How do you deal with ignorant people?

Hey everyone, I was diagnosed with chronic migraine amongst other illnesses a couple of years ago – since then, I’ve told all my peers so they are aware that if I drop out of events last minute etc. then it’s for a good reason! However, I’ve been experiencing those same people saying repeated comments like ‘I’ve had a headache for 3 days, it’s probably classed as a migraine now.’ and ‘Oh my, I have a migraine! I’ll take some ibuprofen and it’ll go!’ Obviously, for those here who experience migraine often, they do not simple leave with ibuprofen, and we can’t function/work normally (as they do!) when in the midst of a migraine attack. How should I deal with them? Thanks all x


Community Answers
  • Coco
    1 week ago

    I tell people I work with (and friends) that I have ‘migraine disorder’ or ‘a migraine disorder’ …if they think migraine is just a headache this makes it sound like it’s something more complicated, and not what they think it to be. Another way to prove it? Spend time with these people when you have one, that will do it. My face swells, I slur my speech, I grip the railing when going down stairs, I get super carsick, people notice! And will realize, that’s no headache. Once a friend told me she got them and would just woof down Excedrin. I think she just gets regular headaches because that drug literally does nothing for me!

  • Mmelle
    1 week ago

    I have been dealing with this, it seems,for my entire life – even before my migraines had a name I’ve tried explaining to people who I felt needed to know what my migraines were like and about things I’ve read here and elsewhere on migraine People usually tell me that they understand and then prove their ignorance by telling me about how they had a migraine one day. I have suggested to my family that they might want to read one of the articles here, but I don’t think they have except for one friend who was expressing disappointment that I cancelled plans with her I sent her a link to an article on migraine.com and was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from her saying that she had no idea and that she wanted to talk about it when I was feeling better. I was so grateful for her sensitive response that I could have kissed my computer screen!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Hi 42xsammi,

    Great question!! Unfortunately most of us grapple with this all to frequently.

    There are a number of great articles here I can share so you can get an idea of an “elevator” speech to give out to your friends and family. I’m still working on mine!

    https://migraine.com/living-migraine/spoon-theory-stigma/ and https://migraine.com/living-migraine/thats-ok-i-have-a-headache-too/.

    Let me know what you think of these, OK?
    Nancy

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