My Battle with Emotional Stress and Migraines

My Battle with Emotional Stress and Migraines


Living with migraine attacks can be an overwhelming and sometimes debilitating experience. As someone who has personally battled with the condition, I understand the challenges it presents. The frequency and intensity of migraine attacks can vary greatly from person to person, but one common trigger that many of us face is emotional stress. In this article, we will explore the relationship between emotional stress and migraine attacks, the importance of tracking symptoms during attacks, and how to effectively report symptom changes to healthcare providers for better treatment outcomes.

Understanding the Relationship between Emotional Stress and Migraines

Migraines are a complex neurological condition that involves abnormal brain activity. While the exact cause is still not fully understood, various factors can trigger migraine attacks. These triggers can be categorized into physical, environmental, and emotional factors. Emotional stress is known to be a potent trigger for many individuals.

For example, imagine a student preparing for a big exam. The stress and pressure leading up to the exam can cause a migraine attack, disrupting their ability to study and perform well.

Importance of Tracking Symptoms during Migraine Attacks

When experiencing a migraine attack, it is crucial to track and document the symptoms you are experiencing. Migraines are more than just a headache; they often come with a range of additional symptoms that can vary from person to person. By tracking these symptoms, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your condition and identify any patterns or triggers that may be contributing to your attacks.

One common set of symptoms that some individuals experience before or during a migraine attack are known as aura symptoms. These can include visual disturbances such as seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or even temporary loss of vision. Sensory changes like tingling or numbness in certain parts of the body can also occur.

Additionally, migraine attacks often present with associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. By tracking these symptoms, you can provide valuable information to your healthcare provider, enabling them to tailor your treatment plan to better manage your migraine attacks.

For example, tracking your symptoms may reveal that you consistently experience intense light sensitivity during migraine attacks. Armed with this information, your healthcare provider may suggest incorporating light-blocking glasses or reducing exposure to bright lights as part of your management plan.

Benefits of Recording Symptom Changes during an Attack

Recording symptom changes during a migraine attack offers several benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need to rely on memory to recall information later. Migraines themselves can cause cognitive difficulties, which can make it challenging to remember specific details about your symptoms. By documenting your symptoms in real-time, you can ensure that no crucial information is missed.

In addition to aiding memory, recording symptom changes can also provide cognitive and emotional relief. Migraines can be extremely distressing, and writing down your thoughts and experiences during an attack can help alleviate some of the overwhelm and stress associated with the condition.

Furthermore, the information you record can prove invaluable to your healthcare providers. By documenting your symptoms, you can provide them with a better understanding of how your migraine attacks impact your daily life and the effectiveness of any treatments prescribed. This can facilitate more meaningful conversations during appointments and allow for adjustments to your treatment plan as needed.

For example, by keeping track of your symptoms, you may notice a pattern where migraine attacks occur more frequently during periods of high emotional stress. This information can help your healthcare provider explore stress management techniques or recommend additional therapies to help reduce the impact of emotional stress on your migraine attacks.

Considerations when Reporting Symptom Changes to Doctors

When reporting symptom changes to your healthcare provider, it’s important to consider their limited time and responsibilities. Doctors often have a heavy workload and need concise and relevant information to efficiently assess and treat their patients. Focus on sharing information related to medication usage and effectiveness.

Doctors prioritize treatment success within certain timeframes, so it is crucial to report how quickly a medication provided relief during an attack and its effectiveness over a two-hour period. Alongside this, it is important to avoid excessive combinations of medications and intake frequency to prevent potential side effects and complications. Compliance with prescribed guidelines is equally essential for optimal treatment outcomes.

It is also worth noting that insurance requirements and documentation may emphasize objective data rather than detailed symptom descriptions. This means that focusing on specific symptoms and their impact on daily functioning can be more beneficial in obtaining coverage and support.

Finding a Balance in Recording Symptom Changes

While it is important to track symptom changes during migraine attacks, it is equally crucial to find a balance that works for you. It is not necessary to track every minute detail all the time, as this can potentially lead to overwhelm and added stress. Avoid becoming overly fixated on your symptoms and the tracking process itself.

Set specific objectives for your tracking efforts, such as evaluating the effectiveness of different medications or assessing the speed of relief with different treatments. Focus on noting any concerning side effects or complications that may arise. By setting clear objectives, you can ensure that your tracking efforts remain manageable and serve a purpose in your overall migraine management.

For example, you may decide to track medication usage and its influence on symptom relief. By doing so, you can determine which medications are most effective for you and share this information with your healthcare provider for future treatment planning.


Tracking symptom changes during migraine attacks can provide valuable insights into your condition and help you better manage your migraine attacks. By recording symptoms and sharing this information with your healthcare provider, you can facilitate more accurate diagnoses, tailor treatment plans, and ultimately improve your quality of life. Remember to strike a balance in your tracking efforts to avoid unnecessary stress and overwhelm. By finding a middle ground, you can effectively track and manage your migraine attacks to minimize their impact on your daily life.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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