Pam started experiencing migraine symptoms a few years ago. While she’s under a doctor’s care, she finds herself stuck in bed several times a month. She has lost track of all the social and family events she’s had to miss. In fact, she recently noticed that several loved ones and friends have stopped making plans with her. She’s beginning to feel isolated, lonely and depressed.
If you are like Pam and frequently suffer from migraine symptoms, you desperately need to find a supportive community. Join these migraineurs in discussing your migraine symptoms, triggers, medications, relief techniques and coping skills as you come together in mutual commiseration, support and encouragement during good and bad times.
1. Patient Support Groups
Talk to your doctor about available in-person and online patient support groups to discuss your migraine symptoms. He or she may even facilitate such a group. If your doctor doesn’t know of any patient support groups, research possible options online or call your local hospitals, medical centers and specialists.
In addition to receiving invaluable support, these patient groups introduce you to the results of new medical studies, effective treatment options and ways to navigate migraine symptoms at home and work. They may even schedule outings for loved ones or family members that allows them to find additional insight into living with a chronic migraine sufferer.
2. Social Media Groups
Pew Research Center data found that of the adults who were online in September 2013, 73 percent used social networking. Use modern technology to help connect wth others who are struggling just like you. Take advantage of the easily available resources found online and access them via your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to easily keep in touch with other migraineurs. One great place to look for migraine support is is the incredibly popular Facebook.
When finding social media support on Facebook, consider closed and open groups. Each group will have their own set of rules, admins and requirements for admission. Here are two groups that are currently accepting new migraineurs and migraine supporters.
- The Many Faces of Migraine—”We want people to really see what we go through living with migraines and the impact they have on our families and friends. Who better to understand the debilitating pain we live through than all of us here.”
- Migraine Support—”The Migraine Support Group is a community of Facebook migraine sufferers, migraine headache specialists, and ex-migraineurs reaching out to others in the hope of finding a cure to this debilitating illness.”
3. Migraine Advocacy Groups
Numerous organizations across the country offer support for migraineurs. In addition to discussions, social events and tips, they educate family members, friends and co-workers on the realities of migraine symptoms. Check out two advocacy groups as you learn more about migraines, educate your loved ones and connect with others who understand exactly what you’re going through.
- AHMA—The American Headache and Migraine Association’s mission is to help those affected by Migraine and other Headache Disorders find and use our voices to empower patients, family members, friends, and care partners. Through education, support, advocacy, and research they bring hope and banish the feelings of hopelessness that too often accompany these disorders.
- AHDA—The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy works with almost a dozen organizations to introduce the public to the realities you experience when migraine headaches hit. Connect in person at AHDA member events, read blogs written by and for migraineurs and become involved in changing public perception and policy toward migraine sufferers.
You may have lost track of the number of social activities you’ve missed out on because of your migraines. However, you don’t have to be isolated. Join a patient, social media or advocacy support group and receive the emotional, mental and physical support from people like you as you face the reality of your migraine symptoms.
Image Source: andrew and hobbes