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Is migraine a disease or a condition?

The International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) offers a diagnostic definition of what constitutes migraine, but there’s no consensus about what migraine actually is.

Some organizations (i.e., the American Headache Society and the International Headache Society) refer to migraine as a disorder. Elsewhere, (including on this website) migraine is referred to as a disease. But one could also argue that migraine is best understood as a condition.

Dr. William Young at the Jefferson Headache Clinic posed this question to a panel of 15 experts, academics, advocates, and patients. (I was a member of this panel.) We were unable of coming to consensus, but the outcome of our discussion will be published in the journal Headache.

I thought it would be fun to summarize our debate. I’d really like to know what you think migraine is.

Most of the panelists were torn between “disease” and “condition” as the best descriptor of migraine, although “disease” was slightly favored. They drew on three principles when deciding between the two words:

Biomedical evidence:

Panelists (especially the physicians in the group) wondered whether there was enough biomedical evidence to describe migraine as a disease. Panelists were particularly concerned about whether “disease” was the right word when migraine had such great variability. They worried that “disease” might be the wrong description for a person who had just one or two migraine attacks per year. Panelists who voiced these concerns were more likely to prefer “condition.”

Cultural meaning:

Panelists wanted to choose a term that built the credibility of migraine and which would help attract much needed resources. Panelists who expressed this concern were more likely to prefer the word “disease.” Panelists wondered if calling migraine a “disease,” might help people talk to their employers about sick days or get approved for disability.

Context:

Panelists thought that context mattered. They might, for example, refer to migraine as a “disease” in a room full of doctors in order to get their attention. But the doctors in the group worried that they might scare some patients if they described migraine as a “disease” in the clinic.
In the end, the panelists couldn’t decide what to call migraine, but I think that our debate can help all of us use language in a more thoughtful manner.

So what do you think? Is migraine a disease or a condition? If you think of migraine as a disease, is it always a disease? Or only when it is chronic and disabling?

*The Oxford English Dictionary provides the following definitions of disease, condition and disorder:

Disease: A condition of the body, or of some part or organ of the body, in which its functions are disturbed or deranged; a morbid physical condition; ‘a departure from the state of health, especially when caused by structural change’ (Syd. Soc. Lex.). Also applied to a disordered condition in plants.

Condition: A state of health, esp. one which is poor or abnormal; a malady or sickness. in a certain, delicate, interesting, or particular condition

Disorder: A disturbance of the bodily (or mental) functions; an ailment, disease. (Usually a weaker term than DISEASE, and not implying structural change.)

Poll

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Young, William B., MD, FAHS, FAAN; Kempner, Joanna, PhD; Loder, Elizabeth W., MD; Roberts, Jason, PhD; Segal, Judy Z., PhD; Solomon, Miriam, PhD; Cady, Roger K., MD; Janoff, Laura, BA; Sheeler, Robert D., MD, Robert, Teri, PhD; Yocum, Jennifer, RN; Sheftell, Fred D., MD. “Naming Migraine and Those Who Have It.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2012;52:283-291.

Comments

  • laalaa81
    5 years ago

    Personally I would say disease as since my migraine went from episodic to chronic 3 1/2 years ago disabling symptoms have grown steadily worse. This time last year I was enjoying almost weekly outings with my family (being careful to avoid triggers), in contrast this year I’m almost house bound. Between the nausea, dizzy spells, temporary paralysis and excruciating pain I can no longer do much more than walk to the corner shop alone! Anything more has to be done with a companion in case a quick exit is needed and traveling by car/bus for more than 5 mins takes it out of me so much I’m in too much pain 2 do anything.

  • Diane
    5 years ago

    When are people going to understand that Migraine is not a headache?? There is no such thing as migraine headache disease. Migraine is a neurological disease/disorder/condition or whatever is politically correct these days, and a headache is only a symptom of Migraine. Just like the sniffles are not a disease but a symptom of a cold. It is possible to have Migraine disease without headache symptoms. There are also silent migraines and abdominal migraines. These are without pain but can be just as devastating.

  • katy
    5 years ago

    I classify this as a disease. Just like other diseases, we have to follow regimens, take meds, etc. No matter the frequency of our attacks, I still classify this as a disease.

    For instance:

    I also suffer from psychogenic seizures. Although they are not true epileptic seizures, I still take medicine to control the triggers for my seizures. I have been seizure free for over a year. Even though my seizures have been reduced, I still suffer from the disease.

  • professor
    5 years ago

    It seems most important that it be recognized as a genuine Disability. It certainly fits into the ADA language – interfering with one or more major life activities (or somesuch). without the word disability, we are defenseless in many ways – our rights will continue to be disrespected, we will have no legal protections, and our treatment both by the medical community and the larger society will continue to the unexceptionable. As for the other 2 D’s, I am torn between disease and disorder. I think disorder is more accurate, as it’s connotations more accurately fit this complex disease.

  • Ellen H
    5 years ago

    Hi, again….

    One other thing one should do about migraines: Find yourself a Good Migraine Neurologist. You may have to shop around until you find one that works with you and for you.

    It is not uncommon for a patient to experience no relief from a medication. It is also not uncommon to experience Adverse Side Effects from the medications. My doctors and I have discovered that I am missing a few Liver Enzymes that are supposed to metabolize the meds and other toxins in the body.

    For me, half the meds do nothing for me, and the other half of meds provide me with very adverse side effects. I don’t know which is worse: the migraine or the side effects of the meds.

    I have been on dozens of meds. Right now we are trying to hold me together with Temazepam, Cyclobenzaprine, and Stadol. My neurologist is very frustrated that there is not anything we have not tried, and there are no new migraine meds to try out.

    I personally am really tired of being the guinea pig when it comes to trying new meds. The adverse effects and the migraines and the aftermath are disabling.

    I have moved into a very quiet townhouse complex and for the first time in my life, I have discovered peace. I love the solitude.

    Thank you. Ellen Henegar.

  • Ellen H
    5 years ago

    Hi,

    I am reading your article on Is Migraine A Condition Or A Disease. I have lived with migraines my entire life, for many decades. I have also worked in a Neurology Clinic as an EEG Tech.

    I have a Neurologist and I read a lot about migraines. My favorite book has always been Oliver Sacks’ book Migraine.

    As far as how to classify a migraine, I have been explaining to other people that I meet, that Migraines are a Genetic Brain Disorder. It sits on chromosome #19 very close to Epilepsy.

    Neurologists are beginning to think of migraines and epilepsy as two sides of the same coin. They are related. They just manifest with different symptoms.

    I think of Cancer as a Disease. But I think of Migraines as a Genetic Brain Disorder. At least four generations of my family have migraines.

    Thank you, Ellen Henegar

  • Krissygirl333
    6 years ago

    To Vivian

    Keep your miracle cures to yourself
    I’ve been on every SSRI. There is. Good for you and your head. It doesn’t work for every migraineur. I’m in pain. Botox , Imitrex… Blah blah. I’ve done all except bringing in the rattlesnakes
    No offence but we get offended when someone says oh there is a cure! Look be happy it worked for you

  • Krissygirl333
    6 years ago

    It depends on the frequency and severity on the impact of ones life. Period. Me? 12- 28 migraines per month x 33 yrs , little help from all meds and procedures and interventions. Simple. In process of trying to get disability. 🙁 hope the Judge gets it. It’s all up to that person which is scarey!!!

  • Jen Cragen
    6 years ago

    Disease. There’s mild to moderate and chronic disease states. There’s mild to moderate and chronic migraine states.

    I am in the chronic disease state. I have an attack every to every other day. Like others have said, I miss the old me. But, I know what causes my migraine attacks, paralyzed meninges from bacterial meningitis a couple of years ago. The meninges are the shock absorber of the brain and spinal cord, and ate the only place headaches of any kind happen.

  • Newdancerco
    6 years ago

    DISEASE.
    Although you can call it a flowerpot if you give me a way to stop it! 🙂
    Chronic migraine is no different than any other chronic disease, like diabetes, that must be handled and dealt with constantly.

    I can see an argument for saying episodic migraine is a condition, and becomes a disease when it hits chronic, but that is just confusing.

    So, Disease.

  • Vivian
    6 years ago

    I commented previously, but checked the blog again to see new comments. After reading some, I want to assure sufferers with this disease or whatever name you give it that migraine IS curable to the extent that medications are available that will PREVENT or perhaps block them for many sufferers. In the early ’90s a primary care doctor at Kaiser-Permanente in Fresno, CA had been treating my migraines for a year or so, focusing as usual on treating the pain itself. He learned that tricyclic anti-depressants were effective in preventing migraines with some patients. I tried a couple of them, and they DID stop mine from happening or sometimes keeping the pain much less severe. Of course, the pills were taken daily like treatment for say, preventing high blood pressure. I couldn’t handle the side effects, however. So my dedicated doctor continued to explore other options. Prozac had just come out for depression, but doctors were discovering that many depressed patients who also had frequent migraines stopped having the migraine headaches after taking Prozac for a few weeks. He offered me that option. At first, I said no, as the media was full of controversy regarding Prozac. But as soon as I had yet another migraine that kept me from working two days, throwing up and in unbearable pain, and sending me to the emergency room finally, I said to my doctor. YES, give me the ‘script!! I not only stopped getting migraines, but my lifelong struggle with other health issues improved. I was not clinically depressed at any time, but controlling stress in my life had always been difficult. I worked as a newspaper journalist, a very stressful job, but I loved it and was good at it. My migraines were threatening my job! Prozac helped dramatically to control my reaction to stress. I became much more successful in my work as a result.
    I didn’t continue taking Prozac without interruption, though. I would become over-confident after a while, stop taking it, then the migraines would return. I repeated this behavior over the next decade, off-and-on. Finally, in my 70s, the migraines really did stop for good. No medication needed. I still had the aura attacks, which had always occurred as “aborted migraines” as the doctors labeled them, and ultimately the auras got much worse in my 70s as the headaches abated. A stroke in the occipital lobe occurred two years ago. I lost permanently much of my peripheral vision (no more driving)but the auras are much less frequent, though still with me. My health at 81 is better than ever. To summarize: You who say “there is no cure” please talk to your doctor about taking one of the SSRIs, as there are many now besides Prozac (generic is fluoxetine for Prozac)that might be better for you. The SSRIs are not addictive. I never had any side effects. As has been noted in other articles on this site, treatments don’t always work for everyone, just like other diseases, but don’t give up the search. Take advantage of all this new media attention and medical research going on. Maybe there are other treatments to PREVENT migraine now. My migraines from childhood through my 70s ranked right up there with the most horrible I’ve read about on this site. I didn’t have any options most of my life, but YOU DO! Get out there and find the treatment. No one should be suffering untreated these days.

  • katy
    5 years ago

    I’m not trying to bash you, but please don’t tell me there is a cure. My neurologist (a top doctor, headache specialist, and a headache sufferer himself) has stated that there is no cure.

    I’m not trying to be mean, I am just stating the facts. There are medicines that help control the attacks and pain, but like many, I still suffer. I can follow strict guidelines, drink all the water in the world, take my meds as prescribed, and still get knocked down with an attack.

    I am very happy for you that you do not have to suffer anymore. But please do not tell us that there is a cure and our pain can go away.

  • Paul
    5 years ago

    I’ve read your posts on here and am currently on two SSRIs for depression. To be so dismissive of others pain is truly cruel – even if you are just trying to help. You have no idea what someone else’s real journey has been with their migraines. I have had so many trips to the ER because of the pain I’ve been in with my migraines. And this is even though I’m on two preventative migraine drugs and Imitrex. If you find other medicines that work for you continue to share as you did in the post above – otherwise please don’t be negative.

  • Newdancerco
    6 years ago

    I’m glad SSRIs worked for you. I’ve been on a lot of them and have had no success. And beta blockers, and topamax, and butterbur, and botox, and, and…
    For some of us, there is truly still no cure. Please don’t dismiss my reality because yours is different.
    Nothing aborts them, nothing prevents them, nothing really even knocks them down to a bearable level. Every day, all day most of the time.
    I’m out of ideas, out of options, out of energy, and out of endurance.
    And I’m not yet 40. How long am I going to be able to hold on? How long can I bear it?

  • lauriedowns
    6 years ago

    Having just come through what feels like my millionth migraine, at the age of 54, I will tell you it is, definitively, a disease. This last time, I was wracked with pain so bad I wanted to die for 5 days. I know why people with migraine contemplate and commit suicide. Nothing worked. Nothing covered by my insurance, at any rate. I have contraindications to several of the “best” anti-migraine meds on the market because I have had bad reactions to them. This time, even after the head pain subsided, my heart was hurting and I was so weak I could not walk for about 2 more days. The heart pain with the head pain is not at all unusual. (I have a hole in my heart and mitral and tricuspid valve issues that cause frequent pain anyway but they seem tied to migraines especially.) Migraines are not only neurological but vascular as well, I was told by a leading cardiologist at Stanford, who also told me my migraines and heart conditions are connected in that they trigger each other, but they never got to the “why” part of the equation. They are so complex in nature and they need so much more research. I have heard the same about people with stomach issues as well, ie stomach migraine. Clearly, there is much more to know about this disease, and anything that is as debilitating in even it’s moderate form as migraine is, should be termed “Disease” so that sufferers can get the kind of support from employers and/or disability wherever necessary, and especially so that more funding goes into research for finding relevant treatment and a possible cure. I am tired of living a half life, losing who I am for more than have of the time, living in excrucianing unmitigated

  • lauriedowns
    6 years ago

    Ooops, cat stepped on me…that was supposed to be: living in excruciating and unmitigated pain, and never seeming to see an end in sight except one I make myself…and I really don’t want to do that. Migraineurs should not feel like that is their only recourse to finding freedom from pain.

  • Vivian
    6 years ago

    I see that these comments are mostly a couple years old almost. But I’ll add my two cents. I think migraine is very hard for doctors to diagnose. There are definite symptoms that define it, but no test to confirm it as a disease. (that I know of. I’ve read about a researcher who recorded his own brain activity during his own migraine attacks and it showed clear evidence of specific abnormal activity). The doctor is limited in clinical practice to the patient’s verbal description. Now, with all the interest and attention via the internet, and from what I’ve read on this website, I fear the definition of migraine has become confused. And I suspect it has become “the disease of the day” (like fibromyalgia for one example) with many people jumping on the wagon who do not in fact have migraine at all. Migraine is very real, and is obviously a result of some kind of malfunction in the brain and probably a chain of involvement with other systems of the body especially vascular and hormonal. True migraine sufferers know that instinctively. It is inherited and is known to have existed in humans for thousands of years. It is a terrible thing to live with. Quibling over whether it’s a disease or condition is not helpful. Migraine is at last being studied seriously by researchers, thankfully. The true sufferer can access via the internet the studies as they are made public to keep themselves informed. Now, more than ever, doctors must be well-informed, too. And hopefully, those contributing to this website as bloggers will be cautious about making unverified assumptions based on a plethora of personal stories. Doctors know there is such a thing as malingering among their many patients. I suspect the internet attracts these individuals in droves. The challenge is for all of us to “separate the grain from the chaff” to use an ancient agricultural metaphor.

  • Cece Yuhas
    6 years ago

    I believe Migraines are definitely a neurological disease which has many contributing symptoms, memory problems, dizziness, aura, light, sound, smell sensitivity, can sometimes strike at the drop of a hat and last from hours to days or weeks and leave one in bed without being able to eat or drink due to nausea or vomiting. Can send one to the Emergency Room feeling like giving up (although I would never, ever do that, just the pain gets so bad) you feel hopeless after 3 days at home and 45 years with Migraines and Doctors no closer to a cure.

  • Leigh Ann
    6 years ago

    I believe it is a disease. My symptoms and episodes have led me to this conclusion. It is a flustrating disease that takes away short-term memory, balance, clear speech, clear thinking, and the list goes on. It is a sneaky disease that strikes without warning and devastates your body, mind, and spirit. Yes, it is a disease. An incurable disease that boggles the minds of the most elite scientists and doctors in the world.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Leigh Ann and Cece,

    Many of us call migraine a disease and it would be great to come to a consensus on this. We do know it’s has genetic and neurological components to it that can impact our entire body. If that’s not a disease, I’m not sure what is.

    Nancy

  • jimhagen
    7 years ago

    Disease! I have encountered this problem at the Cleveland Clinic. They don’t want to call it an illness because they are afraid that you will kill yourself and then they will get sued. The article indicated that the dr.s didn’t want to scare the patients… We are already dealing with it so the semantics are only valuable insofar as they affect how we are treated. And it doesn’t matter the frequency… Headaches are but one of the results or effects of the disease… The new thing or word that I believe will help is “Co-Morbidity”. Mine are daily… I wake up feeling like I had the crap beat out of me in the alley, a really bad hangover, and the flu… and that is one of the better parts of my day… Also people who don’t have headaches regularly may have other issues… like having to eat between meals or snapping out if meals are delayed… frequent urination that is not explained by the usual reasons, or ADHD…

  • Teri-Robert
    7 years ago

    Jim,

    How are you using the term “comorbidity” here? I’m not following your comment that it’s a new word that will help.

    One thing I personally think would help immensely is if all of us who have Migraines would stop calling them “headaches” or even “Migraine headaches” unless we’re specifically talking about that symptom. For too many people, the word “headache” makes them think that we should just pop a couple of acetaminophen and get over it. If we would consistently use the phrase “Migraine attack” instead, it would help.

    In this article, Professor Kempner mentioned that the panel’s work was going to be published in the journal Headache. It has been published now. You can find the abstract at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01995.x/abstract.

    Teri

  • Tammy
    7 years ago

    Diabetes is a disease. Epilepsy is a disease. Both must be managed carefully. Some are able to successfully manage symptoms while others struggle every day. Maybe if doctors would finally start calling it a disease (which it is) then people would take it seriously and stop blaming patients for their “failure” to properly manage a disease that even doctors cannot adequately treat in all patients.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Right you are, Tammy!

  • Oksana Linde
    8 years ago

    It is a disease! Researchers have defined it as a disease. I agree to most of the people here comments. We cannot have a normal life, we neverknow how will be our next day. We cannot make appointments. We cannot take care of ourfamilies many times when they desperately need us. I have had migraines for more than 45 years. They are more disabling since a lot of years. We feel very bad, not understood by many people who has never had them, we cannot be “normal” nor have the ability to carry on with even simple tasks during the days the migraine is torturing (pre-migraine, migraine, post migraine. Every event can be as long as 6 days, end 3-5 events a month means, yes, we cannnot live like a “normal” person for sometimes half of our lifetime) Many of us have white matter damage. DISEASE… Excellent comments before mine express things like they are.

  • Patricia Blevins
    7 years ago

    thank you for your post, i have then every other day, I can not do what i used to do, some in my life don;t understand it, but i try to make it from day to day, i don;t have a social life any more, my family was affected by them also, my mother have them very bad when i was young, i started when i was in the 4th grade, god bless oyu my friend

  • Pauline Bieniek-Vasquez
    8 years ago

    Is a disease something you cannot cure? Migraines you cannot be cure though there are thing to do to help ease the pain. You can call migraines disease, condition and disorder all in one though it would take a lot of research that would define each phase.

  • Beth
    8 years ago

    It can be a disease, condition, or disorder depending one’s historical evidence. There are many factors in determining the reasons we get migraines. I think “modern medicine” has many discoveries yet to be understood about the human body and the social condition.

  • Betsy Blondin
    8 years ago

    I believe migraine is a disease is a disease is a disease. I appreciate this discussion and the efforts of the panelists who met and debated the terms we all use surrounding migraine. Our ‘disorder’ or ‘condition’ is the state or the way in which we live with ‘migraine disease’.

    Being pregnant is a condition. 🙂 We’re spending a lot of time on semantics instead of improving life with migraine disease.

    Everyone is different; everyone’s experience and symptoms of migraine are different. If you have an attack twice a year or twice a week or every day, it is a disease. No matter the frequency of seizures, a person still has epilepsy.

    After 42 years of living with the disorders and in the condition of having migraine disease, I fear if we return to calling it a condition, we regress 50 years in terms of research, understanding and treatments.

    We can use these terms interchangeably, but bottom line is if we return to thinking migraine is a condition or that living in a poor environment can CAUSE migraine disease or that it’s psychological or psychosocial, then we lose hope for better treatments, let alone a cure.

  • Joanna Kempner
    7 years ago

    Hi Betsy,
    I agree — as did most of the panelists — that there are important political stakes in how we describe migraine! I was just summarizing the discussion that the panel had, not my own opinion.

  • Andrea Kline
    8 years ago

    I was going to vote ” hell” but that was not an option.

  • Debbie DiMarcantonio
    8 years ago

    That is a good question I guess for me it would depend on the intensity of the headache at any given time. I too am super sensitive to odors, loud noises and bright lights. When the pain is mild I would call it an annoying condition, when it effects how I function during the day, then a disorder and if it really knocks me for a loop and I actually get nauseously sick then a disease.

  • Mary Stones
    8 years ago

    I think it should be a condition, unless it disrupts your life then it should be called a disease, it is a disease with me.

  • Karen Coffey Hiser
    8 years ago

    I would say a disease, I have these since I was 17 and I was healthy.As I have aged…now 54…..they really give me a beating 🙁

  • Maurice Hogue
    8 years ago

    After seeing my daughter suffer for at least 21 days out of every month with chronic migraines along with other “diseases” that appear to be connected with it (fibromyalgia, Raynauds, anxiety), struggle to work and just live, I think migraine is and should be treated as a disease. As a disease, rather than a condition, it would help those who suffer from it get more realistic care and be taken more seriously. A “condition” is something you have, but does not necessarily affect your ability to live a productive, primarily normal life. Chronic migraine does not allow for a “normal” life.

  • Catherine Charrett-Dykes
    8 years ago

    this is a disease, it is crippling and incredibly painful….we shouldn’t have to suffer like this and be treated like it’s “all in our heads”.

  • Robin Henson
    8 years ago

    nodding my head on that one.

  • Tanya McCullough
    8 years ago

    I feel that migraine is a neuroligcal disease that is linked to other diseases and disorders within the body. I suffer chronic migraines that mimic strokes, and like others am tired of being affected to the point where it affects my social life, my working life and my life at home where at times I am unable to clean or feed myself. It certainly is a disability, and I’m also tired of being misunderstood and labelled by others who just don’t “get it” and think this is nothing more than a mere headache. I would love to be the life of the party, but I can’t. I would love to do loads of things all my friends and family take for granted, but I can’t. This disease is incredibly debilitating. If anyone thinks this is a disorder, I think they need a reality check!

  • Monica Waggoner
    8 years ago

    What amazes me is that there are so many others out there like me who are robbed of life bc of migraines. It was bad enough three years ago to be told by two different doctors that I have chronic daily migrianes but it was far worse to live in a world were no one understands exactly what migrianes are. Personally I think if cancer, lupus and other serious diseases can have different levels than why can’t migrianes/headaches be classed as a disease with different levels too!

  • Louise M. Houle
    8 years ago

    I tend to think of it as a condition when migraines are episodic, especially if infrequent or irregular. But the more frequent and regular they are, I think of it as a disease. So once we have been diagnosed as a person living with chronic migraine, I definitely refer to it as a disease. QUESTION: Did the discussions cover the stigma of migraine? And would each of these terms be perceived negatively and feed myths or stigma? Example, migraineurs are stressed out, Type A personalities, just looking for attention… blah blah blah. What do you all think?

  • Jamie Valendy
    8 years ago

    I think I agree with you about it being more of a ‘condition’ for episodic migraines, while chronic migraines better fit the term ‘disease.’ I’m interested in finding out if the discussion considered the stigma attached to migraine (and the terms used to describe it). I feel like using the term ‘disease’ might grant some (much-needed) validation to those that live with migraine. I’m not sure why, but condition just doesn’t really jive with me… maybe it just seems so broad…

  • Katie Robinson
    8 years ago

    Whatever term you wish to use my migraines and related loss of cognitive function have left me feeling robbed of a big part of me. I thought it had been only happening for about 6 months and my family says closer to 2 years…when I started seeing a local neurologist. Last week I finally went almost 500 miles away from home to see a headache specialist, perhaps I will regain some of my life back. I am ready to look into applying for diability and carrying a notebook around my neck, wearing a bracelet with my medical information. I’m only 51. Feel like I have dementia starting up. Becoming a worry for my 75 year old mother. Can not do my job as a technical troubleshooter in a call center. I miss me!

  • Deborah Clark
    8 years ago

    I would say for myself having chronic daily headaches it is a disease. I am a prisoner to my home because I can’t handle scents, bright lights, and loud noises. Imam tired of living this way, not having a life and being in pain all the time. I am mentally and physically exhausted.

  • Mb Recny
    8 years ago

    From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

    DISORDER: [medical term]: a physical or mental ‘condition’ that is ‘NOT’ normal or healthy.

    DISEASE: a ‘condition’ or illness that affects a person, animal, or plant that prevents the body or mind from working normally and that impairs normal functioning; typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.

    CONDITION: 1- a way of living or existing. 2- the state in which something existis; the physical state of something. 3- the physical or mental state of a person or animal. 4- a sickness or ‘disease’ that a person has for a long time.

    *Notice all three words are use in describing/defining each word. I think its clear…. Migraines are the ‘total’ combination of all three!
    MIGRAINES/CHRONIC MIGRAINES are not ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’… they are an illness that impairs normal physical/mental functioning… they do have distinguishing signs and symptoms which totally affects the physical and mental state of which a person/sufferer, exists. And it is normally something one has for a Looooooooong time.

  • Pamela Patterson
    8 years ago

    I would love to have just one or two migraines a year but being a chronic sufferer ~ disease ~ since May I have probably missed 1 – 3 days a week of work and it is mainly with weather changes ~ having had them now for over 30 years this seems to be my worst nightmare with storms being so crazy this year.

  • DebbyJ56
    7 years ago

    It is definitely a disease. I live and plan my life around this chronic migraine for six years with no cure in sight. Just being a medical guinie pig, being pumped full of medications that don’t help. The pain never stops and I can’t sleep. No one has any answers. What else would that be except a disease.

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