Coping With a Lack of Migraine Understanding

Helping Others Towards Understanding Migraines

Understanding MigrainesOther people can’t see migraines. They will never feel the persistently pounding headaches or the nauseating way your stomach churns. They don’t understand the way light blinds you or how disorienting your visual symptoms become. Other people can never grasp the entirely paralyzing nature of a migraine.

In most situations, this lack of understanding is fine and acceptable. They don’t need to walk a mile in your shoes. You are OK with this because you would never want anyone to know how bad migraines feel.

On some occasions, though, you begin to experience problems sparked by the lack of understanding experienced by others. Their confusion and disbelief comes out in the form of ill-informed questions and statements including:

  • How can you be so sick one day and fine the next?
  • You must be doing something to cause your symptoms.
  • Are you sure you are taking your medication the right way?
  • If you just ate better and exercised, you wouldn’t have any more migraines.
  • Aren’t you just making a mountain out of a molehill?
  • You need to find a new doctor.

A frustrating theme about their perspectives is that they seem to blame you for your symptoms. Clearly, with questions and statements like these, the people in your life lack a true appreciation of what migraines are and how they operate.

Over time, this lack of acceptance will diminish the relationships you have with the disbelievers. Another risk is that you begin to doubt yourself and your experience. You may begin to agree with their flawed points-of-view and think that the migraines are your fault.


You have an important choice to make. You could either go on living life unchanged as you expose yourself to the risks of poor relationships or you can make a concerted effort to help people understand the signs, symptoms and effects of migraines. Hopefully, you see that the second choice is the only choice for you.

Next part: learn how to teach others. 

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