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The Language of Migraine: How Do YOU Describe It?

The way we discuss and describe migraine can be so individual to our experiences. Some people find that certain terms and phrases contribute to the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding migraine, while others feel they describe their experiences perfectly. We want to know what language you use to describe your experiences with migraine.

How do you describe yourself?

We know some in the community like to use the term migraineur to describe themselves when sharing their stories with migraine. They feel the term encapsulates who they are in relation to their experiences with migraine. Others feel the term labels migraine as a part of their larger identity and prefer people-first terminology. They don't want migraine to define who they are any more than it already has. Where do you stand and how do you identify your own experiences with migraine?

This or That

I feel more comfortable referring to myself as a...

What is migraine?

Migraine is a complex primary headache disorder, that much is true. But, when looking at migraine at a higher level, does disease or condition better fit? A disease implies the body is experiencing a deviation from it's healthy functional state, while a condition refers to a state of health. So which best applies to migraine - is it migraine disease or migraine condition? Which term do you use when you describe migraine?

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This or That

I feel more comfortable referring to my migraine as a...

How do you describe your experiences?

Migraines or migraine attacks? That is the question. When you experience the symptoms of migraine and are navigating life around them, what would you name those periods of time? Migraine is complicated and these phases can be as well. Migraine attacks imply your body is under attack by migraine while migraines imply the coming and going of migraine itself. Which term best describes your experience with the phases of migraine?

This or That

I prefer to say that I experience...

How does migraine impact your life?

There is so much variation in our experiences. Whether you see it as an annoyance or you are disabled and debilitated by it, might determine whether you "suffer from" or "have" migraine. Is migraine a monster that causes great pain and suffering in your life? For some, migraine is a monster that has caused great pain and suffering, impacting their ability to work and function day-to-day. Do you view migraine as a disease or condition that you have? For others, migraine is now a part of their life that they can't change - it's incurable - and they're doing the best they can with it. How do you view your experiences and how has migraine impacted you?

This or That

I prefer to say that I...

What contributed to the start of your migraine?

Distinguishing a trigger from a cause can be pretty controversial. When a specific factor contributes to the onset of an event to happen, it's typically called a trigger. Meanwhile, a cause describes the reasoning behind something occurring. Many believe that triggers should be associated with attacks while causes should be associated with the larger headache disorder. How have you described what has contributed to your migraine experiences?

This or That

When describing what brings on a migraine attack, I prefer the term...

What do you call the headache caused by abortives?

Rebound headache and medication overuse headache are interchangeable terms for a common experience. Both describe the symptoms experienced after frequent use of acute or abortive treatments, when the body stops responding to these medications. The symptoms are similar to migraine, but have been triggered by the frequency of use of these prescription and over-the-counter medications. Which term do you typically use when you experience this type of headache?

This or That

I prefer to say that I experience...

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