There was a new study that demonstrated chronic migraine impact lives more so than episodic migraine. Shocking, I know. And they expected this difference in impact. What they didn’t expect was the extent of the gap. I could have told them from just experience. We all could have. We all know the distance we have travelled from episodic to high episodic to chronic and what we lost along the way.

Text: The impact of chronic migraine more than expected
Title: Chronic migraine and impact study
Image: computerized image of face with brain inside surrounded by sphere all in blue

“The outcome was staggering,” Murray says. “The results were expected but not to the degree that they occurred in terms of people with chronic migraine.” American Migraine foundation

Researchers surveyed people with migraine about their relationships, careers and finances. They found chronic migraine patients were twice as likely to say that all aspects of their lives were affected, compared with episodic migraine patients.

“The message is loud and clear: migraine can disrupt all important aspects of our lives.” she says. Many people relate to this finding, but it’s significant that researchers are studying the effects of migraine and determining its impact. American Migraine foundation

I don’t get how the outcome was so staggering. I would have assumed chronic migraine to have the impact it does. Maybe because it Ruins lives. And yes the message is clear it disrupts and ruins all aspects of our lives and the more frequent the migraine the more severe the impact. Period.

A total of 13,064 respondents (episodic migraine: 11,944 [91.4%]; chronic migraine: 1120 [8.6%]) provided valid data.

Migraine can negatively affect many important aspects of life including marital, parenting, romantic and family relationships, career/financial achievement and stability, and overall health. Reported burden was consistently greater among those with chronic migraine than among people with episodic migraine; however, few differences were seen between the sexes.

Life With Migraine: Effects on Relationships, Career, and Finances From the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study.

Clearly, we look at this study and we think DUH. The more migraines one has per month the more Impact one has in their life Overall. And even high frequency episodic has a high impact. And certainly chronic or daily chronic has a severe impact on every facet of one’s life.

This isn’t about pain. Because pain with episodic migraine is just as severe and just as disruptive in one’s day. I remember being episodic back in the day, way back in the day. I would crash, hide in the dark and silence and sleep it off. Take a triptan and do the same. The pain was intense and Nonfunctional pain and Intolerable. And yeah it interrupted that day for sure. I’m not going to belittle that experience because the pain sucks no matter how you look at it.

It is just that when it doesn’t disrupt one’s life frequently it will not often affect a relationship, parently, finances, career and overall health… but when you have chronic migraine of 15 OR more a month it certainly does that and more. It is basically chronic pain and the impact is felt in all aspects of life.

Migraine impact.png

If we look at this study done in 1999 we can see just some of the impact right there. The difference is it doesn’t split up episodic and chronic migraine.

I can say from personal experience when I developed chronic migraine it impacted:

  • My relationship and family
  • My capacity to socialize
  • My mental health (depression and suicidal ideation)
  • Stress at work and discrimination and stigma
  • Financial instability- unpaid leaves of absence, went down to part-time and then disabled.
  • Work instability- presenteeism, absenteeism, frequent leaves of absence
  • Disability and loss of career

The impact isn’t something to be underestimated when it comes to chronic migraine. I was daily and am close to daily now (damn near it). And how one would think we could just function and go on as normal without a profound impact on our lives astounds me.

And like I said High Epsidoic has basically the Same impact as chronic migraine:

high episodic and chronic

So basically the line is once you get to around over 10 migraines a month (high episodic) we can begin to see some serious impact on one’s life. And in my experience this is valid. I was high episodic for some time before I became chronic. And then I sort waffled between chronic and high episodic before I became daily and chronic.

Migraine just sucks. It sucks when it is infrequent. It sucks when it gets frequent. And it sucks when it is chronic. It just spreads its impact around a lot more the more frequent they get. It does a lot more damage to one’s life. I always hated migraine disease for that fact. There is just something about that type of pain and those neurological symptoms that cannot be pushed through, ignored or bypassed. So whether you like it, or not, it will screw you over. Fight it all you want it will ruin you slowly or quickly but it will do it. I know that sounds dramatic but, damn, when I look back at the impact of migraine disease alone on my life, yeah, it destroys, man. It just trashes the whole thing even as you try to hold the pieces together. Other conditions do not quite do that. Or not for me anyway. My fibromyalgia never did that once I coped and adapted to it. Migraine disease came along and shredded everything I had made for myself. Sad really. But such is life. One does have to accept the nature of pain and chronic pain. Accept the impact. Accept what one can do and what one simply cannot. And migraine does teach that, often the hard and brutal way. And sometimes more than once, because I am stubborn as all hell.

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3 thoughts on “Chronic migraine and impact study

  1. Oy. I wake up with a very foggy slow brain. Sometimes accompanied by a headache (one doc told me that migraine means headache). The headache generally disappears after being up for a few hours. These morning headaches are more neck tension headaches. Knocking on wood that I’ve not had a migraine in awhile. I’m so sorry you do.


    1. Sometimes migraines don’t have a headache. You could still be getting silent migraines which can cause all those neurological symptoms but without really the intense headache side of the deal. I have had those before. But maybe not, eh? Hard to say. I am hoping Aimovig will help with my migraines. I mean not hoping so much that all my hope is on it but hoping enough that it works and I can get some relief.

      Liked by 1 person

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