Double Whammy: Migraine and Bipolar

Last Updated: 14 Jul 2020

So, I’ve been trying to get over the same recalcitrant migraine for over a week now, and it’s getting old. There was a brief period on Friday afternoon when I thought it had lifted, but I was wrong. Today, as I write in my bedroom with the shades drawn yet again, trying to fight my double vision long enough to finish this post, I think it might be worth it to discuss the common concurrence of migraine and bipolar disorder.

Studies show that those of us with bipolar I are about 40% more likely to experience migraine than our “normal” counterparts, and those with bipolar II are about 25% more likely to do so. One of these studies also found that “[b]ipolar disorder with comorbid migraine is . . associated with greater dysfunction and medical service utilization . . ..” Lucky us, right?

Well, for what it’s worth, here’s my best advice for those of you who share my pain: Whenever possible, cut the lights, shut the blinds, lie down, minimize noise, sleep, apply cold compresses or those fancy menthol patches that stick to your head, and wear a baseball cap or bandana (the pressure helps). Of course, medication is also an option—both preventative daily meds and those taken once you feel the migraine coming on. And by all means take the latter as early as possible. Time is of the essence.

That’s all the advice I can muster given my left eye feels like it’s about to explode. Now your turn.

Do you suffer from migraine, and how do you deal with it?

About the author
Melody Moezzi, an award-winning author and visiting professor of creative nonfiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is also an activist, attorney, and keynote speaker. Her most recent book, The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life, joins her earlier works: the critically acclaimed Haldol and Hyacinths and War on Error, which earned her a Georgia Author of the Year Award and a Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Honorable Mention. In addition to her Flight of Ideas column for bp Magazine, Moezzi’s writing has appeared in many outlets, including Ms. magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, the Guardian, HuffPost, Al Arabiya, and the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. She has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including CNN, BBC, NPR, PBS, PRI, and more. Moezzi is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the Emory University School of Law, and the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She divides her time between Cambridge, MA, and Wilmington, NC, with her husband, Matthew, and their ungrateful cats, Keshmesh and Nazanin. For more information, please visit and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  1. I use sumatriptan injections because it works faster for me than pills or nasal spray. I know my common triggers, to much sun on
    my forehead and abrupt changes in weather. For a while, it appear chocolate set them off, but not lately. A good defense is better than letting a migraine cycle start. But when they do, try to have medication that works for you available.

  2. I use sumatriptan pills, I used to use sumatriptan injections (epipen). They work. I always felt the migraine came when I was a bit hypo manic, I was glad in a way because it closed the door on mania for good and the sumatriptan stopped mental overload as well as shrinking the blood vessels and stopping the pain.

  3. Very Good Personality, or Author bio.

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