How Family Feels Your Migraine Pain

May 28, 2015

shutterstock_213354343 (1)For anyone who suffers from chronic migraines, you have surely seen the effects your condition has on your marriage and family. Maybe you have missed your kid’s basketball games, or have had to lie down during the family dinner, or perhaps you have asked your spouse to wait another night for intimacy due to your throbbing headache. Now, a new study shows that the pain of chronic migraines really does hurt the entire family.

The research stated that migraines, severe and sudden headaches that often affect one side of your head and can include nausea and visual impairment, are considered chronic when they occur 15 or more days a month. And you are not alone: between 3 and 7 million Americans suffer through migraine symptoms.

This preliminary, web-based study led by clinical psychologist Dawn Buse of the Montefiore Center in New York City involved 11,000 adults including 990 participants who suffered from chronic migraines. Researchers found that roughly two thirds of chronic migraine patients felt their health condition made their spouse’s life and sexual relationship more difficult. Plus, almost 60% felt they could be a better parent if they didn’t have migraines. Patients not only missed family activities but they also had less quality time with their spouse by almost seven days a month.

Women, however, reported less absenteeism than men, which Buse suggested may be due to a greater sense of responsibility over their family. “Mothers and wives may simply feel that they cannot miss a family event or drop a responsibility and so they soldier on despite debilitating pain and associated symptoms,” said Buse.

“Our research team believes it’s very important to bring these data to light, to show that chronic migraine is a burdensome and difficult condition, not only for the people who live with it, but also for the people they love,” said Buse, who presented the findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Buse also noted that this was the first study on chronic migraines to interview family members of those who suffer from the condition. Said Buse, “We hope that these data will raise awareness among family members, coworkers, society, healthcare providers, insurers, and government agencies who fund research, so that the magnitude of the effects of chronic migraine is more fully understood.”

While we can all hope that greater understanding will lead to a greater quality of life (and less marriage counseling), the innovative Omega procedure, meant to eliminate migraine pain, may offer you and your entire family lasting relief.

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