We need to start by dispelling a few myths about migraine. This important point was mentioned earlier: Migraine is not just a. severe headache: it is a special type of headache. Nor is it necessarily a severe headache; many sufferers have relatively minor headaches, but the associated symptoms indicate that without doubt they are suffering from migraine.

Another misconception is that those with migraine are frequently incapacitated by it. While this may be true for severe cases, there are many who have an attack only once or twice a year. There are also many others whose attacks are not severe or disabling enough to prevent them working. This doesn’t mean that those who have frequent severe attacks of migraine are putting it on – far from it. The headache of migraine is one of the worst types of pain known to man, and in its fullest form is completely incapacitating.

Attitudes towards migraine vary according to which part of society you are in. Some groups of society think that migraine is an intellectual’s disease. Other groups believe that migraine is a manifestation of psychiatric illness. Both attitudes are wrong! Migraine attacks people of all socio-economic groups. There is no link with having a high IQ and no direct link with being neurotic (though quite understandably, people with frequent severe migraines can become anxious or depressed as a result).

Perhaps the most surprising fact of all about migraine is that probably only fifty per cent of people suffering from it have ever consulted their doctor about it. Almost more remarkable is that a very large percentage of patients with migraine only ask their doctors about it once, and then don’t go back. It seems that many migraine sufferers don’t realise what can be done for them and resign themselves, unnecessarily, to their fate.

The point of all this is quite simple – the medical profession can now do a great deal to curb developing migraine attacks and to prevent attacks occurring. If you haven’t yet consulted your doctor about your migraines, then please do, because it may make a considerable difference to the quality of your life.


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