Support Networks Are Important in Managing Migraine – Here’s Why
Migraine attacks are not palatable experiences at all. Aside from causing physical pain to the person experiencing the migraine attack, they also cause emotional pain. The thought of when the next migraine attack will come and how long it will last is enough to send most of us into an emotional frenzy. This ends up affecting our work, relationships, and life even more than the migraine attacks itself. You can reduce such impacts with a strong support network.
A support network, as the name suggests, is a group of people that offers support both physically and emotionally to others experiencing certain conditions (usually medical). These conditions are not limited to just medical ones, as they may also help in the area of profession and other important aspects. But, for the sake of this article, we’ll be talking about support networks for migraine. Finding someone to talk to during any medical condition is essential. No one is an island. After all, humans are social beings. We all need someone, and we should not shy away from that fact.
Take Time to Find the Right One
The first step is of course finding someone to talk with. You should not just talk with anybody. Some people will actually make you feel worse after conversing with them; you need to avoid those kinds of people. Finding the right person does not have to be hard. Look for someone you trust and can confide in. The person does not have to be a family member or a relative. Some people prefer finding someone who is also experiencing migraine for relatability and easier communication. It is important to get someone you can confide in as your primary go-to ‘support person’, as this can make your conversations more fruitful. Within Migraine Buddy, we also have various chat groups where you can reach out to get support.
You may wonder what the relationship between loneliness and migraine is, it’s simple. Loneliness can often lead to depression, and depression can in turn trigger migraine attacks. Therefore, we should try as much as possible to surround ourselves with positive energies from people both physically and mentally.
After finding the right person or set of people to talk to, make sure you reach out to them when in need. You might feel reluctant at first to talk about your condition. We often feel down during and after our attacks, but talking to the right person can make a difference in the management of our emotions.
Reassuring an Anxious Mind
Anxiety is also another common trigger for migraine attacks. The thought of a migraine attack occurring anytime and catching us off-guard is enough to make us anxious. We start to overthink the possibilities, and this further raises our anxiety levels. When other triggers are also present, this eventually results in an attack.
This particular chain of reaction that increases the chances of a migraine attack could be reduced if one has a trustworthy companion to lean on and reassure them. Offering reassurance goes a long way in calming down an anxious mind. The power of having people to offer reassuring statements around you should not be underestimated or overlooked.
Providing support goes both ways. When you advise and reassure someone who is new to migraine attacks, it is good for both yourself and the one receiving your support. By sharing your experience, you’ll grow as a person through the process and you are also helping the newcomer have an easier time coping with migraine.
How to find support?
The next question then is how and where to find a support network. The most straightforward form of a support network is seeking someone or people you trust and can confide in to talk with. But there are also other forms. Let’s look at some options below!
A specialist or therapist
The word ‘therapist’ scares many people. This is because it is commonly associated with mental illness in today’s society. However, you do not have to be mentally ill to visit a therapist. As a migraine warrior, you’ll need someone whom you can not only talk to but also talk with. A therapist is a sure bet!
Don’t neglect your specialist too. Many migraine specialists offer support programs to members of the migraine community. You can also share directly with your specialist about what is bothering you. If you notice your specialist is not listening to you, find another one. You are entitled to the maximum care possible from your specialist.
An online support group
An online group is another important form of a support network. What is best about online groups is that they are easily accessible online! You do not need to leave the comfort of your house or office to talk to them. It also opens the avenue of meeting new people with whom you can build strong ties with, even beyond the scope of your migraine. There are many support groups available online in this day and age. You can easily find one and join without stress.
Did you know we have a Facebook group set up entirely by Migraine Buddy users themselves? If you’re more familiar with using social networking sites like Facebook to connect and communicate with others, you may want to reach out to the administrators to join the group!
Stay connected with current community
On bad migraine days, this might seem counterproductive as some people would want to seclude themselves away from any social interaction as much as possible. While it may be the preference for some, many others have shared that remaining engaged within their current communities has been helpful to get through the difficult times. Go ahead and lead your normal life. Connect with people of like-minded interests, attend sporting events, join classes, etc. This is, of course, done with your own discretion and ensuring that such actions don’t trigger a migraine attack. You know your body the best, just keep in mind not to overdo it as it can make matters worse.
A support network comes as a complement of your caregiver or relatives that play a huge role in your migraine management plan but that can sometimes feel helpless or will find it hard to relate if they don’t experience migraine themselves.