DET MÖRKA RUMMET: Om migränens historia och jakten på lindring –
THE DARK ROOM: The History of Migraine and the Search for Relief

By Celia Svedhem

Every sixth Swede suffers from migraine, and for about 2% it’s chronic. Based on her own story and the stories of a number of famous authors, the view of the disease is portrayed historically and culturally.

CELIA SVEDHEM IS a psychologist, freelance writer and parent who lives with chronic migraine. In this book, she tells the story of her journey towards relief and explores what it does to your identity to live with a chronic diagnosis. Because, despite the fact that migraine is such a common disease, we know surprisingly little about it, how it affects people’s everyday lives – let alone what it has meant historically.

THE DARK ROOM tells the story of people’s views on, and attempts to treat, the disease throughout time. From more desperate approaches, such as drilling holes in the head with a corkscrew and bloodletting, to today’s more widespread attempts with botox and psychotherapy.

VIRGINIA WOOLF, SIGMUND Freud, Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dalí and Joan Didion all suffered from migraine and have left great cultural legacies. By analysing their works, notes and correspondence, Svedhem seeks to understand the impact of migraine on their lives and art. But also what she can learn from them about how to live a meaningful life despite chronic pain.

THE DARK ROOM is a personal essay that provides a new and in-depth look at one of our most common diseases and its impact on the individual, science, society and culture.

First published by Natur & Kultur, Sweden 2023

Denmark, Frydenlund
Finland, Atena
Germany, Kunstmann Verlag
Hungary, Helikon Publishing
Poland, Czarne
Sweden, Natur & Kultur