Problems In The Family

A good understanding of Migraine disease can lead to a happy and healthly life at home and with the family.



There has been a century of society and the medical community blaming Migraines on their sufferers. But recently, advanced technology and the age of information has given us the knowledge to begin to understand this debilitating disease. However, dangerous and outdated myths surrounding Migraine disease have not yet been dispelled on a widespread basis, and both the myths and the disease itself can have a devastating effect on the lives of Migraine sufferers, their family, their co-workers, and their friends.

It is often difficult for people to understand and to see that Migraine can effect even the most simple tasks of a Migraine sufferer during an attack. For example, even normal physical activity tends to intensify the pain of a Migraine. Dr. Randy Levin, who is a medical officer in the Food and Drug Administration's division of neuropharmacological drug products, noted in the current issue of the FDA Consumer Magazine that, "Migraines are unlike tension headaches in that they often interfere with people's activities to the extent of forcing them to stop what they're doing and lie down."

First, don't underestimate the difficulty your family may have in understanding and coping with the disease. For example, the founder of MAGNUM, Michael John Coleman, was married to a loving nurse in the early 80s, but the lack of compassion of her family members and others telling her that the disease was Michael's fault, that he couldn't handle pain, or that he was faking the pain to get attention, eventually tore them apart. Luckily, we are living in the late 90's where much more information about Migraine has been discovered and is widely disseminated, and treatments have improved.

However, it is still important for you (the migraine sufferer) to educate the people at home about what Migraine is and is not. It is important for you to empower yourself by bringing home material, such as doctors letters and other material, that lets your family members know that Migraine is not a tension headache and is not caused by stress, but, instead, is a hereditary disease.

Watch any news programs about Migraine with your family, but be sure to point out immediately to your family if information about Migraine in the news story or in an article is wrong or outdated, and show them updated material from doctors and others that contradicts any wrong information related to stress or treatment that is mistakenly included in such a story or article on Migraine.

We are far from a cure, let alone a sure-fired treatment, for Migraine. But understanding that Migraine is a real and debilitating disease goes a long way toward improving the quality of life for Migraineurs and their loved ones.

And if you are not a Migraine sufferer, then remember the next time you offer advice to the person in your life that suffers from Migraines, make sure it's not toxic, such as; " you need to learn how to take it easy", "cheer up", "you shouldn't drink that Coke", or other well-meaning but emotionally debilitating statements. Rather, offer to turn down the lights and the TV, and let them know you understand.