Physical Health

Why Migraines Aren’t Just Headaches

Common misconception. A migraine? Take some paracetamol. Have a shot. You’ll be absolutely fine. Nope. Houston, we have a problem.

Headaches are common, tension, sinus or “normal”? Whatever takes your pick. Migraines, however, are far more complex. Migraines are caused by nerve impulses and electrical impulses in the brain causing irritation to certain parts of the brain. Chemicals are a bitch.

Neither headaches or migraines are rare. Both can be triggered by stress and tiredness. However, your best friend the hangover causes headaches among other things like dehydration, changing sleeping patterns or even changes in diet.

Headaches can be taken away with a nap, a hearty painkiller or a spoon with a loved one in the dark. Migraines, again, are much more complex. I, myself, had a migraine for 6 months straight. No amount of painkillers, sleep or even praying could shake those chemicals in my brain. The aura that clouds your vision, the vomiting spells, the aversion to food, the constant dehydration is very VERY hard. It is also something that is not widely understood – a sickness bug people can get behind. You run to the toilet a delightful shade of green, that they will get. But rolling into work a shade of grey Christian himself would be proud of, bags under your eyes and wincing whenever you move, no one seems to get. Migraines are just headaches, right? Not enough to warrant sick leave or the stray tear? Wrong.

Migraines are the big bad bitch of the west, although they can’t be squashed under a house to have their slippers stolen. Even with two types of medication I still suffer, as do many people I know. It’s time we stop discriminating against illness like ME, migraines and other chronic conditions that are classed as hidden. Pain is pain. It’s time it was listened to.

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