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The stigma of chronic migraine

January 23, 2013

About the Author

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Stephanie Watson, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Stephanie Watson was the Executive Editor of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch from June 2012 to August 2014. Prior to that, she has worked as a writer and editor for several leading consumer health publications, including … See Full Bio
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March 22, 2013

Very good article….thank you for posting it! My mom and my uncle have been suffering from Migraine since they were in their teens.

I will share this URL with with.

Once again thank you.


March 22, 2013

I am a doctor and when a person has migraine I recommend that you mix various analgesics and NSAIDs, opioids and paracetamol. In case of migraine is very repetitive, the patient must receive antihypertensive profilactivo manaje or anticonvulsants.

March 18, 2013

Not all headaches are the same and symptoms do vary. Avoid those things that trigger a migrane. For starters, don’t smoke. Avoid stress.

March 14, 2013

The million dollar question is how to get a doctor to do anything or even to believe me after 2 MRI’s and 2 CT scans and an MRA tell him that nothing is wrong with me. The look they give when I say that I have had a headache every day for 4 solid years is so disheartening that I just want to walk out right then and there. And then if they do give me meds the effects are worse than the pain! I give up on the medical world helping, which is why I want to be a nurse or doctor: to be that one person who can give the struggling lost sufferer the answers. Or even to tell them that there are not answers is still an answer.
Thanks for the article and I agree with Chatline: “It’s arduous to seek out educated individuals on this topic, however you sound like you understand what you’re talking about! Thanks”
Live Long and Prosper!

March 12, 2013

also…they mention in the article that you should avoid the sights, smells, situations and food that trigger migraines…but how is anybody supposed to do that? I mean seriously…it’s unrealistic

March 12, 2013

I find it very comforting that other people have felt my pain…especially since it’s “unseen.” It’s rather difficult to have a social life, work life, and personal life when you are a chronic migraine sufferer. Has anyone seen the commercials where a woman is laying on the couch living a “maybe” life? That’s how I feel…and I feel like I have tried everything…eat this…don’t eat that…try this…don’t try that…etc. I have tried everyone to no avail! The only thing that works for me is Treximat…but my health insurance only allows me to get 9 pills a month…which are completely unrealistic bc I get 3/4 migraines a week…so who knows.

One thing I have found really helpful though is juicing. It is very time consuming to juice…but I have found that it stops the frequency of my migraines. One thing to note though…make sure you ALWAYS have juice available bc it is used as a meal replacement and if you don’t eat…that can trigger a migraine…so just a suggestion…good luck to everyone on here!

March 12, 2013

” It is a neurological disease and it is not all in our head…it effects, our family, careers, social life,etc. And I really know the pain it causes, as I am also a victim of migraine, though in minor quantity, but I am suffering from it and is already under doctor’s check-up.
“”Indeed a Great Article, with the Concept of Windows and doors for Animals too… (as said by manny in the blog).
And coming back to the topic, really you have made an extraordinary beautiful design.
Great Thinking!!””

March 1, 2013

Thank you for this brilliant post.

February 24, 2013

In our model, adjusted stigma was similar for chronic migraine and epilepsy, which were greater than for episodic migraine. Stigma correlated most strongly with inability to work, and was greater for chronic migraine than epilepsy or episodic migraine because chronic migraine patients had less ability to work.

February 4, 2013

Isn’t Immitrex a rather strong medication? As a sufferer of migraines from time to time, I can say that they can be rather debilitating, but I have heard that Immitrex can cause some nasty side effects.

Has anyone here had experiences with that?

February 6, 2013

I have taken Imitrex, and I know there must be some people that have side effects from it, the only side effect I had was pain relieve. Triptans are the way to go.

February 11, 2013

I suffered migraines for years. I lost jobs that I really liked and I needed. I took different medicines without any help. One day the migraine was so strong I was crying in bed alone, my husband had to go to work. I decided to drink a half cup of black coffee without sugar; it helped a little. Then I went for Accupuncture for a year and half. I haven’t have a migraine attack ever since.

February 23, 2013

I have used Imitrex for years and it has worked well for my migraines. I don’t experience any side effect worth noting. I take 50 mg (there is also 100mg) and it works within 30 minutes up to 2 hours after I take it and lie down. The headache will be gone in that time but I feel drained of energy the rest of the day. I have also used Zomig but Imitrex works better for me.

Robert Morelli
February 4, 2013

Thanks for sharing with all of us the Incredible post on your blog. It is really illusive. People who have a disease often experience stigma, a socially and culturally embedded process through which individuals experience stereotyping, devaluation, and discrimination. Stigma has great impact on quality of life, behavior, and life chances. We do not know whether or not migraine is stigmatizing.

February 3, 2013

Waiting for the new Make your article is really nice thanks

Herbal Pills Store
January 29, 2013

Great article…!!!!!!!!
thanks for the information

January 25, 2013

Migraine is so debilitating and the pain so hard to deal with, I hope there will a lot more research done and we find a cure or a medication that will ease life of others with migraine.

January 25, 2013

I take Kratom for my headaches and backpain. It sound crazy but this all natural plant works better than Pain pills.

February 6, 2013

I am very glad this works for you but please be aware of anything which are addictive and could lead to dependence and FURTHER migraines. 🙁

It is considered to be in the same category as cannabis and magic mushrooms. And the government is currently looking into making it illegal or regulated.

George Rock
January 25, 2013

The worst than migrane is migrane with aura. Really you MUST stop doing what you are doing. I have an image to illustrate what I have seen over the transit in my eyes. Pain follows the vision disturb.

January 25, 2013

I was bombed with immitrex by my doctor with no cautions at all. I have a pfo hole. I now have long term brain injury which severely handicaps my life. It is always interesting to read how ‘safe’ these triptans are. They are so keen to have an instant solution, that they are in denial about what can happen.

Idalia Adela Leal Santana
January 25, 2013

Estos consejos de salud son fabulosos, en lo personal siempre los leo y los comparto con mis hijos y familiares desde México les envío un cariñoso saludo, que Dios los bendiga y les siga dando más sabiduría.

January 24, 2013

Dr Spierings is promoting a false and marketized view of problems in pain care. My guess is he doesnt want the public to know that on average 50% of people with migraine arent diagnosed properly after five years. Neurologists have a longstanding prejudice toward people with headaches. Although veterinarians on average receive 75 hours of education in pain care- doctors receive on average 7 hours of education in pain care. A migraineur seeking medical help is likely to be misdiagnosed and given an opioid for their pain and not told about patent foramen ovale or the possibility of migraines leading to stroke. The really problem in migraine treatment is our medical profession focuses on profits and not people

January 24, 2013

I have never, ever found this to be the case. My doctors have always been very caring, and listen to what I am saying and strive to give me the best help they can – when they aren’t sure, they talk to someone that knows more than they do. I can only say good things about their treatment of me. I don’t think the financial reward is much on their radar when they are discussing my treatment. I think they truly love helping people. I’m sorry your experience is not so good as mine.

Avondale Chiropractic
February 2, 2013

The problem is that the diagnosis of headaches of any kind is based on clinical presentation. There are few, if any, objective tests for primary headache disorders.

Hopefully bio-markers can be developed to objectively identify types of headache which should lead to more effective treatments.

~ George W Kukurin DC DACAN

January 23, 2013

Great article…I was recently diagnosed with chronic migraines in the last year. It has been a rough road so far, but I totally got it when you talk about ‘unseen pain’. There are people in my life, mostly co-workers who don’t understand because you can’t actually see the pain I experience everyday. Thanks for this article!

January 23, 2013

A great post. I thought it was a boring old post, but it really made me change my thought. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful

January 23, 2013

This article says it all. I’ve been suffering with these for 20 plus years. For me, this is a miracle cure for migraines. I have tried everything short of a lobotomy. The triptan medications should be OTC or at least not limited in qty by Insurance providers. I may get 10 migraines in a month or 25 in a month. My insurance however, tells me I’m only allowed to have 18 migraines per month. If it were up to me, I’d take imitrex every day as a preventative medicine! I am 100% sure I would rarely get these debilitating things.

January 24, 2013

Dennis – its not because of insurance. Imitrex is way more cost effective then having you seen in the ER or even in the physician’s office. The FDA has limits on these drugs because they are SYSTEMIC vasosuppressants. They can and have caused heart attacks at use more frequent than every other day. This does not mean that they are not safe to use, just that they cannot safely be used daily.

I am a chronic migraine suffer. I sometimes have daily migraine. I do use Imitrex on occasion for the worst migraines, but you wouldn’t catch me using it daily due to toxicity. Imitrex (and all other triptains) is NOT approved as a prophylactic medication and shouldn’t be used as one, however a good physician should be able to identify a useful prophylactic medication for you.

February 6, 2013

Dennis, I am next in line for surgery! but she is right, you cannot take them more than 2 to 3 times a week at the very very very most. I have had daily headaches for 14 yrs I COMPLETLY understand that you get to the point where you could tell me any statistic about a drug and my first thought is, thats great, give me something stronger.

Any drug you take regularly can lead to rebound headache and/or physical dependence. Which totally sucks. Unfortunatly I am a nurse as well as a chronic pain patient. So while my stupid nurse brain is talking to my logical brain my headache still says, “SO WHAT?” But you do have to listen.

There have been studies that Excedrin Migraine is as effective as tripans for abortive relief. I love this. Except everything in this drug can cause physical dependence and rebound headaches. I hope that information might help you but please….proceed with caution.

Feel better!

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