The Big Lie
When I first started getting migraine attacks, I had the distinct advantage of being surrounded by loved ones who recognized the symptoms and validated my pain. You would think that with all that support, I would have a lifetime of good migraine management. Yet in the first 25 years of my life, I heard more lies than truths about migraine.
The biggest lie of all was that I had a “migraine personality” that would doom me to a lifetime of painful attacks. It was my curse for being born smart, motivated, and independent. That explanation never did fly with me. It didn’t make any sense. I could name dozens of first and second-degree relatives with personalities exactly opposite of mine who lived with horrible migraine attacks. I don’t remember who first told me about this “theory” but I remember not buying it one bit.
Frankly, these personality traits that were so carelessly blamed for my lot in life might actually be the very factors that have kept me sane all these years.
- A thirst for knowledge drove me to keep looking for answers even when everyone around me said to give up.
- I possess a stubborn refusal to accept a life of constant attacks with no hope for improvement. My brain just can’t get stuck in helpless mode. I’ve been there on vacation many times, but I always come home.
- A burning desire to have an impact on the world around me would not let me quit and accept an invisible life of pain locked inside my house forever.
- My insatiable desire to help others forced me to share what I learned with others, which also took my mind off my own troubles and kept me out of that “woe is me” rut.
If that’s what they call a “migraine personality” then I’ll take it any day. Without these traits, I would have suffered a lot more.
Have you ever been told that your personality caused migraine? How did you respond? What personality traits do you have that are strengths when coping with migraine?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?