Posts tagged “not tonight”

Please visit me at home; everything is too much

The disability associated with severe cases of migraine extends far beyond days spent in bed. Online, people talk about the ways that migraine has rendered them housebound. Driving, for instance, can be difficult; shifting lights trigger migraines and drug side effects cause clumsiness. People with migraine stay home because they fear perfumes or other foreign […]

If you need so much help, why aren’t you asking for it?

In 2010, after a great deal of lobbying by an influential group of headache specialists, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a workshop on headache research that included a small group of people representing stakeholders in headache medicine: representatives from various NIH institutes, various headache organizations, headache specialists, researchers, and patient advocates. The meeting […]

I’ll wear the slinky dress and give up my art if you’ll invest in migraine research

In general, online communities embrace the biomedicalization of migraine, perhaps even more than their  doctors do, in the service of legitimating migraine as a socially sanctioned disease — since they extend the  neurobiological paradigm beyond what biomedical evidence currently supports. They do so because they believe that the neurobiological model is capable of remaking public […]

Double disruption

Pain obliterates identity, but the loss of identity in chronic illness isn’t simply a function of pain. It is also a result of constant gaslighting about the experience of your own body. Pain is a mysterious and terrifying force. It makes sense that pain destroys us. Being told by a loved one that you are […]

Migraine may affect my personality, but my personality didn’t give me migraine

Anna Eidt wrote recently about the “migraine personality,” an old and sexist idea that still influences how migraines are perceived and treated. It’s a succinct discussion and debunking of the idea. The “migraine personality” was coined in the early 20th century not long after Victorian doctors thought migraine to be a purely psychosomatic phenomenon. Headache researcher Harold […]

Duality

For headache specialists, reducing the disorder to a specific mechanism in the brain doesn’t just relieve the symptoms of migraine [referring to development of Imitrex]; it also targets the stigma associated with it by shifting responsibility for the pain away from a weak or neurotic personality toward a body over which the patient has no […]

Headache medicine’s problems with legitimacy persist despite the “discovery” of a neurobiological mechanism underlying migraine. For while the emphasis on the brain does somewhat mitigate migraine’s association with psychosomatic, feminized personalities, locating migraine in the brain also managed to inscribe gendered cultural assumptions about the personalities of headache patients into the physical structure of their […]