You might think that by now people would understand that migraines are a real medical condition. There are many documented cases of migraines. There are clinical studies and trials that prove it to be an actual medical condition. In reality, there are still those people who don’t know what to say, say the most impossible things or are just plain rude. So we compiled a whole post about the things that people have said so that you can facepalm right along with us. Yes, these are real responses, comments, and things said from actual people who obviously don’t have migraines.
“What did you do to cause this one?!” – no knows more than a migraine warrior that migraines are not something you cause, they are something you attempt to prevent at all costs. However, sometimes you end up with this comment from someone who simply doesn’t understand. Our favorite response to this one is simple “I was breathing.” We all know how hard it is not to roll your eyes and walk away.
“Migraines didn’t exist back in my day” – as if migraines were a new thing! The only new thing about migraines is that it is now backed by research that proves the condition is real. The diagnosis of migraines may not go back that far, or maybe the diagnosis wasn’t understood so it wasn’t given like it should have been. No matter the reason, migraines just weren’t known by the term migraine, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t exist. Go ahead and try to explain that, you aren’t likely to find a hearing ear.
One Migraine Warrior had this to say: I’m faking them. Even ones I have with seizures they have witnessed. The “Here we go again….” face if you even mention your medical condition. Nothing exposes the stigmata and prejudice that you face with migraines like this comment. You know the pain is real but since it isn’t something that they can see – they assume you aren’t really hurting. This can be as frustrating and hurtful as the migraine itself.
“Just Take Some Aspirin” – we all wish there was a magic pill that would allow us to skip the migraine pain. Not only is this one of the most annoying things to be told, but it is also one of the most pointless. Of course, we take the medications that are supposed to help. Usually, those are not the over-the-counter medications and sometimes the side effects can be as bad as the migraine themselves. Sometimes we have to choose between taking the medications and sleeping or being able to do the things we need to do around the house or at work.
“I Get Headaches And I Don’t Need Time Off Work”, unfortunately, this is more popular than you might think. Most people will treat you like you are looking for an excuse to be lazy rather than admit that you are in actual pain. Not only is it not fun to be hurting physically, but it can also be quite frustrating trying to balance your checkbook when you can’t work regularly. The financial impact of migraines can be life-changing and possibly even devastating.
“It’s Just A Headache”, Wouldn’t it be nice if this were true? Migraines come with so much more than just a headache. They can make it impossible to do anything other than lay in a cool dark room and hope that it passes soon. Sometimes even sleeping is not an option. A normal headache is easy to deal with, especially if you have migraines regularly. You could try to reason and teach the difference, but a lot of people just can’t understand until they have a migraine.
“At Least You’re Not Dying” – while it is true that you aren’t dying, you probably feel like you aren’t’ really living either. You may not be able to work. You miss your friends as you can’t manage to get out to social events. You aren’t enjoying life anymore. Your whole goal is to avoid anything that might trigger your next migraine. They literally take over your life. So no you aren’t dying, but you feel like you are missing out on your life.
“You’re Just Stressed Out” – It is true that stress can be a trigger for migraines. However, stress isn’t the only trigger to migraines. Having someone tell you that the only reason for your migraine is that you are dealing with too much, are stressed, or not taking care of yourself can be one of the most insensitive things that you may have to deal with. You could always shrug it off and say maybe so. The last thing you want to do is add to your stress by trying to argue your condition with someone who doesn’t understand.
“I wish I could hang out at home all the time like you” – this is almost laughing worthy. How many times have you wanted to go out with your friends and family and simply couldn’t lift your head? Loneliness and depression can be one of the lesser-known side effects of dealing with migraines. One of the things people will say is that you wouldn’t have migraines if you got out more. Again, not only is this not true, but it is also frustrating to try to explain to people. You know what you want to do and what you are able to do are totally different things.
“Have you tried changing your diet?” – This is another one of those insensitive things that people seem to say. They don’t understand what you have done to try to avoid getting migraines. As annoying as it is, this is one comment that comes from a good place. They want to help, but they don’t know-how. You can explain the research that you have done, just don’t expect to change their mind all at one time.
“You really need to do something about those headaches” – Try not to laugh at the person. They don’t know that you have done everything you can to tame your migraine. The fact that this person called it a headache shows that they don’t’ really understand all there is going on to cause the migraine. What can you do? Try not to get hateful back at them and brush it off. You don’t really have to answer to anyone.
“Get a hobby – it will take your mind off the pain” – This comment was actually said to someone that had many hobbies that they enjoyed when they could. She was saddened by the fact that she had to walk away from some of her favorite things because they required deep concentration that triggered the migraine. If someone says this to you, remember that they aren’t trying to be hateful, they just don’t understand migraines or how they affect your body.
“You just need to exercise” – Being active depends on your trigger. In all honesty, for some people, some exercises tend to trigger worse migraines. This is especially true if you get overheated, overexerted, or dehydrated. The best thing to do is stick to the plan you and your doctor set out for you and try to ignore all the people who don’t really understand what is going on. Of course, even if you do have an exercise regimen, you may not see any relief from your migraines. Remember just because someone says it worked for them doesn’t mean that you are obligated to try it. One size, or exercise, does not fit all.
“Have you prayed about it” – Before you roll your eyes and move on, remember that this person really is trying to help. They don’t know that the physical pain of a migraine can be devastating. They want you to find relief. They want you to find peace. They can probably feel that you have tried everything and are frustrated in the fact that you can’t find any relief at all. Respond the same way you do when someone says they will pray for you. Say thank you and go on.
“You are making it seem worse than it is”, a lot of the comments that you have already read fall under this easily. Of course, to the average person, they may feel like this is true. It was said to one migraine warrior by a loved one that was upset and likely frustrated by the migraines. They probably don’t mean it as rude as it comes out. Try not to snap back because that can actually cause you to trigger a migraine. It is just going to add to your stress and frustration.
There you have it. Some of the most cringe-worthy, frustrating, and facepalming things that have come out of the mouth of those loved ones who simply don’t understand what you are going through. You know all these are nonsense. Do what you do best. Keep your head up. Keep doing what you can to avoid the triggers. After all, no one knows what the truth is more that you.