“It’s Just a Headache” & Other Infuriating Comments

Being told it's just a headache is infuriating!Being told “it’s just a headache” infuriates readers. “Why don’t you take…” is a close second. Read on for more annoying comments that readers shared in their 30 Things About Migraine & Headache awareness meme responses. Leave a comment below to share what makes you angry to hear people say. (And here are the instructions for writing your own 30 Things.)

The Two Most Irritating Comments (By Far)

  • “It’s just a headache.”
  • “Why don’t you take [insert over-the-counter drug name here]?” (This is nearly as irritating to readers as “It’s just a headache.” The two phrases are frequently combined.)

Unhelpful Commentary

  • “Get over it.”
  • “Why don’t you go out on disability?”
  • “You need to do better at getting a handle on this.”
  • “You really need to figure out these headaches.”
  • “You need to see a doctor about that.”
  • “Why do you keep having so many?”
  • “I didn’t realize migraines lasted so long.”

The Fix

  • “Can’t you just take a pill?”
  • “Have you tried…”
  • “You need to see my doctor/chiropractor. They can fix you.”
  • “You just need to drink more water.”
  • “I have headaches too. You just need to get out more. You need to exercise more.”
  • “If only you would…”
  • “You just need to (fill in the blank with crazy random suggestions).”
  • “Have you tried X, it cured my cousin’s migraines.”
  • “Just pray.”
  • “If you just lost weight, your (whatever symptoms) would disappear /reduce.”
  • “Take a Tylenol.”
  • “Just drink salt water, or lemon juice [or some other substance that 40 years of migraines have proved useless].”
  • “I know someone who used to have migraines until they gave up cheese or chocolate or wine.”

Dismissal & Invalidation

  • “l have migraines and they don’t stop me.”
  • “Migraines aren’t that bad.”
  • “Well at least it’s not something worse.”
  • “Oh, I get bad headaches sometimes too.”
  • “You don’t act or look sick!”
  • “You’re too young to be sick.”


  • “Do you think it’s just stress?”
  • “Do you know what’s causing them?”
  • “It must have been something you ate.”
  • “What did you do to cause that attack?”
  • “It’s only a little perfume.”
  • “It’s all natural fragrance.”


  • “Again, really?”
  • “You have ANOTHER headache?”
  • “You have a headache again?”
  • “Another headache?”


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