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When people act like they know more about your migraines than you do…

A lot of people seem to appreciate how my stories put their experiences into words, so here’s one that I know will be super relatable.

A lot of people seem to think they know more about my migraines than I do. And I’m not talking about the typical “Here’s you’re miracle cure!” stuff that we’ve all heard a hundred and one times. I’m talking about the other ridiculous stuff that you’d assume is common sense, but apparently people don’t think you you’re smart enough to know it.

First and most common offenders are the, “Here’s what you’re doing wrong.” people. You know the people. The ones that say things like, “It’s because you drink too much caffeine, it’s because you don’t drink enough caffeine, you’re not hydrating properly, you’re not eating healthy, you’re not exercising enough.” They act like you are doing some horrendous health crime that MUST be the cause of it. No, when I was in the PEAK of health, I still had migraines. I mean exercise an hour every day, all homemade low-carb foods, no preservatives, no salt, no caffeine, no alcohol. No food triggers. And I was STILL having migraines at least once a week. On the other hand, I knew people that sat around drinking coke and eating ice cream all day and seem to be not having the same issues as me. So go ahead and tell me my migraines are because I have an unhealthy lifestyle. See how far that gets you.

Second offender are the ones that like to point out what could go wrong because of your migraines. “If you have an interview, don’t tell the interviewer you have migraines! They won’t higher you!” Nah, because I thought interviewers LIKED people that had chronic conditions whose symptoms involved memory loss, inability to hold down food for two days in a row, crippling pain that causes you to go to the ER on a regular basis, loss of focus, and the need to be in a dark quiet room. I thought that was exactly what they were looking for. No? You’re telling me that they want to higher someone that can actually work? PREPOSTEROUS!

Another type of advice they may give you is, “You can’t take your medicine too often! You could get addicted! How do you know you’re not already addicted! I think you rely on your medicine too much!” Sir/Ma’am. I’m taking the medicine as directed by my doctor. Look, it even says on the bottle. I know I’m not addicted because I’d be in worse shape than I’m currently in. It’s called rebound headaches. And I don’t want your opinions on how often I need my medication. I’ll take it as often as I’m able to when I need in order to function. You’re not my doctor, so please, kindly, $%^@.

Third, the people that act like everything is your fault. All those issues you have? It’s because you’re not trying hard enough. “I just had a migraine yesterday, and it seems like this person’s name is one of the pieces of information my brain stole from me.” Them, “OMG! YOU CAN’T FORGET PEOPLE’S NAMES! YOU’LL SEEM RUDE! YOU BETTER REMEMBER THEIR NAMES! FIND SOMETHING THAT’LL HELP YOU REMEMBER THEIR NAMES!” You think I WANT to forget peoples names? You think I don’t feel like a jerk when I ask them for the fifth time what their name is? You think I haven’t tried EVERYTHING to try to not forget? I spent a week calling the guy I was dating by his cousin’s name and his cousin by my ex’s name because a migraine messed with my memory. It’s not like I try to be this forgetful.

Or when you’re having a particularly bad few weeks with migraines, “You never hang out with us, it feels like you never wanna hang out with us. Are we not your friends? It’s just a headache. We all deal with pains!” Nahhh… ya think? I thought I was the only person in the world that experienced pain! What a revolutionary idea that I’m not the only human! And of course I don’t want to hang out with you! Don’t you know, crippling pain that causes you to keel over a toilet for 48 hours is a sure sign of not wanting to be around your friends! That’s how you KNOW you hate your friends!

Extreme amount of sarcasm aside, I had a migraine a couple of days ago, and it reminded me of all of the people that act like they know more about my condition that I’ve had since I was 10 more than I do! And I was hoping that my sarcasm and experiences would help someone else that relates to this. Hopefully the sarcasm caused a couple of laughs. That dry sense of humor seems to be the only way I can live with my migraines when it’s bad.

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

  • Luna
    9 months ago

    The Edit feature would be nice.

    A sense of humor is sometimes hard to find but sure is nice when it is working. For me it is the best way to deal with all those people who are so much smarter than me. Those that don’t forget things, have super healthy lifestyles so they don’t have health problems. etc. etc. Happy day to all in the neurologically challenged club.

  • Luna
    9 months ago

    Current thinking has moved away from vascular dysregulation as a primary cause of migraine. It is now believed that vasodilation and vasoconstriction are probably epiphenomena and that neuronal dysfunction is the possible primary driver in the pathophysiology of the disorder.1,4,5 Specifically, activation of the trigeminovascular system, cortical spreading depression , and neuronal sensitization are seen as playing important roles in migraine pathophysiology.1,5

    https://migraine.com/pro/pathophysiology-of-migraine/

  • LRA2523
    11 months ago

    Oh this made me giggle and know that, I’m not alone. I’ve had comments like: “You know if you cut your long hair off you won’t have migraines any more.” Um. No, that doesn’t work, I’ve had very short Pixie cut to very long hair and guess what, I still have migraines. Or the lovely advice of, “Have you ever thought that these migraines are really just all in your head and you’re not really in pain?” Um, WTF? Well 1) it is in my head but 2) I’m in a heck of a lot of pain thank you very much. And of course one of my favourites, “Are you sure you’re having a migraine? Maybe it’s just a hunger/thirst/tired/angry/insert excuse headache.” I’m not even sure how that is even logical…. I’ve been having migraines for over 30 years, I’m pretty sure I know what one feels like by now. Thanks. I will never understand how some people will completely have no empathy for anyone with this neurological disease. It baffles the mind.

  • GSDmom
    12 months ago

    I agree with you one hundred percent with every line. I’ll add this too: “I’m so glad I don’t have those.” It’s like the other person is bragging…. I mean, like we are choosing to live in almost constant pain? Nope.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi faeriefate,

    I hear you and it’s SO frustrating. I couldn’t help but chuckle at your dry sense of humor – I love it! You’ve described what most of us go through on the daily.

    Migraine stigma continues to be real and prevalent. I get so irritated by it all. People certainly don’t feel this way towards other neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and so on. Hopefully with continued education we can reduce this all too common stigma.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Nancy

  • faeriefate author
    12 months ago

    I think that’s just it. People don’t think of Migraines as a neurological disease. I think it’s part of the considering it as “just a headache” or saying it’s “a bad headache” as if pain is the only symptom. My headache specialist says that the current theory is that migrainuers have a thicker brain lining that causes over stimulation of the senses, which causes migraines. Which makes total sense for me as I have always had symptoms like I’m more sensitive to light, loud noises annoy me faster than most, I have a more sensitive sense of touch, etc. I know another prevailing theory is they’re caused my dialated blood vessels in the brain, which is why many migraine medications constrict blood vesseles. Regardless, most specialists agree it’s a neurological disease caused by something in the brain.

  • Luna
    9 months ago

    Current thinking has moved away from vascular dysregulation as a primary cause of migraine. It is now believed that vasodilation and vasoconstriction are probably epiphenomena and that neuronal dysfunction is the possible primary driver in the pathophysiology of the disorder.1,4,5 Specifically, activation of the trigeminovascular system, cortical spreading depression , and neuronal sensitization are seen as playing important roles in migraine pathophysiology.1,5

    https://migraine.com/pro/pathophysiology-of-migraine/

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