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 Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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