Inexplicable Symptoms Don't Mean You're a Hypochondriac
"I felt so validated when I found Migraine.com and discovered that all my weird symptoms were migraine related and not me going hypochondriac crazy."
"I thought I was just insane. I've been tested for everything. Lyme, MS, lupus, brain tumors you name it. Until I found Migraine.com I had no idea that these were migraine symptoms. I feel such relief now knowing that. Still sucks having them and sucks to know others are suffering but at the same time. It's nice knowing you're not crazy."
"I thought I was crazy. All of these symptoms, tons of tests, and the doctor still didn't know what was going on. After reading articles here I now know what's going on. They are all tied to my migraines. Doesn't fix it, but at least I know the cause. Just too bad the doctor doesn't care to listen and or learn."
"I thought I was crazy. All of these symptoms, tons of tests, and the doctor still didn't know what was going on. After reading articles here I now know what's going on. They are all tied to my migraines. Doesn't fix it, but at least I know the cause."
Reading comments from Migraine.com community members can stir up an emotional storm. And these comments come from only two articles!
A disease still, somehow, dismissed
It’s a common story for people with diseases that are relatively newly recognized by medicine, like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, to be dismissed by doctors. What’s unique about migraine is that it has been known to medicine for hundreds of years. Yet it’s still not taken seriously.
The problem with migraine isn’t that our disease is unknown, it’s that it’s seen as trivial. Those hundreds of years of history in which medicine has known migraine to be a diagnosis were fraught with misperceptions—and, while those perceptions are finally starting to budge, the progress feels glacial at times.
Leaving people in the dark
The result is that people have lives turned upside down by migraine and usually don’t have any idea that what they (and even their doctors) see as weird, inexplicable symptoms are actually migraine symptoms. They bounce around from internists to ENTs to dentists to gastroenterologists to psychiatrists—even to neurologists—and often come out with little more information than when they started. Instead, they wind up wondering if they’re "hypochondriacs," "crazy," or "insane."
The beauty of patients supporting one another
As I said earlier, I have mixed emotions about these comments from readers. I am sad and angry that so many people with migraine don’t get the help they need from their doctors. I’m also happy to see that Migraine.com provides so many with invaluable information they don’t get elsewhere. The importance of patients working together has never been so clear to me as in reading the comments I included at the start of this article. I don’t just mean the Migraine.com writers and moderators, but all the people in the Migraine.com community who share their stories, ask questions, and answer others’ questions. I marvel at the beauty of patients taking care of and supporting one another.
Thank you for being part of this community. Whether you share your thoughts in comments on the site or social media, have shared your own story, or just read what others have written, you’re part of what gives this community strength.
Living with migraine—and its stigma—is so hard. Knowing we’re all in in together really does make it easier. And our coming together and being honest about our experience is what will eventually reduce the stigma of migraine.
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?