15 Things People Who Don’t Get Migraines Don’t “Get” About Migraine

If you don’t get migraines, lucky you. If you do, share this with friends and co-workers. It’ll help them understand our strange symptoms and actions.

If you live or work with someone like me who has migraines for long periods of time, you must have been on the receiving end of a range of expressions and actions that may have left you wondering: Are they faking it? What did I do to offend them? Am I boring them?

Nope. Probably nothing. And probably not.

Trouble is, it’s hard to ‘get’ migraines unless you get migraines – and, according to The Migraine Trust, six out of every seven people don’t.

If you don’t have Migraine, there is likely to be a lot you don’t know about Migraine. For example, you probably don’t know that it’s not just a headache.

It’s a multi-symptom genetic neurological disorder. And some of those symptoms and behaviors you see are not what they seem.

In fact, many of us actually fake feeling what you would deem “normal” more often than you can imagine – just to preserve our relationships and our jobs. It’s a rare day when I feel perfectly normal, with no pain and no extra-sensory symptoms.

This decoder may help you discover something you don’t know about Migraine and help you preserve a great relationship or job. It explains some weird behaviors you might otherwise misinterpret, react to or be offended by.

Hopefully, it will help us all communicate a little better.

15 Things People Who Don’t Get Migraines Don’t “Get”

1 – We’re not picky eaters; we’re just easily nauseated

Waves of nausea can happen at any time, and are often hard to disguise. We turn our noses away, lift a hand to make sure we can hold down our cookies in public. It’s not the broccoli you served for dinner; it’s my Migraine.

2 – We don’t yawn because we’re bored or tired

people who dont get migraines think youre boring them

Not sleepy or bored. Might be migraine.

Yawning could mean we’re tired (and we probably are, since sleep can be elusive and inconsistent for many who get migraines).

For many, yawning is one of those subtle warning signs of a prodrome (the first of four phases before the pain starts) in which the brain is begging for more oxygen.

It’s not that your life story is boring; it’s my Migraine.

3 – We smell like a bear, and we smell it first

Every day, and especially before, during and after a migraine attack, all of our senses are on high alert. Many who get migraines can smell gas and smoke way before others can; it’s one of our cool superpowers.

The flip side: strong perfume, paint, gasoline, exhaust fumes and more can trigger an attack. Our eyes often give away what the nose detects. It’s not a five-alarm fire; it’s my Migraine.

4 – We can be a bit reluctant to commit

Because Migraine threatens to interrupt the most trivial events on the biggest days of our lives, we’ve had to disappoint people by canceling things we really want to do. So, we might be vague.

If you sense a reluctance to make firm plans, it’s because we don’t want to let you down, buy tickets we can’t use, or trigger a migraine. We fear a migraine will, once again, disrupt our plans.

It’s not that I don’t want to go to the concert; it’s my Migraine.

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