Deep forest and under water shark surround words saying Migraine: A Life Interrupted, Disrupted, and Turned Upside Down

Migraine: A Life Interrupted

Migraine steals away so much of our time, energy, and focus. Whether it is hours, days, or weeks spent in an attack or planning around triggers and managing medicines every day, migraine is a time thief. We asked what some of you might title a documentary about the impact of migraine disease, and one of you came up with this title. Is there a more accurate way to describe the disruption that migraine can bring to our lives?

In our 10th Annual Migraine In America Survey, nearly 5,000 respondents shared a similar perspective.

Losing days to migraine

Even after trying the long list of medicines that are available to us, we are still losing this time. Even though we break migraine frequency down into chronic or episodic categories, the impact this disruption has on our lives is immeasurable. We tuck ourselves into dark rooms, hiding from the beast that lives within us, just waiting to make it through to the other side. However, even when we are on the other side, we are still focusing our attention on preventing the next attack.

46% of Migraine In America Survey respondents lose 15+ days a month to migraine even on treatment.

Triggers and symptoms are hard to escape

Managing medicines, triggers, and symptoms is a full-time job in and of itself. We work to manage symptoms in the midst of an attack, medicines before and during the attack, and triggers 24/7. What time do we actually have for self-care, socialization, and day-to-day activities?

96% of Migraine In America Survey respondents experience 10+ symptoms and 66% manage 10+ triggers.

Bracing for the next attack

How can we prepare for the onslaught of symptoms that might immobilize us for days? There is a sense of fear combined with dread when we think of the next coming attack. It is frustrating to know these attacks are unpredictable. It almost feels as though there is no way of knowing exactly how much time we will be down for the count and what symptoms we might experience.

Migraine In America Survey respondents question the unpredictability of life when they feel a migraine attack starting.

Do not forget about work

Whether we have had to go on disability, work a part-time job, or balance a full-time job with migraine, we still feel a certain loss of independence. Migraine robs us of the ability to truly work toward our career goals. Taking sick days, being unable to work, feeling stigmatized by employers and coworkers – you name it, migraine is not too far away. But the guilt that comes with migraine is not just around our loved ones around us – sometimes, it is toward our work.

69% of Migraine In America Survey respondents feel guilty about how migraine impacts their ability to work.

All that migraine steals

Because we have to focus our energy on managing and preventing an attack, we often miss out and circumnavigate. We cannot measure the impact it has on our family and friends, other than the time that could have been spent with them if migraine was not in the way. We cannot measure the impact migraine has had on our careers, other than the choices we have had to make to accommodate for our disease.

Our full potential is locked away by migraine because of all that we have had to miss out on or work around. A life with migraine truly means a life interrupted, disrupted, and turned upside down.

75% of Migraine In America Survey respondents say migraine prevents them from reaching their full potential.

The 10th Migraine In America Survey was conducted online from June through August 2021. Of the 4,992 people who completed the survey, 4,965 were people who have been diagnosed with migraine.

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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.

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