Living with migraine comes with many difficulties. One of these difficulties is communicating your (and your family’s) experience to other people. Often, these people have never experienced nor put much thought into migraine. It might be another parent saying “Oh, my child whines about headaches too”. Or perhaps a well-meaning but irritating suggestion to “try yoga!”, these conversations can make you feel isolated. Today, we’re going to explore the importance of communication when living with or parenting a child with migraine, as well as some strategies to help deal with ignorance when you face it.
The importance of communication
Communication is an essential part of living with migraine. This is true whether you are managing attacks yourself or are a parent helping your child handle their migraine. Studies have shown that communication is a key factor in treatment outcomes for migraine. This both in terms of finding the right therapeutic care and helping your family and friends support you better. So even though it can be difficult to share your experience when you encounter people who are ignorant of what living with the condition is like, it is important to keep sharing your feelings with those close to you.
Dealing with ignorance
It can be difficult to be open with someone only to be met with ignorance. But what should we do in these situations? The most important thing to remember is that your experience is always valid. You should therefore have self-confidence! The second thing to remember is that these comments are 99% of the time coming from a place of ignorance – not malice. Just remind yourself that they do not understand what the condition is like, and (if they are not being completely horrible and if you feel emotionally up for it) perhaps see it as a chance to educate them on the experience of migraine.
Helping and sharing with others
Even if you don’t feel up to educating them on what migraine is like, you should remember that you always have access to a wide community of people that do understand your experience. Whether through your family, support groups, online forums, or apps like Happyr Health, you are not alone when facing migraine, and there is always someone to talk to who will understand.
And so, even though sometimes people can say things unthinkingly, you should always remember that you experience is valid, that their comments do not come from ill-will, and that you always have someone to talk to.