The burden of migraine, and particularly chronic migraine, is clearly shown in these results. One of the survey respondents summed it up in these words:
“As a single parent, losing work days to migraine causes financial strain and low mood due to feeling inadequate and unreliable to my colleagues. The toll migraine headaches take on a person's mental health is devastating and severely overlooked. You feel useless and worthless because you can't provide. Even completing daily household tasks can be challenging when you feel so unwell. It's very isolating when you have chronic migraines that keep you shut away in the dark and in silence. Your self worth takes a dive.” (Māori female, aged 35-44 years)
Chronic migraine can take an enormous toll and more needs to be done, to support people with chronic migraine, those that depend on them and those that care for them. It’s 2023 and an election is looming. This is the time to listen to what the politicians are promising and ask searching questions – who is committed to funding the medications and health services that we and others with health issues need access to? Who will ensure workplaces and employers are willing and able to provide flexibility and accommodations to people with migraine? Who will speak out against the stigma of diseases like migraine which are poorly understood and often trivialised? Who will pledge to increase migraine research in New Zealand?