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Woman who is not taken seriously because of her migraine disease

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • tinyhiker87
    11 months ago

    I am in the same place with some of the other readers, wherein I have started feeling like I am going crazy worrying that I am developing new health conditions rather than realizing that all of the issues I’m having (similar to what others have mentioned) are related to my migraines. My current partner told me he is worried that he might be marrying a hypochondriac. Nothing has made me feel more alone than this statement. I cannot take anymore of him not understanding.

  • JLM
    11 months ago

    Oh my gosh! it is such a relief knowing I am not the only one that has been through all this!
    It is true, it doesn’t change the pain, but at least help to know we are not alone or crazy!

  • jmedlin
    12 months ago

    Yes thank you. I have been going to the Dr, complaining about stuff I thought I must have been developing new conditions but when I read the list of migraine symptoms ,no -just my constant companion called migraine. Was helpful too yesterday when I experienced some numbness and tingling as I had read that that was a symptom so I didn’t have to worry about what it may be. I still tell the Doc of all my new symptoms in my regular visits so there’s a map of my migraine but I don’t stress about what might be happening. The article that mentions how migraine ages you was helpful too as I had been feeling exactly that ,weird aches pains and was really wondering what was going on .

  • GSDmom
    12 months ago

    I have survived with migraines 30 years so far. I have not found one single doctor to help save one and I cannot see her anymore because I wasn’t able to make an appointment because she moved a county away and the staff was horrid. She wasn’t able to help much but she did know more than the so-called “best neuro doctors in Atlanta”. But I cannot see any doctor because of no insurance and I can’t afford to self pay. Therefore, I’m treated still horrid by the world out there, can’t get the help I need at all or anything. Arthritis, neuromas making it hard to walk, and these migraines, it terrifically hard. Not to mention the zero support around me here. I tried to petition Tanner hospital, which I live next door literally, and only got stupid “addiction” emails in reply. How is suffering from migraines gonna be help by that? Tanner is supposedly trying to be “world class” but sending someone who simply asked for “migraine support groups” addiction emails to spam me is low class.

  • Georgiana
    12 months ago

    Migraine, FMS, and CFS are women’s diseases. This is why they aren’t taken seriously. It’s the attitude entrenched in the medical system for decades and decades. Women are “hysterical” and we don’t get real diseases.

  • Frajukel
    12 months ago

    Thanks for this! After suffering for 20+ years with migraines I’m amazed at how this disease can morph and create even more symptoms. Just recently my jaw starts to hurt when a migraine is coming on. I tried to ignore it and even thought it was my teeth, only to discover it is in fact a migraine coming. Ugh… Will it never end? Thankfully I no longer think I’m crazy thanks to migraine.com and the wonderful support here!

  • NeillK.
    12 months ago

    I have suffered 18 years now constant migraines, cluster and sinus headaches. I have chronic sinus infections for 30 years. No one in my family or community understands the debilitating effect this has on me. This is a severe injustice to the migraine community and definitely needs to change. Thanks for the article.
    I have tried all medications preventive and episodic treatments, even the botox. Too many side effects. None work only more migraines to deal with.

  • Coco
    12 months ago

    Thank you for posting this, its exactly what I needed to see today. I’m so tired of doctors treating me like I am crazy or not taking my migraine into consideration when treating other ailments. It’s depressing.

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