What links Elvis, Albert Einstein, Ryan Giggs and Hugh Jackman?
All men and all got migraine.
But wait, men don’t get migraine, right?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that. The focus tends to be towards women. The data shows that women are more likely to get migraines; 18% of women compared to 8% of men.
So potentially men may be less likely to migraines. That’s less men. Not NO men.
In the UK alone that means 2,480,000 men who have migraine.
That’s no small potatoes.
the myth that men don’t get migraine
Yet still the myth persists that men don’t get migraine. It’s just a women’s thing. That may be part of the problem. Men are more likely to be undiagnosed with migraine.
As a man, are you less likely to go see your doctor? Do you feel comfortable reaching out for help? Perhaps you don’t think the pain and symptoms you get are migraine? Migraine is often mistaken as sinus headache.
Now, there is a heap of misunderstanding and plain prejudice against migraine.
Just over a third of migraine sufferers face difficulties or discrimination at work because of their condition, The Migraine Trust, 2004
People fortunate not to suffer migraine can think that you’re weak, you’re just putting it on, that you should just ‘man-up’.
Somehow, if you’re a woman those things are supposed to be OK. But not for a man.
Man-up. What a stupid thing that is to say. What’s that even supposed to mean?
That as a man you should suffer migraine with quiet dignity? Here’s what someone is really saying when they tell you to man-up:
“Don’t show me your vulnerability because I’m too afraid to see it. I’m too afraid to recognise and acknowledge my own vulnerability. Because I believe vulnerability means weakness”.
Vulnerability is not weakness. It is a place of strength.
It’s a place where you get to say I need help. I’m struggling with this pain. With this disruption to my life. Without vulnerability there can be no kindness. Without kindness to yourself you’ll continue to suffer alone.
If you’re not sure what those pains and weird symptoms of nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, weepy eye and sensitivity to light are here’s what to do.
First, go see your doctor.
Tell them exactly what you experience. They need that information from you to help you. Pretending things aren’t as bad as they truly are is no use to anyone. Least of all you.
Second, begin keeping a migraine journal.
Keep only a brief notes of symptoms you have; they should not be the main focus of your migraine journal. Instead focus on how your day has been. How long you slept, what you did and most importantly how you felt (yep, those emotions things).
This is where you’ll find the real gems of information to help you begin getting a handle on your migraine.