Migraine headaches zap your self-confidence, causing feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem. To manage migraines, you need a support system of friends and family.
Q: What disease, shared by millions, leaves its sufferers feeling hopeless, miserable, and alone?
Although millions of Americans, mostly women, suffer from some form of migraine illness, such as migraine with aura or cluster headaches, most migraineurs feel that nobody understands their chronic pain, and many feel detached from friends, family, and coworkers, especially when migraines strike.
Bring your friends close, and your family closer
Curing migraine disease requires determination, self-confidence, positive thinking, and lots of hope. To ensure success, it is imperative that you build an emotional, goal-oriented support system. Include your migraine specialist and other physicians, but also include your closest friends and family members, select coworkers, and other concerned acquaintances.
Here are five tips for building a support system, plus a downloadable worksheet, My Support System.
Talk about it.
Have an honest, face-to-face with your spouse or closest friend, and tell them about your feelings of isolation, or anger. If needed, get a therapist involved. Keeping your emotions bottled up leads to increased stress, which in turn elevates your migraine symptoms. Less stress means fewer migraines.
Talking about illness with other sufferers is a great way to get things off your chest without the fear of offending, criticizing, or having others call you an “attention seeker.” When the words flow freely, you might even learn a few things about yourself that you didn’t realize. Communication breeds solutions.
Nothing hurts your chances of success as much as having a pessimistic outlook on life. Avoid people who tend to moan and complain constantly, and seek out people who are sympathetic, friendly, and full of spirit and life. Studies show that self-confidence and thinking positively increase your chances of recovery from illness. High hopes lead to high success rates.
Write it down.
Keeping a migraine journal is an excellent way to track progress, identify migraine headache triggers, and stay motivated. Keep track of foods you eat every day, including when you eat them, and how you felt afterwards.
Visit some of the many online websites and blogs for migraine patients. Many organizations host migraine advocacy sites that raise funds for migraine awareness, with the goal of improving medical research for a migraine cure.