Hey guys, for my second post during Migraine Awareness Week I want to talk about mental health, now I am aware that this is a delicate subject, but this is definitely something we need to talk about, as far too many people are currently suffering in silence.
As many of you may be aware a lot of people, including celebrities and public figures are now shining a light on mental health, which is so very important and I completely support that. But today I want to focus on the mental wellbeing of people who are suffering from migraines and chronic pain.
I personally believe one of the worst parts of having this disease is how lonely it can be. I must admit I am incredibly lucky in the fact that I have always had an incredibly supportive family that have been there for me consistently throughout my journey, however when I was at my worst through my teenage years I lost a lot of friends. Please bear in mind though that for me this was over 10 years ago and there wasn't as much research or awareness regarding migraines and chronic pain as there is now, so a lot of my friends didn't actually understand what a migraine was or how debilitating it could be.
"Out of sight, out of mind"
There were a lot of times where I would not be able to go to a party or some other exciting event, because I suddenly had a migraine and would have to call up and cancel, unfortunately over time people stopped inviting me, as they assumed that I would drop out at the last minute. In all honesty at the time this did frustrate me as I lost many friends, but when I look back on it now I see that they were just kids who wanted to go out and have a good time (as did I) and they were able to, so should I really hold a grudge because they just wanted to enjoy themselves? No, of course not. And I do believe that the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is very true and if you aren’t at school regularly people are just going to forget about you, but not necessarily on purpose.
If you are struggling with your mental health, whether it’s suffering with migraines, chronic pain or maybe it’s some other illness, try and have a serious conversation with someone you trust and be honest about how you feel, or if you feel like that isn’t an option try talking to a professional or there is always a dedicated phone line that you can call such as Samaritans and remain anonymous. The less we talk about the things that are connected to a negative emotion the more likely we are to keep it in long term and usually that does far more harm than good. Especially if you suffer from migraines/chronic pain, as stress is a major trigger.
"Please ask for help, it doesn't make you weak"
Alternatively, if you can see that someone is struggling, try reaching out to them, they may reject your helpas they are not yet ready to talk, but they may also surprise you and truly appreciate your support, which may then help them to open up about how they are feeling. We live in a world that is so virtual now, with the internet and social media and with that comes a lot of negativity and people can be incredibly cruel over the internet, as you can remain completely anonymous. But I think we should all work together to try and make the internet and social media as positive a place as we can, because if we all work together maybe we can create a place that is safe for people to share their feelings without the fear of being made fun of, or their pain being used against them.
I want to leave this post on a positive note, so to everyone out there who is struggling, know that there are people out there who do care and I think it takes courage on both sides to confront these issues. If you need help, please reach out whether that be to a family member, friend, medical professional or a helpline, because you will be supported.
Live. Love. Be Happy.