Here it is! The "worst migraine advice ever"...

Here are what some visitors to the site have deemed the most impractical, weirdest and downright stupidist things they have been told in regards to their migraines from probably well-meaning, yet not quite understanding people, whether they be your family, co-workers, doctors, or (my favorite) concerned outsiders...

Went to General Practice M.D., who after giving me Darvon, which didn't work, said he thought perhaps I "was crazy" and should see a Psychiatrist. He sent me to one who charged $175 per 45-minute visit. The 'shrink' had his glasses held together with duct tape; and one ear had a bandaid wrapped around the tip, ending up in a point (sort of like Dr. Spock). This guy said I could take self-hypnosis and get rid of migraines. I went to the hypnotist, who taught me the methods for "glove therapy", which never worked when I was in the throes of a full-blown migraine. Total cost of all treatment $1,050.

Another M.D. sent me to a University Medical College, where I saw the Head of the Neurology Department. Had brain scans, CAT scans, every test imaginable, etc. to the tune of over $5,000 (thank God for insurance!). At the end of all this, he took me in his office and proclaimed that I had migraines "because I was a Virgo, and therefore, was a perfectionist" !! The cost of the office visit was $150. I went back to my M.D. and complained vehemently. He called Jefferson and secured a REFUND of my $150 !

A doctor told me and my Mother at the age of sixteen I should go out and get pregnant and that would take care of my headaches!

My brother, who is married to a nurse, thinks HE is a DR. told me that if I became a strict vegetatian my headaches would go away. He also thinks that I say I have migraines because I want to free load of of my parents for as long as I can and I just don't want to work.

The other wonderful bit of advice came from a doctor who is supposed to be one of the top migraine neurologist IN THE COUNTRY. He told me to stop taking bith control pills and to follow the strict "migraine" diet and they would go away.

Did either bit of advice work- NOT!!!

Just remember everyone, just because someone is a doctor (or thinks they are) does not mean that they know what they are talking about.

My sister, who also suffers from migraines, told me to take 4 Bayer aspirin and lie down. I became nauseous and threw up within the 1/2 hour, eventually ending up in the ER for a shot of Demerol. I realize now that what may work for my sister, does not work for me!

Someone said that I didn't seem like the kind of person who got migraines. They said that I seemed to have a depth and a peace and spirituality about me that made them surprised I would have headaches!

It's not advice but I think that it was the worst thing anyone ever said to me about headaches. Except of course for the classic "Why do you think that you're giving these headaches to yourself?"

As far as advice, I had a friend give me one of Louise Hay's books which suggests that masturbation will cure migraines. I guess it's more pleasurable than a stinging shot in the arm!

I have bad bad headaches the last 30-some years. In the late 60's, I went to the headache specialist. After several tests and interviews, his advice was to 'meet some young women and go on dates, not the kind you meet in bars'.

I was certainly dumbfounded with this advice from a headache specialist. I was dating back then but it had no effect on the headaches.

I've never tried it, so I don't know if it really is as ridiculous as it sounds. When this horrible thing that was interrupting my life and leaving me incapacitated 2 or 3 times a week was diagnosed as "classic migraines" with "additional tension headaches" a friend told me to fill up the kitchen sink with the coldest water I could find add ice cubes and....dunk my entire head in it. According to her, it would stop the migraine immediately.

Now that I know more about vascular constriction it doesn't seem as far-fetched, but.....I STILL wouldn't dunk my head in ice water.

There's a chance that cognitive re-structuring may help you. Go get a book from the library & read about it. (this was his treatment plan for me)

A neurologist at a headache clinic at a Boston hospital told me this in 8/94. His bill was $285. for the one hour visit. I had just moved to Massachusetts & needed to find a new doctor. Saw a local neurologist who told me I was too difficult to deal with & he referred me to the Boston M.D. I've had migraines for 30 yrs & seen lots of MDs but the Boston guy was the worst.

Just get razor and dig out that nerve bundle over your eye that's hurting so much.

-me to me, in the midst of an atomic migraine-

My Father-in-law saw me in the middle of a severe attack. I had already taken a Percodan and a Valium. He said to me "Here Honey, I have an aspirin you can take." I know he meant well, but it just goes to show you how most people don't have a clue about the severity of a migraine and when you try to explain it to them they still can't seem to comprehend.

I was once told that standing on your head could bring relief to a cluster migraine. Not only did i look stupid but it didn't work.

this is my list:

take vitamin C
dont exercise
have sex (my favorite)
dont have sex (argh!)
drink tea
quit being a cop and join a monestary

The best thing to do to avoid getting a migraine is to bring one on yourself and manage the degree of pain that you feel. For example, if you feel a migraine coming, and you know cheese brings one on, have a couple grilled cheese sandwiches right away. Then, you know what you're in for and can get your bed ready, call the Rx, and get someone lined up to watch the kids.

Only if you follow this path can you start getting your life back in order.

Just relax, you stress too much. I'll bet if you didn't stress so much, you wouldn't get migraines.

I was told to eat peaches. Well, I'm always glad of an excuse to eat peaches!

My neurologist actually told me, "just take aspirin," as if I would be seeing a neurologist for a headache aspirin could handle! I'm pretty annoyed with him right now.

The most stupid advice I have got, was from a doctor: "take two ketogan tablets." Ketogans contains morphine; normally my migraine lasts 8 hours. However the medicine left me vomiting for two days. Great improvement, Doc.

The worst and one of the most expensive and frustrating things that I ever subjected myself to was a day of testing at a pain clinic. After they pinched my little finger in a vice grip(no kidding)and I watched swirling colors and images on a TV screen for hours-----the conclusion. "I have low pain tollerance" thats all.

We all say that we would do anything to make these migraines go away,but I guess you need to ask a few more questions before you subject yourself to some clinics "experiments"and become some research Dr.guennia pig.

My EX-husband used to say that if "You just set your mind to it, they would go away". He used to tell me that I brought them on myself. Need I explain why he is now my EX. :-)

My cousin told me " it's all in your head!" Oh DUH! I told her I don't get them in my feet, though I have had a few pains in my ass.

I was told by a neurologist to just keep taking the extra strength Excedrin. Two years later I was up to 6 pills a day, along with all of the Coca-Cola that I was using to self-medicate, I was ingesting close to 1000 milligrams of caffiene a day.

A young interviewer at a pain clinic, probably still a teenager, while taking notes and questioning me, said, "it sounds like you don't want to get better."

beware any institution that calls itself a pain clinic: they often live up to their names...

I believe the classic for a lot of us is "If you wouldn't get tense, you wouldn't have the headaches". I was 10 when my family doctor produced this garbage. I missed a lot of school my junior and senior years due to migraines, having to call my mother to come get me. This after almost begging the school officals that I was really ill. I'm one of those that you can look at and see I'm in pain, guess I would have been believed if I'd just thrown up on them!There were times when I fought not to.

You can put your hands in your pockets without taking them out for at least three days...if you still have the migraine, the smell will kill you when you take your hands out!!!

Worst migraine advice--Where do I begin? One neurologist told me to quit my job and sell Amway(no kidding)

Someone in the chronic pain newsgroup suggested I get in a hot bath and submerge my head(OUCH!!)

My husband's advice is: get rid of my teddy bear; he says that will cure me. My teddy bear's advice is: get rid of my husband; he says that will cure me. I'm keeping them both. :-)

My ex-husband used to tell me it was all in my head. No pun intended.

On my last visit to the neurologist he told me that a migraine was a total brain experience.

yeah really?

That is the type of advice that I got from my father. I hated him for that attitude. I used to miss a lot of school because of my headaches too. He still thinks I am faking a headache to get out of work. Imagine that a 33 year-old man having to fake a headache to get out of work.

The worse advice I have received was from the head of a university neurology headache unit. The advice was to "take a couple of Advils, after all it's just a headache" and please don't forget to pay the $500 office consultation fee before you leave. This was a former VA doctor. I donât know if he is still there or not but I can only hope for other people's sake that he is not.

The second worse advice I have ever received was to allow a headache clinic to hospitalize me. A true little shop of horrors. They crashed me by administering large doses of drugs I had informed them that my body would not tolerate in extremely small doses. I guess it makes a difference if they are the oneâs ordering the dosages. They had to scramble like hell to get the records changed to make every thing appear OK.

The most infuriating statement made to me concerning my constant headache problem came from an individual in the human resources dept when I was being "disciplined" for missing to much work: "It just sounds to me like your not willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to stop your headaches".

The worst advice came from an MD: "The best migraine headache treament is 2 aspirin and a cup of coffee".

It's caffine withdrawl, Ronda. Caffine withdrawl. ;-)

I received some 'advice' from a friend. They had seen in a health food store some 'special' candles you put in your ears and light until the headache goes away.

I never tried it but I think my hair would start on fire!

My former supervisor (he was demoted not long after this) told me in a mediation session that graphic design was too stressful and that I should find some other type of work. When I asked him to name just ONE job that did not involve stress, he just sat there and continued to look stupid. This is the same jerk who wanted me to submit my medical records and get a note from my neurologist every time I missed work with a migraine.


  1. Get married (I did, but it didn't stop the migraines :) )
  2. Have a baby (My mom keeps trying that one on me. She admits that her migraines only stopped WHILE she was pregnant; I haven't yet felt like 9 months relief is a good enough reason to have a child)


My mother has come up with the following:


  1. Get a dog.
  2. (after that didn't work) Get rid of the dog.
  3. Move.
  4. Don't move.
  5. Find something to do.
  6. Stop concentrating so hard.
  7. Get some help in to do your housework.
  8. Don't waste your money on a cleaning lady.


My worst advice was when MDs told me that my eadaches would get better if I stopped taking my painkillers (Percocet) completely. After 6 weeks of continual agony, bedridden most of the time, I went to the E.R. and threw up at the doc, my timeing was perfect but he got out of the way, although I think some got on his shoes. Needless to say it got my regular 175 mg of demerol in record time, with no further hassle.

One of the staff physicians in my college explained that I was only getting "headaches" because I didn't really want to marry my then-fiance. Then he prescribed Valium.

Fortunately, I got to see a neurologist soon thereafter, who diagnosed migraines, prescribed a beta-blocker, and the rest is history. My husband and I have been married for sixteen years; the migraines haven't gone away, but at least I know what they are and how to treat them.

My worst was from the husband of a suffer who said that if I took no meds, and just toughed it out for a couple of weeks, I would desensitize my head and that the migraines wouldn't hurt so much.

"You're just doing this to get a day off" (ex-husband)

"You get migraines because you think too much" (ex-friend)

"If two Midrin don't work, then they are not really migraines" (person who graduated from medical school)

"Migraines are a disease of resentment. Get rid of the resentment and your migraines will go away" (ex-employer)

"You are teaching your daughters to use headaches to manipulate people" (ex-husband, extrememly helpful person)

"When you feel a migraine coming on, drop to the floor and do pushups, situps or some other strenuous exercise. That should stop the pain from happening."

One doctor told me to go to his office on the onset of a migraine so he could give me a shot and send me home from work for the rest of the day, full knowing that I'm the sole breadwinner and just moved to the area(=new job=no sick/vacation time for a few months) even though the cause of my headaches has been determined and Imitrex works just fine and allows me to work(which he doesn't want to prescribe). Needless to say, I've found a new MD.

PS: I know this may sound perfectly reasonable to those of you who have lived with this as a disability and have been worse off than myself, but sorry it doesn't fit in my lifestyle, and when you've found what works, do it!

Guess my worst migraine advise was my when I first mentioned it to my general practice doctor at a clinic, down in Miami. I told him that I thought I was getting migraines, that it ran in my family, on my mothers side.

He asked me what I wanted. I told him that I didn't know.

Walked out of the clinic with nothing.

I was once told by a Doctor to consider that my headaches my be psycosematic!!! That Doc got the middle finger and no payment for the "treatment".

Hmm..first doc I ever consulted was when I was about 17--he told me that I was having "muscle spasms in the brain." Then he prescribed Valium because as he put it, "obviously you are a very nervous person to let a little head pain upset you!" Jerk!!!!!

My elementary school secretary told me to "Just wish it away, Honey. Just wish it away." I wished HER away. Now my Mom homeschools me, and it doesn't matter if I can't do math for a few days now and then.

My doctor,after he admitted that he could no longer treat me and sent me to a headache clinc (Montifore in NY) asked me during my last visit if the new doctor suspected if it was psychosomatic?

Another person (former employer) suggested that I use "Visualization Techniques" to visualize it out of my head (picture your headache and remove it from my head). Dumb-ass.

My mother suggested that I drink to much water, am allergic to my pet lovebirds, am allergic to dust; have to stressful a lifestyle, am taking too many weird drugs, ad nauseum....

I've had two "worst" advices, both from doctors. The first one was from a neurologist, who told me my migraines were "all in my head", and that they must be caused becuase of "excess stress", so he prescribed Valium. Natch, that didn't work. His next advice: See a Psychatrist! His office was in the middle of a field of Scotch Broom, which has a very strong odor, which sets off migraines for me. When I told him that, he REALLY suggested I see a psychiatrist. I don't understand why doctors think it's our imaginations!

The second was from a family doctor. I have a severe allergy to butter, if I eat anything containing butter, I get a migraine within 4 hours. When I told him this, he told me butter NEVER causes migraines, it causes diahrrea! He too insinuated I need a psychiatrist.

The first and last Neurologist I went to for "My Headaches" tried umpteen different medication with not much sucess. When I said to him that I was not happy with the results and there must be something else that could be done, he said to me, "You can take this whole bottle of sleeping pills(100) I'm prescribing and kill yourself." No kidding, that's word for word! Needless to say I demanded all my records and left.

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© 1996, Ronda Solberg, ronda@migrainepage.com