Chronic Migraine, Community, Patient Education, Society

Welcome to Migraine & Headache Awareness Month!

The awesome advocates of the American Headache and Migraine Association have put together an impressive array of events and information for the June 2013 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, all centered around the theme of Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders.

The second annual Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is underway with 30 days of movie-inspired prompts. Write for your existing blog or start a new one just for the month. If you don’t have a blog, you can respond to the prompts and post your insights on social media or write in a journal to share with those close to you. Even if you don’t show your writing to anyone else, writing down your thoughts about migraine or headache will raise your own awareness about its impact on your life. If you don’t start with yourself and your own beliefs, how can you influence anyone else?

Check the Fighting Headache Disorders blog daily for links to tons of blog posts. And be sure to read what the patient advocates at have to say in response to prompts (I’ll be writing four of them). Find bloggers’ favorite posts from the challenge in this month’s Headache Disorders & Migraine Blog Carnival.

Not a writer? You can participate in a Twitter challenge or daily photo challenge. Use social media to share facts about migraine and headache disorders (already compiled!) or post photos that document your life with migraine or headache. Be sure to tag your posts with one of the following hashtags so others can find what you share: #MHAM, #MHAM13, #MHAMBC (blog challenge), #MHAMTC (Twitter challenge), #MHAMPC (photo challenge)

Not a writer or social media user? Print out these migraine and headache disorder facts to hang in your office, community bulletin boards, or neighborhood telephone poles.

Phew, that’s a lot! I’m so appreciative of all these opportunities and can’t wait to see all the contributions.

Even if you don’t participate in any of these organized activities, I urge you to do at least one thing this month to increase someone else’s understanding of migraine or headache disorders. Maybe that’s describing to a non-migraineur how crippling a migraine attack is or telling someone who thinks migraine is “just a headache” about the numerous and varied symptoms a migraine can include. Perhaps you let someone who has mild, episodic migraine attacks that are treated with OTC meds know that may people get no relief from drugs, OTC or prescription, and others are disabled by daily migraine attacks.

Or you could do something even more difficult for most migraineurs — don’t diminish how severe your attacks are or pretend you feel better than you do. Oftentimes we choose to put on the masks that hide the severity of migraine. That may get us through our day-to-day tasks, but it also prevents others from having any real grasp on what life with migraine is truly like.

4 thoughts on “Welcome to Migraine & Headache Awareness Month!”

  1. Kerrie:

    You know doing a wonderful service in these blogs. But
    believe that must give the other side to the coments
    in the last paragraph for this particular blog.

    “Or you could do something even more difficult for most migraineurs — … or pretend you feel better than you do.”

    Have found personally that in many/most cases you should
    actually do contrary to this last line posted. If a migraineur
    showed everyone how they actually felt at all times-that
    would be bad mentally for the person/as well as your
    friends. Yes their are appropriate times must tell persons
    how you feel. But in the far majority that is probably not
    the best decision.

    An example-many many persons (not just migraineurs) are
    going thru severe mental/physical issues. For them to
    tell their various friends and others how bad life is going
    for them. In many many cases-that is and will be detrimental
    for their situation. Now “a stiff upper lip” is not always the
    best case. But have seen the opposite-where people
    constantly complain about their lot in life. That does them-
    their friends-or society any good.

    I used to be a professional poker player and an analogy will
    do from my playing days. Many times you are dealt some
    “bad cards” in life. It is how you deal with the “bad cards”
    that will show your mettle. Have found that complaining-
    Oh why me”-to friends, acquaintances-in many cases-is
    just not the proper perspective.

    A big caveat-note I did not say in all cases.But in the majority
    of cases-putting on a mask is very appropriate in many
    cases for migraineurs. People just dont want to be around
    for to long someone who complains and complains about
    their lot in life.

    Hope dont sound to harsh-but from 18 years of migraines-
    the above advice seems to be very accurate.

    Timothy Bauer
    Reno, Nevada

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Timothy. I’m very careful with what I share and how I say it. There’s a big difference between complaining and talking about migraine objectively. I’ve had amazing responses from most people I’ve spoken with, even cashiers at the grocery store. It takes energy to be able to talk about it, which I didn’t have when my attacks were at their worst, so I get that it can be too much. Still, I don’t think we can ever expect the stigma of migraine to change if migraineurs are unwilling to talk about how disabling it truly is.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *