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Migraine Personality Revisited

I really pushed some buttons when I complained about Dr. Diamond’s belief that there is a “migraine personality.” Admittedly, I was glad that I got a handful of comments from critical thinkers, most of whom didn’t think my anger was merited.

Here’s the deal. I don’t argue that the majority of patients going to Dr. Diamond’s clinic fit within the bounds of what he claims to be a “migraine personality.” Here’s what I take issue with: Migraine affects millions of people of all ages, all backgrounds, all socioeconomic categories, all heights, and all races. Publishing a comment claiming there’s a “migraine personality” in such a gigantic publication as USA Today is irresponsible.

Let’s review Diamond’s description of the migraine personality: “usually young, petite, compulsive, neat individuals who keep long lists.”

As all of us out here in the blogosphere know, there’s been an exponential increase in migraine awareness articles, blogs, and advertisements in the last few years. I believe that, with a good chunk of exception, many people who scour the internet for medical information tend to be young (a subjective description to start with) and rather assertive in terms of self-care. Anyone remember how the old notion of “migraine personality” described a compulsive white woman who was middle- or upper-middle-class? That belief was dismissed long ago after the grand realization that, generally speaking, that description matches the type of person who would choose to go to the doctor. I can name at least ten people right off the bat who choose not to go to the doctor for their Migraines because of lack of money–of course it’s people who choose to spend their money on medical visits that are the ones who go to the doctor!

I have such a great argument in my head but am having a lot of trouble verbalizing it all. Suffice it to say the following:

1. I greatly respect Dr. Diamond and the work he has done.
2. I find it was irresponsible of him to publicize a personal belief (without statistical evidence provided) in such a huge forum.
3. I’m disappointed that we Migraineurs had the opportunity to make the general public more aware about this condition and ended up instead with a cursory article that did very little to explore the implications and effects of Migraine disease.

To see other takes on the issue, please read the comments on my original post. Everyone brought up good points, but I’m stickin’ to my guns on this one.

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


  • wisdom
    11 years ago

    I agree with your opinion on Diamond issuing that statement and everything. Even so you do have to give them credit for starting the first headache clinic.

  • Megan Oltman
    11 years ago

    Yes, I absolutely agree with you on the irresponsibility. The list-making aspect of his comment makes me laugh though. Who has a complex disease, needs a lot of questions answered, and goes off to the doctor without some kind of list? We get to be such “professional patients” we wouldn’t be caught dead without a list.

    – Megan

  • Sue
    11 years ago

    Thank you for your earlier post and for this one. I resent and reject the entire notion of a “migraine personality” and I agree that Dr. Diamond was terribly irresponsible to make such generalizations in a national forum.

  • rain gem
    11 years ago

    When I saw your post, I immediately had an idea of writing an article about it. A humorous take on the whole “migraine personality”, perhaps.

    Then I thought – I’d rather let it die off and be forgotten than feed the proponents of such labeling with something to talk about.

    I could have been wrong; we’ll see how it turns out. If this nonsense floats up again, sterner measures will need to be taken 😛 .

  • Mary Carol
    11 years ago

    Amen, Sister Rita!

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