#WordsForMigraine: Here’s What We Did For Migraine and Headache Awareness Month 2020

Every year, the headache and migraine community comes together in the month of June to help bring about more recognition and awareness for a condition that remains highly invisible to many till date.

This year’s theme, “You Need Community”, has inspired us to launch a campaign that taps on the beauty of community sharing to empower each other and to increase the visibility for migraine. 


Launch NF Card.png


On 1 June 2020, we kickstarted the campaign “#WordsForMigraine” with the core aim of making migraine more visible for the global migraine community. By sharing our personal stories with migraine, we had hoped to provide a platform where the migraine community could convey their feelings towards an illness that impacts a huge part of our lives.

Throughout the whole month, we received almost 12,000 words in total from more than 2,000 Migraine Buddy users and we just want to first express our gratitude for showing support towards this initiative. ? 

We felt a range of emotions while reading through everyone’s entries—from motivation to anguish to relatability. It is indeed challenging to explain migraine to someone who does not have this condition and even amongst ourselves, migraine can mean so many different things!


3 Most Common #WordsForMigraine

Thanks to everyone who participated in this campaign, we have consolidated the entries and would like to share with you the top 3 most common #WordsForMigraine as contributed by the Migraine Buddy community:

1. Pain

(n.) highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury


What’s a migraine without pain? Many of us have in fact associated the word “migraine” with “pain” and this is clearly reflected in a large portion of submissions we received.

“Invisible pain

Pain that’s not understood”

“The pain is endless”

“Nonstop blackhole of excruciating pain

“Nauseating rollercoaster of unpredictable pain

Even though “pain” has a negative connotation to it, we were comforted to see that there were some users who used this word in the context of overcoming the pain and finding positivity in darkness.

“I’m not just my pain

“Learning to live with pain.”

“Overcoming the pain

“Pushing through pain with hope”

“Fighting on through pain


2. Debilitating

(adj.) causing serious impairment of strength or ability to function


The next word that is most used to describe migraine is none other than “debilitating”. Aside from the physical effects that migraine can cause on our bodies, it is also very emotionally draining; “debilitating” seems to be the word of choice for many to describe both the physical and emotional impact of migraine.

“A debilitating day of pain”

Debilitating impact on family”

“My extremely debilitating invisible disability”

Debilitating pressure pot in head”

Debilitating when at its worst”

Debilitating pain invisible to naked eye”

Debilitating illness that is seldom understood”

Debilitating while looking healthy”


3. Life

(n.) the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual human being


For a disease that impacts many aspects of our life, it is not surprising to see this word being used so often when describing our migraine experiences. 

“Migraine takes away life’s pleasures”

“Missing out on life


Life-consuming but not ending”

“A very annoying life companion”

“Thief of life and soul”

“Taken days from my life

“A way of life


4. Special Mentions


Besides the most commonly shared words, we thought it would be a waste to not give special mentions to these users who have submitted unique descriptions of their migraine experiences:

“A cactus inside your head!”

“I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy”

“My head is not a soccer ball, please stop”

“A free trial of hades”

“Gremlins and monster”

“Demon’s scratches inside my skull”

“Different type of social distancing”

“Storm always looming to strike”


Wall of #WordsForMigraine

If we put everyone’s #WordsForMigraine onto a virtual wall, here’s how it would look like:


Final Wall NF Card.png


Migraine is such an invisible yet impactful condition and the challenge to bring more attention to it does not stop at the end of this awareness month. Many of us still struggle daily to explain what it means to have a migraine and why it is a real neurological disease that needs more recognition.  

With this wall of #WordsForMigraine, we hope that it will come in handy when you are sharing about migraine to someone who has no knowledge of it and help them understand the complexities of our condition. Remember that you are not alone in this journey and that we can overcome our common enemy of migraine when we stand together to fight! ?

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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