Migraine Behind The Mask: Myth, Truth, Action

Written by Lorene Alba | June 22, 2024

Myth – Truth – ACTION!

Every year in June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM), people with migraine and other headache disorders come together to raise awareness about these debilitating diseases. The 2024 MHAM theme is Myth, Truth, ACTION. For our annual awareness project, Migraine Behind the Mask, members of the Migraine Meanderings community volunteer to participate, helping show what life with migraine is like when no- one is looking. When we actually “remove the mask” of pretending to be ok. Each day, we highlight one migraine warrior who courageously chose to share a migraine disease myth that is personal to them, the truth dispelling the myth, and an action to take to help increase awareness and reduce stigma.

This year, these patient stories were made into short videos posted across our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter / X,  Threads, YouTubeand TikTok. In addition, we compiled some of the most persistent migraine myths, along with the truth and appropriate action, into our annual Migraine Behind the Mask video. We encourage you to watch this video now if you haven’t already, and please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Myth, Truth, ACTION

Here are two examples of posts from our community:

Jeremy’s myth? That people with migraine are hypochondriacs. The truth is: migraine disease has a disability rate of 20% of people who are diagnosed! Jeremy’s action is to share this statistic far and wide so people without migraine can better understand its impact. Aspynn wants to dispel the myth that migraine attacks don’t occur often and resolve quickly, when in reality they can occur daily and last for days, weeks, or months. Her call to action is to work with your doctor to develop a migraine action plan.

Everyone Can be a Migraine Advocate

As many members of our migraine community have told us, sharing their stories and educating others helps them find purpose in their pain.

Sharing our migraine journey is empowering; we learn to advocate for ourselves and others. We gain a sense of control when our health feels out of our control. It also allows us to focus on helping and connecting with others, improving our overall sense of well-being. We are grateful to and inspired by the volunteers who participated in this project!

How To Participate In Migraine Advocacy

If you would like to use your voice and raise awareness about migraine, there are 3 ways you can become involved:

1. Legislative Advocacy

This is what comes to most people’s minds when they hear the word “advocacy.” These advocates spend their time meeting with local, state, and federal legislators to discuss and ask for support for pending legislation that will help people living with migraine. They work to ensure laws are in place to protect people living with chronic conditions. Additionally, you can participate by writing letters, making calls, and meeting with legislators.

2. Patient advocacy

Patient advocates raise awareness about their migraine in several ways. They may share articles and posts from migraine advocacy social media channels. They may write about their condition on their blog or website. They can volunteer with a non-profit that focuses on education or supporting people with migraines, supporting others and promoting their fundraising activities. Often, they use their own social media platforms to raise awareness and share their personal experiences living with their disease.

3. Personal Advocacy

This is when we stand up for what we need in our own personal lives, and those of our family  members. This means speaking out at home, school, and work, with our medical team, and with our friends, family and colleagues. In advocating for ourselves we find the courage to request reasonable ADA accommodations at work and school. We create a home environment that does not trigger or worsen migraine symptoms. We tell our friends and family what we are going through, and exactly how they can best support us. We continually work with our doctors to get an accurate diagnosis, try new treatments and therapies, and find the management plan that is most effective.

Remember, you can advocate for migraine all year round, not just during Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. Migraine remains a highly stigmatized condition, as well as being grossly under-diagnosed and often mistreated. By using your unique voice and sharing your personal migraine journey, you are helping others better understand that migraine is more than “just a headache” and that they are not alone.

Let us know…

Have you shared your personal migraine experience with others? Have you participated in Migraine and Headache Awareness Month activities like advocacy or fundraising? If you would like to participate in Migraine Meandering’s advocacy or fundraising activities, please email us at: info@migrainemeanderings.com

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors

Migraine Meanderings is grateful for the funding that makes this project possible. W would like to thank our 2024 industry sponsors: Pfizer, Amgen, AbbVie, Lundbeck, and Tonix. Without our industry sponsors, we would not be able to provide this educational program and help raise awareness about migraine. Together we are making a difference!

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