Calling All Those Without Migraine
In a recent article titled "This is Our Time," headache specialist and advocate Dr. Young talks about some exciting movements going on in the migraine community and encourages us to all advocate when we can. I am also a firm believer in advocating for migraine, and I feel those with the condition can talk about it in depth and in a powerful way.
True migraine pose
I’ve met with many in the community and all are amazing at advocating. Just recently, I saw a huge movement to reclaim the #MigrainePose on Instagram and other social media. The news that migraine had become a beauty pose went viral and the hashtag was shortly thereafter taken over by people showing their #TrueMigrainePose with over a thousand posts on Instagram alone.
But it can’t just come from us
Some of us are tired. We’ve fought long and hard and also have spoken about migraine until we’re blue in the face. Some of us need time to heal or focus on our own bodies. A few community members spoke to this recently:
“I don't want to be critical of this article because it definitely is important to speak up and address the problems, but many sufferers of chronic migraine don't have the wellness to speak up. Doing so might even increase symptoms because of stress levels. Ill people might need someone to speak up for them. I've always wondered why there aren't services like Macmillan Cancer Support for other conditions.”
“Having and managing any kind of illness, chronic pain condition, disease, etc. is a full-time job! Never mind all the BS u then have to deal with from employers, doctors, specialists, hospitals, insurance companies, governments, pharmacies, etc…
“I think we need Health Care Advocates—people who can deal with, know & navigate the systems on our behalf.
“I've struggled & fought for decades on my own behalf—but as far as I've gotten, it isn't nearly far enough. With my health becoming more demanding and time-consuming, I don’t have nearly the fight in me that I used to. I'm tired of fighting all the time, for everything.”
Power in supporters
I frequently see articles shared on social media about many different health conditions or other important issues. Most often, these are shared by people who are not directly affected. We’ve all learned to care about other important health issues such as cancer, Alzheimer’s or diabetes. Often, we know someone affected by one of these conditions, but we’ve also learned as a society that many health conditions are important issues worth funding and learning about. For example, a search on twitter for #AlzheimersDisease yields 570 tweets just today (I'm writing this on July 30th)!
Dr. Young explains how there is a lot of movement in the world of migraine research and awareness recently. He says, “Either we catch this wave, or we do not. Three hundred years ago, migraine went from a disease on equal footing with other debilitating conditions, to one is that ridiculed and discriminated against.”
Those of us that have this disease are speaking. No; we’re shouting. We are asking you—someone without migraine—to join our voices. Not only are some of us tired (though I encourage those who are not yet worn out to keep it up!), but it adds credibility and importance to an issue when even those without the problem speak about it. Just like other diseases, we must realize as a society that this very common but incredibly debilitating condition matters.
What can you do?
Dr. Young suggests many solid courses of action including fundraising, speaking out and supporting others. You can check it all out here.
But mainly, we are asking you to realize, and share, that migraine is something we need to care about. Share this article, or share others on this site. Spread the awareness! Thank you in advance for being a supporter!
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?