June is Migraine Awareness Month -- Let's end the stigma!

Migraine stigma is an enormous barrier to the effective treatment of migraine disease in patients. The stigma associated with migraine may lead to detrimental psychosocial effects in the lives of migraine patients, due to inaccurate understanding in the public about the disease.

One particularly salient quote from an article linked below:

“The Unique Role of Stigma in Migraine-Related Disability and Quality of Life” study surveyed more than 59,000 people living with migraine. The survey found that about one-third of people with migraine experienced migraine stigma often or very often. The study focused on two types of stigma: enacted and internalized.

“Internalized stigma is when someone with migraine starts to believe some of these migraine stereotypes about themselves,” says Dr. Seng. “So things like, ‘I’m not a very good employee or a parent in part because of my migraine symptoms.’”

Another from a study regarding the role of migraine stigma in treatment of disease:

Migraine might also be vulnerable to stigma because, like depression, autism, and asthma, and other pain disorders, it is a spectrum disease. People diagnosed with migraine may have a single attack a year or multiple attacks per week. Paradoxically, individuals who experience milder symptoms on this spectrum may actually predispose them to stigmatize, rather than empathize, those with more severe symptoms. One individual may discount another individual’s experience with migraine or another primary headache disease by not understanding that the disease can differ in severity, symptomatology, or responsiveness to specific treatments [27, 28•].

You are all hardworking people deserving of respect just like anyone else. Let’s spread awareness and eliminate the stigma surrounding migraine disease!


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This is just my personal experience but I’ve never met with anything other than sympathy for having migraines, my husband is a fellow sufferer and most people I’ve mentioned it to either have migraines themselves, had them in the past or know someone who gets them. Maybe I’ve been fortunate.

Migraines are pretty common, especially in females. I’ve also got Fibromyalgia and have found far more stigma attached to that. Its not that long ago that doctors didnt believe it existed. Advanced MRI’s have shown actual brain changes during migraine attacks. So far no test has shown how Fibro manifests itself, alas.

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fibro is even more of a mystery than migraine. there is a general idea in the clinical community that it is a somatization disorder, but I think there’s a lot more to the story than that. maybe CNS mediated, sure, but it seems significantly more complex than that. maybe immune-brain axis related.

The number of theories regarding the cause of Fibro is a long as your arm lol. But that’s all they are, theories. Most modern research has concluded its a neurological disorder of the CNS. But maybe in the future they’ll be a breakthrough. Here’s hoping :crossed_fingers: