Headache Through the Ages
A Review

Headache Through the Ages by: Seymour Diamond, MD and Mary A Franklin
Date: 2005

He had awakened with the dastardly sudden flash of light before his eyes.
Then the following nausea.
Then the sharp cleavage of vision and the temporary dimming of sight,
and then the accursed one-sided headache...

~Diodorus, writing about Aeneas, the father of St Luke

Headache Through the Ages was definitely a history book written by a doctor, not a medical book written by a historian. In other words, Dr Diamond, founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic, is very interested in the medical details and how treatment has developed over the hundreds and thousands of years that people have suffered from migraine, cluster headache, and headaches of various kinds. He wants you to come out at the end with a better understanding of migraine and various types of headaches. Even if you don't know anything about headaches to begin with, you'll learn a lot about the different types, and the various kinds of treatments that are available.

Not to say that the history of Headache Through the Ages wasn't interesting.
Written in a slightly irreverent style in short segments, and full of interesting quotes like the one above, the book is easy to flip through and a quick read. It starts out with a rather modified history of Adam and Eve, and goes from there.

Sure, I knew about Lewis Carroll being a migraineur, and Frank Capra being a cluster headache sufferer. But a lot of the background story I didn't know. And of course I met a host of new migraineurs and headache sufferers - St Thomas Aquinas, Mary Queen of Scotland, John Calvin, Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, and many more.

But this book isn't just a history of headache sufferers. It's also a history of what doctors wrote about migraine, and what people observed about headache through the ages. You may see some fascinating similarities to the way people understood various types of headache. Many of the treatments and theories about migraine are not new, but decades - even centuries old.

If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, check out Headache Through the Ages. If you're a headache or migraine sufferer, you'll discover that you come from a long line of prestigious sufferers. Many of them had struggles like yours, and many of them found ways to make an impact in the world in spite of their pain.

Seymour Diamond, MD and Mary A Franklin also co-authored Conquering Your Migraine : The Essential Guide to Understanding and Treating Migraines for all Sufferers and Their Families.