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How do you cope with virtually no support system?

I've had migraines since 2009, which have only gotten worse over the years. I have had great luck with my treatment meds but not so much with preventative meds or anything else I've tried. I try to power through and not burden anyone with my condition, and I certainly do not seek pity or special treatment; just understanding and a bit of compassion. I do not get that from my immediate family at all. They have never said it so bluntly but I am quite sure from the way they react when I mention a migraine that they either don't believe me or think I'm exaggerating. They have never tried to accommodate me in even the simplest ways, like not leaving blinds open so the sunlight doesn't hurt my eyes, or at least trying to be quiet and not slamming or stomping about as if I'm not even in the house. I have tried to talk to them and explain what my migraines are and how they affect me, but my family reacts with indifference or they even seem annoyed. I have heard that dreadful line, "Ugh, you have a headache AGAIN?" too many times. They still call my attacks "headaches" even though I've tried to explain that migraines and headaches are not the same thing, and I have a rough time with postdrome which they sympathize with even less. Since I moved out they seem even less interested and less compassionate. They never ask me how I am or offer support or kind words - but they seem to care about everyone else's pain and problems except mine. I feel so alone and honestly like my own flesh and blood couldn't care less about my pain or even believe it's REAL pain, and that hurts just as much as the migraines.

Does anyone have any advice on how to cope when your own (otherwise loving) family stigmatizes you to the point where you feel you can't even talk to them about one of the things that impacts your life the most?

  1. I am sorry that your family is not showing support. I'm happy you have found this community. Many of the people here understand and are kind. My family doesn't understand migraines either but I have learned that I have to put myself first. Be kind to yourself. I told my mom that I was struggling with my meds side effects and she responded by showing me a video of a teen on the K2 drug. My family just doesn't get it. Sharing here, allowed me to not depend on my family for comfort/understanding as much. I hope yours will learn to support you soon

    1. Thank you! I hope your family learns to support you some day as well. Having chronic migraines is bad enough without constantly having to convince others that your pain is real and you didn't do anything to cause it. Maybe some day we will get a lucky break and have the support we need and deserve, but in the meantime I'm grateful that I found this website. I have interacted with some very caring and compassionate people in this community, and it helps to know that there are actually people out there who believe me and understand.

  2. I am sorry too, to hear this. You are not alone. You will not change them. Wheat is one of my migraine triggers. My own mother found some pasta that looked like rice and tricked me into eating a pasta dish because she didn't believe me. I got a migraine and called her on it. Find good friends that you can call family. They are out there waiting.

    1. Thank you for your response. I am so sorry that your own mother treated you that way. Not being believed is so hurtful. I tell them, "I WISH I were lying, I WISH I were faking it." I hate that others are so misunderstood and stigmatized by their own families. I do have at least one friend who gets it and I am so grateful for her. Though I don't wish suffering or pain on anyone else, it helps a lot to know I'm not alone.

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