This article was originally written on February 14, 2023.
Dealing with migraine attacks can be incredibly isolating, because at the end of the day, if someone has never experienced one – they just won’t get it. Regardless if people understand our experience with migraine or not, humor is certainly a great way to explain it aka memes about migraine.
Here are 20 migraine memes to communicate the absurdity that is suffering from a migraine attack, a week of non-stop symptoms, or having to constantly deal with migraine in general. All of these funny migraine memes, while comical, are also serious reminders that having frequent migraine attacks do not equate to “just a headache.”
Let me know in the comments which migraine meme is most relatable for you! Or maybe which ones you would prefer to send to folks directly, instead of actually having to come up with a polite response 😉
1. Personally Victimized By Migraine
Let’s start off with this extremely relatable migraine meme from Marina at Parenting With Migraine. There is something about dealing with migraine that feels like a personal attack. Despite migraine affecting 1 out of every 6 adults, managing migraine can still feel incredibly isolating. This disease can also feel like a targeted attack from Regina George because of how much it can impact all spaces of our life. Regardless of who or what may cause it, it all can feel overly personal, especially in comparison to watching others never have their lives interrupted by migraine.
2. Migraine Hangover Meme
Have you been a victim to a migraine hangover too? This type of hangover can mean many things, but for me at least, it is the day after a migraine attack when I feel incredibly exhausted, weak, and nausea. It can also mean being greeted by an extension of migraine symptoms, a milder attack, or what is also known as a background headache. Either way it sucks, and like a hangover from drinking, it can feel impossible to relax or get comfortable. Simply another example that a migraine attack is not “just” an attack, but an event with MANY before and after components.
3. No Where To Hide
Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried hiding from your migraine! Whether we try to pretend it is not there, ignore the symptoms, or hope an attack will simply go away on its’ own – we all end up just looking like the kid in the box below.
4. Trial & Error
I was recently reminded of the exhaustion that comes with trying a new medication by this epic scene from America’s Next Top Model. Whether you live with migraine or any other illness without a cure, experimenting with new medications is a part of the process. On the positive side, some amazing new medications have come out over the past few years. While it is great there are more migraine treatments than ever before, there is also the aggregation that comes with trying each medication one at a time. What most folks don’t even realize is that a person if often required by their health insurance to “fail” a medication, before approving some of the newer medications. This migraine meme certainly gives weight to the emotions we endure in the process.
5. Really, Tylenol?
There has to be countless funny migraine memes about people giving the worst, uninformed suggestions on how to deal with migraine. If you didn’t already know, telling someone who is not relaxed to “just relax,” is not a good idea. While anxiety and stress can definitely be a migraine trigger, being told this can often make us feel as though choosing to relax or choosing to not have a migraine attack is a simple choice. Stopping a migraine attack is not easy and in no way a choice.
6. “Just” Take Excedrin
I get it, Excedrin Migraine has done a fabulous job advertising their product, it is a reputable household name. Don’t get me wrong, Excedrin can do wonders for dealing with a migraine attack. The problem is, if you get frequent attacks, it may not always work they way one would hope. This is definitely something I have experienced myself. Excedrin and other OTC medications (that usually include caffeine) sometimes lead to medication overuse headaches, which certainly do not help.
One of my earliest memories in dealing with migraine was approaching my adolescent primary care doctor. I brought up my concerns with dealing with frequent migraine attacks in college and his response was literally to just carry Excedrin with me … everywhere I went. Also, he advised me to give up chocolate, caffeine, and dairy. While I was not expecting him to give me a cure for my migraine, it was certainly a disappointing response. So the next time someone kindly suggests you take an Excedrin as soon as you feel a migraine, feel empowered to say, “Unfortunately that medication does not always work for migraine.”
7. Medication Overuse Headache Fail
As mentioned above, taking medication that backfires or causes other side affects can be SO frustrating! Personally the science behind medication overuse headaches as well as cluster headaches (which I’ve also heard is related), is a super interesting topic that I’m looking forward to research and share more on DWM! Having recently tried out Ubrelvy and other, newer medications like Nurtec ODT (known as CGRP blockers) – that do not cause overuse headaches, have been a huge relief on me (and my anxiety). I’m not sure what constitutes qualifying to be prescribed these medications but would highly suggest speaking with your PCP or neurologist.
8. Medication Defeat
This migraine meme is relatable to everyone for a variety of reasons. I mean have you really experienced unparalleled nausea if this hasn’t happened to you? My neurologist recently prescribed me Metoclopramide for nausea and vomming, because apparently migraine causes issues with our stomach emptying out. More on how that works in a future post! Also, from what I’ve seen there are more and more new medications for migraine coming out in the form of a nasal spray, which is great for folks who have issues with nausea and digesting medication.
9. Vomming From Migraine
In all seriousness, I think there needs to be a lot more awareness that vomiting can be a popular symptom of migraine. I understand it is gross and no one wants to talk about it, but it often fools people that they are just “sick” as opposed to dealing with the peak of a migraine attack. One of my earliest memories of dealing with migraine was being completely confused why I had to run out of my best friends car into my house so I could throw up – was it a 30 minute flu? There has certainly been countless nights where as my migraine continued to escalate I raced against the clock to get home before I had to vom (which didn’t always work out for me). I at least finally wised up and bought these “disposable vomit bags,” which I can attest work VERY, very well.
10. Dealing With Migraine (With Friends)
Anyone else create weird contraptions so that they can still take part in social activities? Dealing with a migraine attack on an important or exciting day, such as getting tickets to the Super Bowl, can put a lot of pressure on us to be able to enjoy the day without pain. I would probably substitute this unique look with a good hat, a disposable ice pack, and migraine glasses instead.
11. Living With Migraine, Living With Pain
This funny migraine meme is hilariously engaging for everyone, regardless if they deal with migraine or not! This post originally found on Reddit, I believe, is actually how I discovered Shruti aka @chronicallymeh. After I started following #migraine on Instagram, her post on this popped up and I instantly knew she would be putting out amazing migraine content.
12. Hello Darkness My Old Friend
I am grateful to say that except for migraine hangovers, most of my migraine attacks occur later in the afternoon and evening when it is already dark outside. Having to miss sunshine, beautiful weather, and all the festivities that come with it though due to an attack or trying to avoid one can certainly feel like we are being punished by the dark forces.
13. Speaking Of The Sun …
How does the sun impact your migraine? For me, it is the worst with driving. Having to constantly move around the visor and figure out the best type of sunglasses to wear – I probably look like a driving migraine meme. In addition to the sun though, I think bright lights and headlights are the absolute worst for me in terms of light sensitivity or photophobia.
14. Migraine At Work
This has been me, numerous times. For many years I was lucky enough to have my own office, but when I started working in a cubicle environment around other folks (and aggressive fluorescent lighting), I could no longer hide. I remember one morning while dealing with a migraine hangover I decided to wear my sunglasses at my desk, which frankly, were very soothing. I soon realized though that people assumed I was just hungover (the alcoholic kind), which does not bode well for ones’ reputation.
15. Stupid Stupid Triptan
Tell me you’ve taken triptan without telling me you’ve taken triptan. I’m sure this medicine works for some, but I never found it to be helpful, and if anything, only left me disappointed. Triptans were one of the earliest medications to treat migraine and while they can be helpful, a lot of other medications have been created since then.
16. Hormonal Migraine Attack
Did you even know our menstrual cycle can trigger a migraine attack? I never put the pieces together until my best friend (who is actually a pediatric neurologist), explained that migraine attacks are more common for women because of how migraine can be flared by our periods. Once I started tracking more, I realized there was a huge correlation for me the week before and the week of when my period starts. Check out this great blog post from Michele, The Migraine Nurse, where she breaks down everything there is to know about hormonal migraine!
17. Dealing With Migraine At Parties
In dealing with migraine, I always inevitably make it my job to find safe retreats at any party. Maybe it’s a bathroom, a bedroom, or my car. Either way, I’ll need a rest break and other times I’ll simply be done for the night and go to bed early. Regardless, this dog has the right idea, and is the perfect migraine meme to send my friends!
18. Chronic Pain Memes
✨ IYKYK ✨
19. When You Try Ignoring Your Migraine
It’s not that I’m always trying to ignore my migraine symptoms, but sometimes, it all happens so fast! The thing about dealing with a migraine attack is that it requires you to usually stop what you are doing and act fast. And for myself and many others, that can be a huge blow to our work flow, love lives, social events, and work goals. While I have gotten much better with my migraine reaction time (also thanks to having an amazing spouse), I’m not perfect and that is also okay.
20. Appreciating Days With No Pain
There is nothing better than waking up, feeling migraine free! One big positive aspect of living with migraine disease or living with any type of chronic illness is having great appreciation for when we don’t feel sick. Feeling healthy, strong, and free of issues can make those us who are not used to feeling well, unstoppable. Plus, who doesn’t love a migraine meme of an adorable baby donkey?
21. Migraine Is Not “Just” A Headache
The idea that migraine is just a headache is triggering for many reasons. Migraine is a complex, neurological disease with no one cure. Additionally, many people do not realize that migraine is a lot more than head pain, which is why it can have such a huge impact on our lives. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation about migraine that myself and other amazing migraine advocates in the community are looking to change.
22. Blogging With Migraine
This has happened so. many. times. Stress is a huge migraine trigger for myself and countless others. There was quite a few bumps on the road in launching Dealing With Migraine which came with a lot of new stress. But would it be an authentic blog about dealing with migraine if I didn’t get lots of migraine attacks in the process? Glad we agree 😉
Is there anything I missed?
Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite migraine meme?