Enlisting your help fighting stigma
Inspired by today’s prompt and a post from another friend, I decided to speak directly to those without migraine about stigma. Today’s prompt is the song Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. It is a song about the loss of love and the loneliness that follows. When I got to thinking about loss, it reminded me of the stigma that migraine patients still face. Andrew Levy, author of A Brain Wider than the Sky described stigma perfectly in his 2012 interview with HeadWise.
“In many ways, people stopped thinking of headaches as an actual disease needing real treatment a long time ago. If you go through 19th century literature, the number of female characters who have a headache that men dismiss or don’t take seriously is just massive. There is still that stigma that women with migraine fake head pain to get out of housework, to get out of sexual obligations. It is very Victorian, but that thinking is still there.“
Dear loved one of a migraine patient,
Despite what society tells you, we are not faking it just to get out of unpleasant activities. In our hearts we desperately long to be “normal” again, to live carefree, and to be a part of life again. We don’t like missing out on birthdays, holidays, and other special events. Who really wants to miss all this? The last thing we want is to constantly have our plans disrupted by searing pain, nausea, vomiting, blindness, vertigo, and painful response to light and sound. Even a whisper triggers pain so severe we cover our ears and roll into a fetal position. This isn’t “just a headache”. To help us fight this stigma, here is what you can do:
- Believe us. Don’t abandon us. We need you in our lives! This disease takes so much from us. Please don’t let it take you, too. We need you to help us fight this stigma.
- Purchase some of our awareness items to help us spread the word. The items are inexpensive and practical — every dime goes to help spread the word and/or fund research.
- Defend us. When you hear insulting remarks about migraines, speak up. Share the truth about migraine disease. It is a genetic, neurological condition with no cure and very few effective treatments. It costs billions in lost work productivity every year and is the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide.
- Instead of ignoring our posts and blocking us every June, take the time to read what we post. Share it with others who do not experience migraine. It’s not enough for us to share with each other. We need the world to know the truth. You can help us with that.
- Donate to fund migraine research. Click on the image below. Every dollar counts. Your donations are tax deductible and will go toward funding critical research to find a cause and cure for migraine. So many of us are parents and grandparents. We don’t want our children to face this disease. With your help we can find a cure and save the next generation from our painful fate.
We need your help. Won’t you join the fight to save 36 million migraine patients?
The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Dreaming of a World without Migraine and Headache Disorders. The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of American Headache & Migraine Association.