Sorry I have not written in a while. I think it has almost been a week, but it’s been a crazy week. I don’t know if you guys have read my last post Rantings of a Mad Woman No. 2, but I talk about physical pain, and that is what this post will be about.
Now before I get into it, I admit that I read the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. I did not like them, but I read them because I wanted to be an overachiever and read all 20 books in the South Carolina Young Adult Book List that is released every year. I would like to point about that since I read those books (though I hated them and everything they stood for) I did like one character and she has inspired my answer to the question “If you could have any superpower what would it be?” I am not talking about Bella, but of the Volturi guard Jane. Now for those who were lucky to not have read the books or watched the movies (I haven’t watched the movies), Jane has the ability to induce a crippling, although illusory, pain in other people’s minds. Isn’t that lovely! Like don’t make her mad! But yes, I would love to have that power. I’m not sadistic like she is or a psychopath, but I know what it is like to feel like your mind is about is either being crushed or is on fire. Granted my pain is not illusory.
Migraines! The topic of this post because although it is not a mental health issue it is just if not more stigmatized than some mental health issues.
Aren’t migraines just bad headaches? Well yes, but a migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. For me, it feels like my head is being crushed by giant hands, and my whole body feels like it is under attack, much like the Harry Potter crucio curse. (Yes I am a Potterhead, Bold Gryffindor!)
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. When I get a migraine it last about three to four days; imagine being in pain for that long, not even strong and powerful wizards like Frank Longbottom and Alice Longbottom could hold on that long without going insane, which is why 50 points for Gryffindor since I am not insane.
Wait… I am…
No I am not.
Anyway! Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood, but don’t worry they should lessen when one reaches the age of like 35 or 40 right in time for that mid-life massive panic attack (more on panic attacks later). Migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, though you may not experience all stages. The prodrome starts about one or two days before a migraine, and subtle changes occur that warn of an upcoming migraine, including: constipation, mood changes, from depression to euphoria, food cravings, neck stiffness, increased thirst and urination, and frequent yawning. Aura may occur before or during migraines. Most people experience migraines without aura, I do not.
Auras are symptoms of the nervous system. They are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision. Examples of migraine aura include: visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light, vision loss, pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg, weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body, difficulty speaking, hearing noises or music, and uncontrollable jerking or other movements.
The attack follows. A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. During a migraine, you may experience: pain on one side or both sides of your head, pain that feels throbbing or pulsing, sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting.
The final phase, known as post-drome, occurs after a migraine attack. You may feel drained and washed out, while some people feel elated. For about 24 hours, you may also experience: confusion, moodiness, dizziness, weakness, and sensitivity to light and sound.
I bolded the things that occur to me when I am under the crucio curse.
What causes migraines? Well no one really knows. There is research that suggest that imbalances in brain chemicals including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system also may be involved. Serotonin levels drop during migraine attacks.
Migraine triggers include:
Hormonal changes in women, in fact being a woman in generally puts you at a higher risk of having a migraine than males (Jane gets jealous easy, I guess).
Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods may trigger migraines. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger attacks.
Food additives. The sweetener aspartame (this is actually really bad for you in general so please don’t consume this) and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods, may trigger migraines.
Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines. On this note, for me if I don’t get caffeine, I get really bad headaches that lead to migraines sometimes. (Yes, I have a caffeine problem, and yes I know it’s called withdraw).
Stress. Stress at work or home can cause migraines, so learn to relax and let stuff go.
Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells including perfume, paint thinner, and secondhand smoke also can cause someone’s brain to be crushed or set on fire.
Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines; so if you don’t want a migraine it’s called celibacy. Some studies show that sexual activity can reduce migraines, so know yourself and your mind.
So how do you treat a real life crucio curse? Well… pain relievers and medication to prevent migraines that doctors need to prescribe.
So if you or anyone you know is either under the crucio curse or angered Jane, please understand that it is physically painful to move and think and often times live. Get the help you need by seeing your doctor. Migraines should get more attention and those who suffer should not be judged or stigmatized. It is not just a headache, think about it as if Voldemort is attacking you from the inside out using your mind as the enemy.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it both funny and informative. This Saturday I will be taking the GREs, so please wish me luck, keep me in your prayers, and send me very good vibes and thoughts!