Migraine and ADHD

migraine and adhd

Having ADHD and migraine at the same time can be difficult to unravel. With so many overlapping symptoms, it’s hard to tell which is which. I have a hard time telling when an attack is about to hit during times my ADHD is worse, like right before my period — conveniently also when I tend to get more frequent attacks in the first place. If my brain is already scattered and my ADHD meds aren’t working as well, it’s harder to know when brain fog is warning me an attack is on the way.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and so I also struggled physically while trying to find a medication that worked for me. Most of the medications I tried came with an increase in the frequency of my migraine attacks, and it was stressful and scary to wait and wonder if those would go away or not after my body acclimated to the new meds. 

So many of my ADHD symptoms can trigger a migraine attack, too — the stress of performing consistently while battling with executive dysfunction, the difficulty to maintain routines and eating habits, and especially the insomnia. There are times when I am able to do everything right, but most of the time, something in my life is being neglected. It’s a hard truth, but it is my truth. Having a better understanding of how these two neurological factors interact with each other in my life helps me learn new tools with both in mind.

Written by: Izzy King

Learn more about the connection between migraine and ADHD in this blog post by Kylie Petrarca, RN, BSN, from the Association of Migraine Disorders.