You (Yeah, YOU!) Are an Advocate for Migraine Patients

“How do you create awareness about migraine disease and headache disorders as a regular patient with a life full of other obligations?” was the question for the May 2012 Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival. Though I didn’t get a post written in time to be included in the carnival, I have been mulling the question over. I was surprised to discover myself coming back to a very simple answer: talk about migraine.

Advocating for folks with migraine doesn’t require a fancy degree, having a blog, or devoting tons of time to the cause. All it takes is for people with migraine — and those who love us — to speak up about what migraine really is whenever the opportunity arises. This means not dismissing a migraine as “no big deal” and not shrugging off when someone says migraine is “just a headache,” but explaining that this is a neurological disorder that affects the entire body.

Explaining that the autonomic nervous system — which is responsible for all the processes the body does without obvious input from the brain, like breathing and digestion — goes haywire and that all five senses are on super-high alert are illustrative for non-migraineurs. The list of little-known migraine symptoms and weird migraine symptoms help, too.

How do you talk about migraine to raise awareness of the disease?