Talking About Migraine at Work: Your Thoughts?
What’s your take on this statement?: “The key to managing migraines and work is communication.Â Itâ€™s important to let coworkers and managers know about your condition and educate them about it.”
That comes from Migraine at Work on UCLA Health’s migraine information page. The article’sÂ recommendations for “initiating effective communication” include (paraphrased):
- Educate your coworkersâ€”because they don’t know what migraine is, they don’t know how disabling an attack can be. The article recommends gettingÂ pamphlets from your doctor to share with coworkers.
- Talk to your managerâ€”to reduce triggers by modifying your work environmentÂ and gain access to a dark, quiet room during an attack.
- Be honestâ€”say that migraine attacks can be disabling and you hate to miss work. Tell coworkers that you miss out on fun activities, too, not just work.
I haven’t worked in an office in 13 years, but these recommendations strike me as idealistic and tone-deaf. Other than the suggestion to beÂ honest that you don’t like to miss work because of a migraine attack, this adviceÂ raised more questions for me that it resolved: Is it really a good idea to tell your coworkers and manager that migraine attacks can be massively debilitating? IsÂ a person with migraine responsible for educating coworkers? Will pamphlets be fodder for gossip? Do coworkers even listen to attempts at awareness-raising? Are managers receptive to requests for accommodations? Do coworkers care if your migraine attacks prevent you from enjoying leisure activities?
I’d love to know what you think. Please leave a comment below (or if you get posts by email, reply to the email with your response).