Migraine and Mood Swings: Patient Insights

Migraine and Mood Swings: Patient Insights

Introduction to the Connection between Migraines and Mood Swings

As a migraine sufferer, I have personally experienced the connection between migraine attacks and mood swings. Migraine attacks can have a significant impact on my daily life and relationships, causing frustration and confusion about the relationship between the two.

For example, during a migraine attack, my sensitivity to light, sound, or touch increases, making it difficult for me to engage in normal activities or social interactions. This can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration.

It is important to recognize that mood swings are not just a result of the pain and discomfort caused by migraine attacks, but also a neurological response to changes in the brain during an attack.

Understanding the Different Types of Mood Swings Associated with Migraines

During a migraine attack, I often experience emotional changes such as irritability, anger, or sadness. This can be attributed to the disruption of neurotransmitters and the release of inflammatory substances during the attack. Additionally, I become more sensitive to light, sound, or touch.

It is not uncommon for individuals to experience mood changes before or after a migraine attack as well. These mood swings can be attributed to premonitory symptoms and the postdrome phase.

Premonitory symptoms, also known as prodrome, are early warning signs that occur hours or even days before the actual migraine attack. These symptoms can include changes in mood, such as irritability or euphoria, as well as physical symptoms like food cravings or increased urination.

On the other hand, the postdrome phase occurs after the migraine attack, often leaving individuals feeling drained, exhausted, and emotionally low. It is important to recognize and address these mood changes as part of the overall migraine management.

Tracking Mood Swings during Migraine Attacks

Tracking my mood swings during migraine attacks has been incredibly helpful in understanding the patterns and triggers of my migraine attacks. It has also enhanced communication with my healthcare providers.

One method of tracking is through diary or journal entries. I record the date and time of each migraine attack, note the duration of the attack, and document the impact on my daily activities and functionality.

In addition to traditional methods, I have found mobile applications specifically designed for migraine tracking to be convenient and effective. These apps often provide features such as tracking pain intensity, recording medication usage, and identifying potential triggers.

To further track and quantify my mood swings, I utilize rating scales or mood trackers. These tools allow for a more objective assessment of my emotional state before, during, and after migraine attacks.

By regularly tracking my mood swings, I am able to identify patterns and triggers that may contribute to the onset or exacerbation of my migraine attacks. This information enables me to make informed decisions about lifestyle changes and treatment options.

Capturing Specific Details during Mood Swings

When tracking my mood swings, it is important to note the intensity and duration of each swing. I rate the intensity on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe. This allows me to measure the impact and severity of my mood swings over time.

Furthermore, describing the specific emotions experienced during mood swings is crucial. For example, I may feel overwhelmed by anger, overwhelmed by sadness, or anxious during a migraine attack.

In addition to emotions, I make a note of any additional symptoms that accompany my mood swings. These may include changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, or cognitive difficulties, which can further impact my overall well-being during a migraine attack.

Identifying potential triggers or contributing factors for my mood swings is equally important. By keeping track of my diet, hormonal changes, sleep patterns, and stress levels, I can determine if there are any patterns or associations between these factors and my mood swings during migraine attacks.

Impact on Treatment and Management Strategies

Mood swings associated with migraine attacks can significantly impact treatment decisions. Healthcare providers must consider these emotional symptoms when selecting medications and making dosage adjustments.

For example, if stress or anxiety triggered my migraine attacks, my healthcare provider may recommend incorporating stress management techniques such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness, or therapy. These strategies can help alleviate mood swings and reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

Open communication about my mood swings with my healthcare providers has been crucial. By sharing my experiences and concerns, I have been able to work collaboratively with my healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of migraine attacks.

It is important to find a healthcare professional who understands and empathizes with the impact of mood swings on overall well-being. This ensures that my concerns are heard and addressed with appropriate interventions and support.

Integrating mood tracking into my overall migraine management plan has allowed for a more personalized approach. By identifying patterns and triggers through mood tracking, my healthcare providers can tailor my treatment plan to address my specific needs.

For example, if a consistent pattern emerges where certain triggers consistently lead to severe mood swings, my healthcare provider may recommend avoiding those triggers or incorporating additional therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy to address the emotional consequences of migraine attacks.


The connection between migraine attacks and mood swings is an important aspect of migraine management. By understanding and addressing mood swings, we can empower ourselves through self-awareness and effective communication with healthcare providers. Comprehensive tracking and management approaches, including mood tracking, offer the potential for improved treatment outcomes in the management of migraine attacks.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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