Finding relief from chronic migraine pain is frightfully comparable to Taylor Swift’s serial dating. There’s hope that perhaps you’ve found the right fit. There’s fear that maybe the one you’ve chosen isn’t actually “the one”. And then there’s the dreaded break-up wherein, you have to start all over again. Except no one writes a song to help migraine sufferers though their plight. And sufferers certainly don’t make millions in record labels and publicity spin-off from every failed match. Which brings us to our point – here’s why chronic migraines are scarier than dating Taylor Swift.
1. Chronic Migraines Are ER Worthy
As terrible as dating Taylor Swift is rumored to be, at least she doesn’t send nearly 2.8 million people to the emergency room each year. Within the migraine community, someone chooses to go to the emergency room for pain every 10 seconds. Chronic migraine syndrome is included in the chronic illness category and attributes to almost $50 billion in healthcare costs every year – a monetary value even Swift can’t touch.
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2. Chronic Migraines Contribute to Depression and Anxiety
Taylor Swift has had enough heartache to fuel her music career for centuries, but breakup blues can’t hold a candle to the psychological afflictions migraine sufferers can face. Severe pain and symptoms associated with migraines are unpredictable and can arise 15 days or more out of every month. Once pain sets in, there’s no telling whether it’ll last a few hours or a few days and the uncertainty paired with excruciating pain aids in the development of depression in nearly 25% of sufferers. Sadly, this has contributed to higher suicide rates among those suffering from migraines than in the general population.
3. Chronic Migraines Don’t Have a Solution
Lucky for Swift there was a simple treatment to end her relationship turmoil – break up. Sure, her ex-boyfriends must endure the impending sting of a Swift redemption song, but eventually resolution settles as her next celebrity fling steals the spotlight. For chronic migraine sufferers, there is no known cure for their condition. Each time they break up with another treatment that doesn’t work, they’re faced with the reality that the next medication, injection or therapy may help but won’t actually eliminate all symptoms and attacks.
4. Chronic Migraine Don’t Get The Attention They Deserve
It is estimated that nearly 37 million people live with migraines and 14 million live with chronic migraine syndrome – yet, little is understood about what causes the condition and how to treat it. Migraines are the 20th most common reason for disability, costing employers more than $13 billion each year due to 113 million lost workdays. But we still see celebrity gossip in headlines more than critical statistics and information about the health of Americans. Swift may not be enjoying the negative publicity surrounding her love life, but at least she’s getting attention.
5. Half of All Migraine Sufferers Go Undiagnosed
That’s right, folks. Half of the people living with severe, chronic migraine episodes don’t ever get a correct diagnosis because their condition is either misdiagnosed, underappreciated by doctors or never checked out in the first place. Everyone in America likely knows the name Taylor Swift, but sadly, not everyone knows the source of their pain is the result of chronic migraine syndrome or furthermore, that treatments are available to help sufferers regain quality of life.
The good news is that migraines are gaining more attention now than ever before, which is contributing to a spike in research efforts. Studies are getting closer to better understanding the cascade of events that transpire within the brain and body leading up to and during an attack. The more we understand, the better treatments become. It’s not quite time for a victory song and dance, but momentum is building behind the importance of chronic migraine syndrome research and that is far more exciting than Swifts most recent dating debacle.
Image Source: Tom O’Donoghue