Migraines affect roughly 1 in 7 people throughout the world, making it one of the world's most common diseases. The World Health Organization classifies migraines as one of the most disabling illnesses. So why do people not take them more seriously? Let's see how managing migraines works.
Migraine sufferers often have increased stress and anxiety because of the trouble they have in conveying their experience– one that is hard to appreciate without going through it yourself. Read on for tips for dealing with both the physical and social aspects of migraines: covering how to prevent their onset, deal with them when they occur, and navigate relationships that are affected by them.
Early warning signs of migraine onset
To keep things under control it's really important to be aware of your triggers and migraine warning signs. Below are a few symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Bright spots or flashes before your eyes
- Tingling or numbness in your hands, feet or face
- Ringing in the ears
- Stiff neck
Determining your personal triggers
You should keep a journal recording your headaches and the contexts they arise in. This will allow you to determine what factors most contribute to your migraine and what helps you get relief.
If migraines are new to you, here are some general triggers that you should probably look to defend against until you become more self-aware of your condition:
Quick tips for migraine prevention
Stigma surrounding migraines?
As is the case with most mental health issues, many migraine sufferers also have to deal with stigma surrounding their illness. A migraine is a physical ailment that cannot be seen by observers. This leads people to question whether a person is telling the truth or just making up an excuse. This is very unfortunate, but if you are a migraine sufferer it is the current climate you have to navigate.
Do your best to not just identify the problem, but also come up with a solution. For example, if you tell your boss that the bright light on your computer causes a migraine headache, also tell them what you will do to try and address the situation: such as installing an anti-glare screen protector and taking a 15 minute walk outside to take pain killers and get some fresh air when you feel the migraine starting.
Communication or silence?
Whether or not you should tell your peers or supervisors at work can also cause a lot of stress! You should definitely inform people in your personal life, but your decision whether to tell people at work can only be made by you. Only you know the characters and expectations of your colleagues. If you think they’ll react negatively to you sharing that you get frequent migraines, or if you are really unsure how they’ll react, your best bet is probably to get a medical certificate from a doctor who can sign you off work without disclosing the reason or diagnosis to your employer.
Connect with a doctor on RingMD. Why leave home to see a doctor if you don't have to? Avoid sick people in busy waiting rooms and skip the traffic jam. See a GP online now. If you're in Singapore, the doctor is able to provide you with a signed Medical Certificate (MC), when appropriate, if you need one for work or school reasons.
We're also focusing on increasing access to mental health care. If you're thinking "I need a therapist near me" but don't know where to start, try the RingMD therapist directory. We will help you find the right therapist for YOU!