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Suicide within the Chronic Migraine Community

Trigger Warning
The content includes information related to mental and emotional distress and it might be upsetting to some people. If you or someone you know have thoughts of suicide, have attempted suicide, or experience emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1–800–273–TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat. To get general information on mental health and to locate treatment services in your area, contact SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline – 1–877–SAMHSA7 (1–877–726–4727).

Suicide is one of those topics that seem to have become so taboo that nobody wants to discuss it. The tragic reality is that suicide is not only an issue within the chronic migraine community or even just with chronic pain sufferers in general because it also affects a staggering 22 veterans a day and many other people from various walks of life. I will never criticize anyone for decisions they make or their even their respective beliefs on the subject, whether I agree with them or not. Unfortunately I have heard some individual’s view points and so strongly disagreed with them but everybody has their own thoughts and ideas.

My thoughts of suicide

Every time I hear about someone that has gone on for as long as they could take the pain until they could simply no longer go on, my heart breaks. Whether I agree with their decision or not, it breaks my heart because I too have gone through times where even I considered it. In my case, at the time, I felt as though I would be better off as well as my friends and family. There would be no more pain on my part, no more disappointed for family or friends because I had to cancel plans at the last minute because I felt overwhelmed by a bad migraine, and finally I felt as though I was more of a burden to people than a blessing.

So…… what changed?

I was so young when all of this started for me. While trying to finish my degrees, I wanted to find myself as well. I had a few relationships, some were good and others were not so good. I met a person that I had no idea would eventually become my husband a few years later. Our relationship grew into something special. I found that I was going to bed at night thinking of him. I looked forward to seeing him because we could enjoy each other’s company no matter what we did. Even if I had a horrible migraine, we would still spend time together lying on the couch or in the bed. He would sit or lay with me and hold me close to him as a way to show me that I was not alone. A result of the way he treated me, was that I began to re-evaluate things. I started to see that, if I chose to end my own life, it would only end my pain. I began to see that in ending my own pain, my other half, as well as my family and friends would have the pain begin for them. This realization became more and more clear every day. I am not even sure when exactly it happened, but at some point, suicide stopped being an option. It sopped being the thought that occurred to me when I was in pain. There was nothing magical about the change in my thinking. It was just something I realized had changed.

Losing someone who mattered to so many

Within my work with the non-Profit group Chronic Migraine Awareness, I became friends with a girl not too much younger than myself. In her, I saw the person I was before I met my husband. We had many conversations and I prayed it was helping this young lady in any amount, no matter how small. I wanted her to know she was not alone, even though those of us who had grown so close to her were not physically there with her we care for her. The day her mom informed us that this young and beautiful lady took her life shook my world. Not only because this could have easily been me but because the world will never know the impact that this young lady had on so many people within our group and could have had on the world. Most unfortunately, she will never know how much she mattered to so many people and just how many people’s lives she touched in an unimaginable way. Despite how much the medical community failed this beautiful girl, her mother is one of the most impactful advocates for the migraine community to this day.

My hope for others

Each and every one of us has to live our lives the best way that we can. Each of us deals with the challenges that we face in our own way. Those of us who live in chronic pain have to figure out a way to hold on to the world. Sadly, we each have our own breaking point and all that we can hope is that when we hit that point there is somebody there to pull us back from the ledge, someone or something to tether us to this world. My hope for anyone who reads this article is that they decide to keep fighting. I want them to keep fighting with the hope that one day they will find a cure and that things will get better.

Have you found your motivation to keep fighting or are you still looking for yours? Has your life been impacted by a suicide of another person?

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

  • Sheila K.
    9 months ago

    The only time I think of it , is when my mother or sister kick me out to the street. I’m the first to get diagnosed ..and it has no headache symptom in our family. I was diagnosed late as chronic and no matter how many mental assessments i pass, they hate me and they hate that i became dependent for shelter. My SSI disability hearing is on Jan. 14th, 2019 . Last year my sister threw me out and I barely survived it. Exactly one year later , she has been paying rent here while I wait for the hearing and now she stopped because my report to APS last July, (again seeking help to intervene because she lied to my landlord and I had no where to go)..so now she claims that report showed up on her background check (even though it was not investigated)..and now she gave me me notice that this month is the last month she can help because it was my fault she lost her job. They always create a lie blaming me before throwing me out. I live with a young woman who barely makes enough income. Ive known her for 27 years and I promised her I would not stay if my sister stopped sending funds. My kids are grown but the diagnosis came just before I filed divorce . Ive been alienated ever since. So I have barely made it all this time waiting for a hearing. I dont qualify for any assistance because chronic migraine is the only condition I have. I dont look for my lawyer to have answers for shelter. It’s time for the holidays and though my kids love me, my sister and mother have taught them to ignore me. That I wont “accept their help” which is wickedly dysfunctional. I’m not allowed to talk to them much. I’m sent to my room. I’m not believed. I’m safe finally here with Jojo and now my sister’s story is about to put me on the street again with no where to go. I’m 56. I have had this disease all my life . It just became chronic around age 43. I have been good to people but all my friends gave up on me because I cant work to save myself. I am afraid I wont be able to withstand this round if miracles dont save me. The thought of being around general shelters scares the hell out of me. I pray my head stays straight..I dont want to take my life. Waiting to hear from lawyers about what they can or cant do. I already know they cant help..but praying I am wrong this time. I spend 110 plus hours in solitude . I am a social animal and miss all the things I used to do. I despise the alienation but have learned to be forgiving and grateful to be this close to my hearing. But family interferences have disrupted my ability to stay in contact with my doctor since 2014, as SSA would prefer to see. Still he has written 3 letters of disability (2013, 2015 and 2018) and I am indigent without a future..and no family. Pray for me please. I dont want to lose my mind.

  • chaselife
    1 year ago

    There is no cure. My dog(s) used to motivate me to live. I lost this motivation now.

  • Ginalcb
    1 year ago

    Having gone through suicide ideation as teenager for being bullied. I realized at that time if I were to do that then the bullies win. Within the last year the suicide ideation has returned due to my migraines being at their worst. You just want it all to end. My husband is the only one that knows this “secret.” He worries about me constantly. I fight it every day and the only thing that pulls me through is the strength of my husband and my 2y/o lab who never lets me out of his sight when he senses I’m sick. It is positive reinforcement to hear Amanda and John share their thoughts.

  • John1381
    1 year ago

    Hello Gina,

    I haven’t been on the site for a while; spotted your comment and just wanted to say I hope you are doing ok. So pleased you have your husband and dog to help you through. Same for me (wife and dog).

    Keep going.

    John.

  • John1381
    1 year ago

    A year ago I had had enough of chronic migraine and the long bitter struggle with it. I now feel so much better mentally – no change in migraine though – I have clawed my way back and am so glad I didn’t end it. For all who are suffering, there is a way back and still the chance to live a little more positively. Talking was the way through it for me. I wish you all well and Amanda, thanks for being brave enough to put this topic forward for discussion.

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