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18 Things People Should Learn During Migraine and Headache Awareness Month This Year

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In partnership with the US Pain Foundation

June is recognized as National Migraine and Headache Awareness month by the United States Division of Health and Human Services. This June we have partnered with the U.S. Pain Foundation to bring further awareness to these debilitating conditions. 

We have asked our communities to share their responses to the question: “What is one thing you hope people learn during National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month?” Thank you to our brave members for using their voice to bring about further understanding to the insidious nature of migraine and headache disorders.

  1. “Migraines hinder a normal life…you live in constant fear of when the next one will hit.”
  2. “Keep inviting me to things and don’t give up on me. If it sucks for you, it sucks even worse for me.”
  3. “Migraine sufferers are not just lazy or want to avoid work.”
  4. “Just because I look like I’m functioning doesn’t mean I’m not in a massive amount of pain.”
  5.  “To take the time and effort to learn more about this debilitating illness; don’t be dismissive of a migraine-sufferer’s pain, limitations, and ability to control their illness.”
  6. “Even though people say ‘migraines aren’t just headaches,’ headaches can be severely debilitating; especially cluster headaches, being in pain day after day is debilitating.”
  7. “Chronic migraines steal away the best parts of your life.”
  8. “Please don’t shut me out or slowly grow distant because I’m always ‘sick.’ Keep inviting me to things and don’t give up on me. If it sucks for you, it sucks even worse for me.”
  9. “Migraines do not manifest the same way in everyone.”
  10. “Migraine is an intensely difficult neurological disease that doctors are often uneducated about, so finding an effective treatment plan can be a nightmare. Also, some doctors are extremely dismissive of our symptoms.”
  11. “Many of us don’t just get migraines alone, but along with it comes other medical comorbid conditions…those who suffer are strong warriors, hoping for a better tomorrow and access to new, affordable medications.”
  12.  “It’s very important to be a good listener to those that suffer with migraines and to be an advocate for them when they are unable to be one for themselves.”
  13.  “Please be considerate in the amount of perfume/body spray that you douse yourself in because just walking by me in public can trigger a migraine.”
  14. “Even headaches are not always ‘just a headache,’ such as new daily persistent headache (NDPH).”
  15. “Awareness month opens up a dialogue and lets people know there are resources and information out there, not just for those suffering but those that love them.”
  16. “Imagine living every day in the kind of pain that would put most people in bed and with no relief and few options for treatment. It’s a long and painful road, so compassion and understanding mean a lot to us. Please respect how much we deal with on a daily basis just to be present.”
  17. “I am never headache/migraine-free… I just have better days than when they’re [bad].”
  18. “So many times I’ve been told it’s ‘just a headache’ which completely discredits the struggles I go through daily just to live a semi-normal life.”

Understanding of migraine and headache disorders is important to bring about change, further funding, research and treatment, here are some facts that you can share. The World Health Organization states that headache disorders are the third highest cause of global disability. In the United States, the annual economic cost of headache disorders is estimated at over $30 billion. Approximately 36 to 40 million Americans have migraine disease, of which 4 million have chronic migraine, experiencing 15 more headache days a month. Cluster headaches, while rarer than migraine disease, are considered the most painful of all headache disorders.

Thank you, Jeannette Rotondi!

Originally published: June 18, 2018
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