Getting Help

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last review date: November 2010

When debilitating migraine symptoms strike, it can be difficult to function. Migraines can severely impact a patient’s quality of life by affecting sleep, social life and work.

Migraine is the most common headache that sends patients to the doctor. Some patients end up needing to go to the emergency room for their migraine pain.

People with migraines often begin with trying to manage their symptoms on their own. For example, some may attempt to relieve their pain and discomfort with natural remedies or over-the-counter treatments. If that doesn’t work, then many migraine sufferers will seek the advice of a doctor or other health care provider.

Sometimes migraine sufferers talk to their primary care physician, which might be the family doctor or general practitioner. Although those these doctors don’t specifically focus on migraines or other types of headaches, these physicians can help with ruling out some other causes of the migraines.

If the general practitioner is unable to help, patients may seek the help of a migraine doctor or migraine specialist. For more information on prepping for a doctor's appointment or finding a new doctor for migraine, read more:

Migraine stigma

People with migraines often feel isolated. The unpredictable attacks can make it difficult to plan or participate in social functions, family events or fulfill work responsibilities. A 2010 study of 246 adults who suffer from persistent migraines found that family members and friends often don’t understand and are sometimes even skeptical of the extreme discomfort sufferers experience. The study found that those with chronic migraines feel stigmatized more than people with other brain disorders. Migraine sufferers feel more rejected, ridiculed and ostracized by the people around them and the condition worsens the more severe the migraines.

Support for migraine sufferers

To help avoid feelings of isolation, people with migraines have several options that can provide support and understanding, such as:

Support Groups

Look around your local community and search online to find a migraine, headache or chronic pain support group in your area. These in-person meetings can give you the opportunity to connect with people who understand what you’re going through. They can share tips on compiling your migraine journal, compare notes on migraine doctors, discuss different migraine triggers or simply offer an empathetic ear.

You can find information on different support groups at:


Online communities

Other people can offer support through the Internet groups

Migraine Blogs

These websites allow individuals to write commentaries, online diaries or news articles as well as display audio and video. Visitors can leave comments or provide links to their own sites.


Migraine and headache organizations compile information, work to increase awareness, encourage research and may provide contact information for local support groups and migraine specialists.

Get involved

Find different ways you can learn how to become an active member of the Movement!

Written by: Otesa Miles / Reviewed by: John-Claude Krusz, PhD, MD | Last review date: November 2010. Click the References Link below for a complete list of references.

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