Evaluating the Headlines
We all pay attention whenever migraine is in the news. Our first impulse is to think, “Finally, someone is paying attention!” All too often though, our longing to be taken seriously often overshadows our common sense. Many times editors will create sensational, attention-grabbing headlines in order to boost ratings – never mind the facts.
Here are just a few problems with most migraine headlines:
Outdated – By the time a new treatment or finding reaches mainstream media, it’s most likely old news. Your local news may claim to be “cutting edge” but when it comes to migraine, they will always fall short.
Incomplete – In a rush to meet a deadline, journalists cut corners. Pressured to fit a story into limited space or time, editors cut important details.
Failure to cite sources – Good writers cite their sources using MLA or APA style at the end of the article and within the article itself. Editorial content (opinion) does not require citation. If the article appears to be informative but lacks citations, question the conclusions.
Reliance on poor quality sources – Few journalists are well-informed enough to know that they need to speak with a board-certified headache specialist when writing about migraine. Check the list of UCNS headache specialists. If their source is not on the list, question the content.
In our desperate attempt to find solutions, it is so easy to grab on to any small glimmer of hope, no matter how ridiculous or far-fetched. We can waste our energy and our finances on hundreds of last-ditch efforts that have little hope of ever helping. What’s worse is that each failure eats away at our sense of hope and fuels more desperation.
Migraine is not a “lost cause” diagnosis. There are hundreds of treatment options available to us – none of which you will learn about on the evening news or today’s front page headline. Once you know where to look, you will be amazed at what you find.
Yes, there will always be patients whose migraine disease is difficult to treat. If you are one of these individuals, I implore you to ignore the headlines entirely. None of it will apply to your situation anyway. What you need is to find a really good headache specialist. Not just anyone on the list will be able to help you. You need (and deserve) the kind of doctor who will never give up on you. You need a doctor who has enough knowledge, skill, and professional connections to get you the right care, even if it’s with someone else.
Overcoming the obstacles
You probably don’t believe that such doctors even exist, but I promise you they do. You will have to fight and make sacrifices in order to reach them. The waiting lists are long and travel will be required. Insurance appeals, exceptions, and a thousand other bureaucratic obstacles will stand in your way. At more than one point along the journey, you will question whether it’s all worth it.
You just need to ask yourself, “How badly to I want this?” No obstacle is too great if you are willing to make the effort. It starts by ignoring those headlines. Trust reliable, accurate information that is based in current, solid, scientific research. There you will find your answers.
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?