Migraine Stigma – KMart and Sears Are Feeding It

We discuss the stigma associated with Migraine a great deal, which is as it should be because it impacts our lives so dramatically.

At Migraine.com, one of our goals is reducing the stigma of Migraine, thus reducing the burden of Migraine on all of us who have the disease. So far this year alone, we’ve had these pieces about Migraine and stigma:

Over the weekend, a friend brought my attention to a KMart commercial. Please take a look at it before I go on…

I’m sure you caught what one of the “surprises” the wife shared – “I don’t really get Migraines.” Seriously? Would they have scripted her to say she doesn’t really have heart disease or MS? I think not. That would be disrespectful and politically incorrect. But they think nothing of using Migraine disease this way.

KMart is owned by Sears, so I called Sears headquarters today. When I told them I wanted to lodge a complaint about a KMart commercial, they told me that went to customer service, and transferred my call. After 90 minutes on hold, listening to their obnoxiously loud music, I took the suggestion that interrupted the music periodically, and went to their web site page for contacting them.

Here’s what I wrote:

On my own behalf and that of millions of other Americans who have Migraine disease, this is to lodge a complaint about your KMart Pharmacy Surprise commercial.

I was surprised, then outraged when the wife said, “I don’t really have Migraines.” Migraine is a genetic neurological disease that afflicts 18% of women and 7% of men. It’s the third most common disorder on earth and the most debilitating neurological disorder. Yet, the stigma is persistent, and that stigma causes us more grief and increases the burden of the disease.

Would you have had the wife say, “I don’t really have heart disease,” or, “I don’t really have MS?” I think not. That would be insensitive and inappropriate, right? Well, the statement about Migraines is just as inappropriate.

I’m requesting that you take this commercial off the air and issue a public apology.

It’s time we band together and teach them better! Will you help? Take a few minutes to go to www.sears.com/contactus, and tell them what you think of this commercial. Pretty please? Commenting here is fine because I’d love to have a discussion about this, BUT please go write to Sears / KMart too because they won’t see the comments here.

It will be interesting to see if I hear back from them and if I do, what they have to say. Personally, I’m of a mind to boycott both KMart and Sears if they keep running this commercial.

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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