According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines can cause intense pain with a pulsating and throbbing quality on one side of the head coupled with high sensitivity to light, sounds and smells and nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Such is the severity of the pain that lying down in a quiet place for hours, even days, on end is a must for sufferers.
But the adverse effects of migraine do not stop there! If you have suffered from migraine attacks in the past, then you will be able to empathize with fellow patients who have been subjected to social stigma.
In a breakthrough study conducted by researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University and Rutgers University, it was discovered that individuals with chronic migraines also experienced social stigma as a result of their symptoms.
The researchers conducted surveys of subjects with migraines and epilepsy recruited from the Jefferson Headache Center and the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, of which:
• 123 patients suffered from chronic migraine (i.e., the individual suffered more than 14 attacks in a month)
• 62 patients were diagnosed with epilepsy
Epilepsy was utilized for comparison purposes since affected individuals are known to experience social stigma because of their symptoms.
The researchers found that individuals with chronic migraines tend to suffer more from the effects of social stigma than patients with epilepsy and episodic migraine. This was because chronic migraines significantly affected the individual’s capacity to work since bed rest for hours, even days, at a time were necessary for complete recovery. Such inability to render full-time work at full capacity made individuals with chronic migraine different, thus, inviting social stigma.
But this should not be! You have so many options in effective pain management in migraine attacks. You should consult with your doctor on the appropriate medications, lifestyle habits, and alternative treatment options for your case.
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