The word migraine originates from the Greek - hemikrania- pain on one side of the head.

books to prompt thought and discussion about migraine


Atonement Ian McEwan (2001) Published by Vintage

This book is probably not the first place you might think of look to find out more about migraine. But there is a vivid description of the incapacitating effects of migraine at the beginning of chapter 6. Emily the mother of the books heroine, is lying in bed anxiously trying to avoid a migraine attack.

‘She was not in pain, not yet, but she was retreating before its threat. There were illuminated points in her vision, little pinpricks, as though the worn fabric of the invisible world was being held up against a far brighter light. She felt in the top right corner of her brain a heaviness, the inert bodyweight of some curled and sleeping animal’…….

She lay rigidly apprehensive, held at knife- point, knowing that fear would not let her sleep and that her only hope was in keeping still. ……

The fear of pain kept her in place. At worst, unrestrained, a matching set of sharpened kitchen knives would be drawn across the optic nerve, and then again, with the greater downward pressure and she would be entirely shut in and alone’.

Migraine Oliver Sacs

A series of stories about patient's with migraine.