One of the most difficult challenges people living with migraine have is accepting the idea of migraine as an invisible disability, and feeling confident enough in identifying themselves as disabled so they can then ask for reasonable accommodations. Unfortunately, many with migraine do the opposite, concealing their condition from their employers because they don’t want to lose their jobs.
No matter what your migraine is like, it is good to have support. Migraine can decline or change quickly, so having a support team around you that understands migraine and is familiar with what is 'normal for you' can be key in reducing migraine-related anxiety and better managing your migraine.
Your support team should include these elements:
- Your Care Team: your GP, neurologists, and other medical professionals that provide you with medical care
- Support at home: your partner, family, or if you live alone the neighbour, friends or carers who can come into your home to provide support when you need it.
- Support at work: if you are working, having a work colleague who is very familiar with your condition, perhaps who sits at a nearby desk or is on the same team, as well as a supportive boss, is a critical part of your support team. You should also know your rights at work, and know where to go for help if you are being discriminated against or 'managed out' because of your migraine.
- Migraine friends: have a network of others who live with migraine to support you. The Migraine Warrior Support Network was created to make this easy for you, enabling anyone with migraine to connect with others in the area. Discuss doctors, treatments, or just have a vent with people who get it - peer support is a really important part of managing migraine.
There may be others you consider part of your support network, such as extended family or perhaps your church or other group you get support from. It can be helpful to write down all the people you know you can count on as a way of both appreciating the support you do have, and identifying any weaknesses in your support network and how they might be addressed.