Researchers at University of Michigan School of Dentistry have found that 'cathartic sharing' of physical and emotional pain associated with migraines has become common on social media sites such as Twitter.
Researchers led by Dr Alexandre DaSilva analyzed more than 21,700 headache-related tweets and after filtering them for advertising, metaphor and unrelated migraine tweets, they were able to identify what the symptoms of migraines are like, where and when they occur and how social media helps sufferers to describe their pain. The study has been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
The researchers found that nearly three quarters of the of migraine tweeters were female, with Americans accounting for 58 percent, while migraine tweets peaked on Mondays with 44 percent admitting that the migraine symptoms negatively affected their mood.
"It's the first known study to show the instant and broad impact of migraine attacks on modern patients' lives by decoding manually each one of their individual attack-related tweets. As technology and language evolve, so does the way we share our suffering", Dr DaSilva said.