Though I’m no public health expert, I feel well qualified to declare that self-criticism an epidemic among migraineurs. We blame ourselves for migraine attacks, berate ourselves for canceling plans, criticize ourselves for not keeping up with housekeeping. Actually, this negative self-talk seems pretty common among people with any kind of chronic illness. Toni Bernhard, author of the superb book How to Be Sick, recommends asking yourself what you would say to a friend who was criticizing herself in the same fashion.
In Befriend Yourself to Silence Self-Criticism, I wrote about her technique, then shared my experience of responding to my inner critic with kindness and compassion in An Experiment in Quieting My Inner Critic, both on Migraine.com. That was a few months ago and was so positive and uplifting that I’m still doing it. Such a relief for my mental health — I can’t recommend the strategy highly enough!