Intense emotional swings with migraine?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 6/3/2013 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   



I’ve had migraines since I was 7 years old, (22 years ago) but the last 12 months they’ve intensified and changed significantly.

I’ve had everything checked out by my doctor, and he says everything’s OK, and that a lot of women find their migraines change when they get into their 30s. For the last 12 months or so I’ve noticed the day before I get the migraine I get quite low emotionally. It’s a bit like PMS, but when I get PMS I have the self-awareness to know that it’s just PMS… With the emotional lowness that comes before a migraine I can’t separate it. I will be devastated over a cup of tea, and not see that that’s not my normal reaction.


I had depression/anxiety about 4 years ago, but I’ve been pretty good on that front for the last 2-3 years.


I’ve been going through a stressful time the last few weeks, and as such it’s kicked my migraines up to new insane levels.

I THOUGHT I was getting panic attacks about an up coming surgery, which lead to migraines. But then my partner (after being screamed at for the third time this week, poor guy) pointed out that these aren’t the like the panic attacks I used to get.

Last time I had panic attacks, pretty specific things set them off. I had very high ‘baseline,’ stress, and the emotional state persisted well after the attack.


But there’s not really the level of consistency with what sets me off this time. I had a massive attack yesterday after a consultation with a surgeon… But other doctors’ appointments haven’t set me off.

I can acknowledge that I’m really nervous, to the point of being stupidly scared over such a simple little procedure… Except when I get a migraine.  Throw a migraine into the mix and my world ends.



Five times now the same thing has happened.

I get really disconnected.

I get a small visual aura.

I get really, REALLY angry. (I have never been as angry as I have been with these attacks.)

The anger bursts, and I get this crushing wave of self-hatred and depression.

Then I get the full visual aura, “Alice in wonderland symptoms,” numbness in my face (although I can move it) sporadic numbness throughout my body, marked hearing loss one ear, and a very loud ringing in the ears.

My eye feels like it’s under a giant contact lenses, and according to my partner looks as if it’s under a layer of plastic. (Only on the side of pain.) Which is also new, I've never had any observable signs of a migraine before.


Then it’s like a switch is flicked off on all the emotions and I get the headache, which is significantly worse than the ones I have been getting.


The next day I’m utterly exhausted, very emotional, and still feel like I’ve been hit in the head with an axe.



I’m curious to know if anyone has experienced something like this with their migraines, and if you have how do you separate it from an actual panic attack?

If it IS part of the migraine, would there be a way to stop the process? I can't keep doing this to my partner, and the stress of the idea of when it's going to happen next is perpetuating the issue.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/27/2013 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Madisun,
I can say yes ! You are not alone in this . I find panic does strike before a migraine hits for me, not always, but sometimes.   And I don't know if it's because I have pre-existing issues (bi-polar) or not, but what I find is things start to annoy me.  stupid things, like faucets dripping, and clocks ticking, and kids laughing, and the t.v.'s too loud, and my cat's snoring, and she's laying on my foot, and it's everything, I feel completely overwhelmed.  And then I snap, the anger lashes out and everything in it's path is in deep trouble haha.  (Just think, this is before the pain is slicing through my scalp and skull like a melon)   Scary stuff. 
It's like there is too much stimuli.   
That's what it's like for me anyway.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 6/29/2013 1:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Inf, that's pretty much exactly the pattern mine takes.
I get panic attacks (and have generalised anxiety disorder) but they just make me cry and try to run away, they don't make me angry.
It's a bit freaky how much anger can be caused by a migraine.
Honestly when it started happening I thought I was loosing my mind. I was standing in the lounge room SCREAMING at my partner, and I don't even really remember why.
Thankfully he is the single most understanding person in the history of forever, and will ride out the abuse and then be there the second I switch to sobbing.
I've had some success switching contraceptive pills. (Gone from paying $6 every four months to $90 every three months to achieve this... eyes ) My migraines haven't eased off, but I'm just getting a little emotional with them rather than full off rage.
I still get the extreme annoyance with little sounds though. I don't think that'll ever change. Ticking clocks have been banned in our house. We used to have one in the kitchen, but when I had a migraine I could hear it from the bedroom through two closed doors... It got thrown out the backdoor one night and never came back, lol.
Thanks for the response, it's good to know that it's not just me :-)
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