There is extensive literature published on migraine pain dealing with its effects on the individual, with little information of its effects on the entire family. A nationwide study concluded that 60% of sufferers believed that their families were significantly affected. Most stated that their families were understanding, but a considerable number reported that family members took a negative attitude.
Dr. Robert Smith, MD of the Department of Family Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, reports in Headache Journal that researchers found that headache sufferers “frequently experience a sense of isolation and guilt toward their spouses and children…family members can experience confusion, anger and frustration in their attempts to help… (and) often wonder whether sufferers fake or exaggerate their headache pain or use the pain as a ‘tool’ to control others in the family. A pilot study involving three different groups of families, one group with migraines, a second group with chronic back pain and a third group who were pain-free. Families with migraine showed “less openness in expressing feelings, less spontaneity, and also less room for unsanctioned expression of criticism or annoyance.”

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