Yesterday was the last day of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM). It's been a wonderful month full of learning, sharing, and raising awareness about the Headache disorders that disrupt so many lives.
The only bad thing about MHAM is that once it's over, we tend to let up on the learning, sharing, and awareness until MHAM rolls around next year. Many of us take an 11-month break. The problem with that is that our Migraines and Headaches do NOT take a break. We don't get an 11-month break from the pain and other symptoms. Nor do we get a break from the varying levels of disability these disorders cause OR the social stigma associated with them.
It may sound a bit odd, but I propose that every YEAR be Migraine and Headache Awareness Year (MHAY). We can use Awareness Month as a time of coming together, getting new information — new ammunition, if you will, sharing awareness ideas, and charging our batteries for MHAY.
MHAY might sound like a lot of work, but it really isn't. When done on a regular basis, raising awareness becomes automatic. If you stop and think about it for a minute, you may find that you're already doing it to some extent. Here are some things that can be done easily and quickly to help raise awareness:
- When you see good Migraine and Headache information online, share it. This can be accomplished with Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing a link.
- Incorporate more purple in your wardrobe. People will notice, and when they do, you can explain that it's our awareness color.
- Don't hide your Migraines or Headaches. They're true biological diseases and disorders, and they're nothing to be ashamed of. Stigma has caused some of us to try to hide them, but that only perpetuates the stigma.
Increased public awareness can make live better and easier for all of us, but if we sit back and leave raising awareness to others, progress will be very slow and limited.
I hope you'll join me in celebrating Migraine and Headache Awareness Year — this year and every year!
because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"