem so real that it feels like I’m just hallucinating. After that, I get nauseated, and the pain sets in.
"My brain turns into a collection of needles that are trying to poke their way out of my head through my eyes, speaking becomes difficult and moving my head becomes nearly impossible because it feels like some contractor from hell is building 50 houses on top of my head." – charlotted46ae6c7f3
14. "My migraines start as a small left pain in my left ear ALWAYS, so I know it’s coming. Then it just intensifies into a full-blown everywhere pain. It feels like there is a strong heartbeat inside my head but I can feel every throb and it hurts like hell. Sensitive to light but mostly sound. Lying down for me makes it worse, I have to sleep sitting up. " –brettbaileyl
16. "Imagine if your conscious brain was a hand. There is something incredibly sharp in the middle of this hand and it keeps trying to grab it, to grip it and get it under control, but each time, it meets only horribly sharp edges, so it closes, is hurt, and then opens, and there is a constant pulsing as it tries to grab this pain.
"At the same time, you know if you could somehow sleep, and rest, the pain may pass, but you can’t and you can’t grit your teeth and fight against the pain, you can only yield to it, and try to endure it. Then, once you are passed screaming and vomiting, it increases to this crescendo, and ‘pops’. And then it finally passes. The absence of the pain is euphoric, almost like being high since it’s such a relief.
"But then you have migraine hangover." – donnavanleusdenr
17. "Literally, it feels like waves of pain breathing in and out of your head. One wave goes in, one wave goes out and repeat. Figuratively, it feels like a war inside your head and every pain is a battle and when it’s fine for a second there are no battles. The war is won when the migraine is over." – oribby
18. "I liken a migraine to being drunk, but still thinking semi-clearly, while your head is pulsing between a steadily intensifying headache where you literally feel as though your brain is trying to explode, with a duller intermittent headache thrown in from time to time.
"But, possibly because of the pain, you are extremely alert and unable to sleep it off. When it’s over, you go through a period of extreme exhaustion and when you wake up the next morning you generally feel like the day after a really bad flu bug where all your muscles are sore and you’re still really tired." – kiwikangaroo100
19. "I get dehydration migraines, and I describe them as feeling as though my brain is old, dry spaghetti. Like you feel like your brain is just getting dryer by the minute and all you wanna do is pour some water on it." – oeufhater
20. "First it starts with my hands, where they don’t look like my own and don’t feel like mine, numb-like. Then my eyesight, it starts to go blurry. Trying to look at someone and I only see half of their face. It’s almost as if I’m blind in one eye. Then the crushing headache begins, and everything is too loud and too bright. I feel dizzy and nauseous.
"There have been some occasions where I’ve thrown up. I also suffer with numbness and tingling sensations. The weirdest was when this happened in my mouth. It was like I had just gone to the dentist as all of my teeth had a tingling feel and my tongue felt too big for my mouth." – ruthevans07