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Stop faking it, people—you’re giving us a bad name!

This makes me angry!

Figures it’d be something frustrating to get me back here on the blog after such a long absence. When I first read this headline (“Migraines now top excuse for calling in sick,”) I was ready to fill out a comment on the Telegraph’s page. I can hear myself starting to preach now: “You really should have used the word “reason,” not “excuse.” Migraine is a disease, not a…” You guys know the drill.

Imagine my surprise to find out that the word choice in the article title was right on!

If you are a migraine sufferer and are willing to be open with your boss(es), then more power to you: you increase awareness of the disease when you are honest about why you can’t be at work. Yes, there are risks. Yes, that bitter woman in the back might snicker at you yet again and think you’re a wimp who can’t handle a headache. You know what? Screw her! Take care of yourself.

If you are NOT a migraine sufferer, then don’t use our illness as a reason for you to take a vacation day. Admitting that you’re faking it doesn’t really help your case or ours: it just makes people less likely to believe all of us next time they hear the word “migraine.”

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.


  • Gmaw
    7 years ago

    I totally agree! Anyone with chronic migraines knows what it can do to you. Between the meds and the migraine I become non-functional for the day! Could I work? Drive to work even! Don’t think so.

  • alig0118
    7 years ago

    Unfortunately I can believe this. I wonder how much this happens in the States?

  • Shannon Putnam
    7 years ago

    wow that pisses me off…ughhhhhh stupid people!

  • Caroline Patterson
    8 years ago

    Oh this makes me so mad! People don’t understand the torture we go through.

  • christy76
    7 years ago

    i totally agree with this post! People use migraine so loosely when they just have a headache. I work with someone that actually told me she was going to call in sick the next day, then she had the nerve to use a migraine as an excuse! even after she knows what I suffer with everytime i have a migraine, that was really insulting to me!

  • 8 years ago

    This is very true, which is the whole reason why I never call in sick from work if I do, its typically because I have a chronic migraine attack ( i get them once a month sometimes twice a month, then i get itty bitty migraines every other day) kind of makes me mad that people actually fake having migraines! especially since for those of us who do actually have them, it gives all of us a bad name in the work force..not cool! since I’ve been with my company (four months) I’ve only went home once due to a migraine, it was a pretty bad one had trouble keeping my eyes open, etc. So this is pretty irritating article to read, especially since I know there will be times I will have to call in sick due to migraines (I’ve actually took triptans before, long story short I was allergic to the medicine and ended up having more health issues).. Now If I get a bad chronic migraine and need to call in for work im going to be too nervous to do so because of those fakers! ugh. luckily my manager knows I do suffer from migraines, but either way It’s still disappointing that people fake having a migraine, hope they get a chronic migraine one day just so they know how it feels so they never fake having one again.

  • Jonathon McCann
    8 years ago

    This really makes me angry.

  • D
    9 years ago

    I am so with you on this! I can't believe they would publish something like that. I have FFM (frequent F*ing migraines). I miss waaay too many days of work (even I say so), but I always try to be open with my bosses, about dr's appts, late mornings waiting for imitrex to kick in, days here and there changing meds, you know the drill. At my last job, a girl took the max paid sick leave off for "MIGRAINES" then came in on the first day she wouldn't be paid healthy and fine. Then after the required 2 weeks passed of fulltime regular employment, she would be out again for 26 weeks with "MIGRAINES", and the cycle repeated for almost the entire time i worked there, 8 years. I got put in her group, and it was so hard to work amongst our co-workers. whenever i missed days, they would take their anger on her out on me. Anyway, wish you migraine-free days.

  • Myth
    9 years ago

    While those of us with chronic migraines feel horribly guilty when we do call in sick. Thankfully, where I work my boss knows of my issues with migraines, she has them herself and so do a couple of our staff (almost all female cast where I work and so statistically we have a few who get migraines). So I have great sympathy for those who call in with a migraine or leave early with one. They have great sympathy for my chronic migraines, for the fact I have to work with them usually, and when I can't they know why. If someone called in sick with the excuse of migraines but does not actually get them… i would knonk them over the head with an iron cast frying pan and then they could use it as an excuse. 🙂

  • Emily
    10 years ago

    So true. I thought the article was good – talking about how true migraineurs feel about calling in sick. Completely rang with my experience.

    10 years ago

    i wanted to share my new blog with you

  • Eileen
    10 years ago

    I hear that! Now the "drug seekers" have learned to be the "call in sick crew" with Migraine and back pain – seriously!

    It's because of the fakers that we don't get the treatment we deserve in the ER!!!!! Now you are trying to make the workplace an issue too? As if it's not already hard enough! Oh I beg for someone to do this where I work and I find out about it. Then I'd give them the "well what preventive have you tried….can you take triptans"….and all that jazz.

    I read this on MSN the other day and it made me so angry!!!!

  • Jasmine
    10 years ago


    And welcome back 🙂

  • Diana Lee
    10 years ago


  • Mary Carol
    10 years ago

    Rock on, baby!!

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