I made this image for the Migraineur Misfits Facebook page because there are a few things people do not get about migraines.
A) They are not headaches: In no way do they resemble tension headaches. They are a neurological disease. Migraine attacks have stages of which One is the headache phase. However, if you get silent migraines you do not get the headache phase at all. People with migraine with aura get the aura phase, but not all the time. And people with migraine without aura, do not get the aura phase. What is important to remember is that Pain is an Aspect of a migraine... a very brutal aspect indeed, but there is a lot going on with migraines like nausea, vertigo, sound sensitivity, light sensitivity and aura symptoms... and more.
B) By no means is this a short term event we are talking about here. When I say that I get a migraine a few hours after I get up in the morning what I Mean is that I have a migraine for the Rest of the Day. There it goes. Migraine. Because on average a migraine is a 24 event from the start of the attack to the end of the attack. If you are Lucky it can be 4 hours and if you are Not it can be 3 Days. And if you are very unlucky indeed you can have a migraine that goes well beyond three days. For example menstrual migraines start for me three days before my period and last three to four days after... One migraine. Just constant. And if I get 'stuck' in it due to stress and lack of sleep I have had them last for three weeks.
It can be brutal to have a migraine last three days and just intensely severe to have them last longer. You have no idea how that can affect a person. How it affects sleep. How it affects mood. It is not the sort of experience you ever want to endure.
It seems to be this idea that migraines are 4 to 8 hour experiences. When that is not the case at all. Duration is a variable that changes and in general without treatment of any kind, which can be the case with chronic migraines, you are down for the count all day.