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8 Incredible Books for Anyone Living With Migraine

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I firmly believe that knowledge is a powerful tool for anyone to possess. Although I’ve lived with migraine for nearly 20 years, I’ve realized that my knowledge of migraine is limited at best. So, I did what anyone who wants to learn more about a condition would do: I scoured the shelves of my favorite bookstore to see what books about migraine I could find.

The result? This list of eight incredible books about migraine that I would encourage all migraineurs to read and hopefully benefit from.

1. “Migraine” by Oliver Sacks

According to neurologist and writer Dr. Oliver Sacks, migraine isn’t simply an illness, but rather a complex condition that plays a unique role in each individual migraineur’s life. In “Migraine,” Dr. Sacks goes through the many variations of migraine and the gambit of symptoms someone with migraine can experience. Although the text is fairly clinical, it also goes very in-depth into migraine and provides a wealth of knowledge.

2. “Migraine: A History” by Katherine Foxhall

If you’re looking for a highly comprehensive history of migraine and the various approaches doctors have taken to understand and treat migraine, then this recently-published book by Katherine Foxhall is for you. It’s filled with incredible information, and Foxhall approaches the topic with sensitivity and empathy for migraineurs everywhere.

3. “Splitting: The Inside Story on Headaches” by Amanda Ellison

In “Splitting: The Inside Story on Headaches,” Neurologist Amanda Ellison “lifts the lid” on various types of headaches (including migraine). Within the text, Ellison explores triggers, explains migraine attacks in an easy-to-digest way, and even takes a look at some of the common myths about migraine and other types of neurological conditions that cause headaches. Anyone who is looking for answers to help them better understand migraine will benefit from this thoughtful text.

4. “The Migraine Mafia” by Maia Sepp

If traditional texts about conditions aren’t your jam, then you’ll definitely want to check out “The Migraine Mafia.” The novel follows Vive McBroom as she navigates the literal and emotional pain of living with migraine. Although it’s a fictional text, it’s definitely relatable and may provide you with the relief you’ve been looking for.

5. “The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health” by Dr. Carolyn Bernstein

Written by a neurologist and fellow migraineur, “The Migraine Brain” explores the structural and chemical differences that appear in the brain of someone who lives with migraine. In addition to explaining these details, Dr. Bernstein offers a number of treatment options, based both on traditional medicine and alternative treatments.

6. “Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health” by Joanna Kempner

Unfortunately, the history of migraine is filled with lots of dismissal by medical professionals around the world. In “Not Tonight,” Kempner breaks down these gendered social values and how they have impacted the study of migraine over the years. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how migraine, like many other conditions, has been impacted by society and its views on certain conditions.

7. “A Brain Wider Than the Sky: A Migraine Diary” by Andrew Levy

Although many people (falsely) consider migraine to be a “woman’s disease,” Andrew Levy’s story shows that anyone can live with migraine. It’s an incredible blend of personal memoir and provocative analysis, which makes it an enjoyable and informative read bundled into a single text. Once you start this one, you won’t be able to put it down.

8. “Minding the Body, Mending the Mind” by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

Unfortunately, migraine isn’t just a physical health condition — it also takes a toll on an individual’s mental health. In this text, Dr. Borysenko explains how the mind and body are interconnected. Then, she offers suggestions on how to harness your mind’s power to help alleviate symptoms the physical body experiences. Given the success of Borysenko’s clinic, it’s fair to say this book may be another tool for migraineurs to add to their arsenal.

As you can imagine, this list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to books about migraine. However, I think these texts provide a variety of perspectives without diving into questionable areas like diet culture or controversial treatments. And, if you live with migraine like I do, I hope you find at least one book on this list that provides you with insight and encouragement.

Getty image by Fotostorm.

Originally published: May 16, 2022
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