By Kerrie Smyres | June 8, 2013
A lovely young woman with chronic migraine whom I met in an online forum has just taken her own life. She had a smile that could light up the world. And she was in tremendous pain for which she saw no end.
Though I didn’t know her well, this young woman’s death has hit me hard. I am sad for her family and friends, and my heart breaks to know how many other chronic migraineurs have felt similarly desperate.
I think of all the people whose episodic migraine attacks have slowly morphed into chronic migraine. So many of us try countless treatments before finding any relief. Our migraines worsen year after year while we try medications with sometimes unbearable side effects. When you’re mired in that much pain, both physical and emotional, you cannot conceive of a life without migraines that continue to escalate in frequency, severity, and duration, destroying what little quality of life you have left. (I know, I have been there.)
Combine having to face each day when your life is in ruins because of migraine with a society that does not understand how ravaging migraine can be. Migraineurs are regularly told that “it’s all in your head” or “it’s only a headache.” We are called weak or fakers. People tell us all we have to do is think positively and our migraine attacks will go away. There is so little sympathy or empathy for those struggling with migraine.
June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. I’ve been caught up in my own life and haven’t been on top of spreading facts or writing blog posts. This young woman’s tragic death has reminded me just how vital it is that we raise awareness about this devastating illness.
Too many people suffer horribly from migraine. Too few people know the tremendous damage it can cause. How many more bright, shining stars must the world lose before people begin to understand the cost of chronic migraine?