Helping a Family Member With Migraines

If you know someone who gets migraines, you know how much it can affect their life. You might also feel like it’s hard to help them feel better. Here are some ways you can support them. 

Don’t Downplay Their Symptoms or Concerns

People who suffer from migraines will often encounter people who don’t think their migraines are “that bad,” or that they are making the symptoms seem worse. As well-meaning as you might be, make sure to avoid giving them advice like, “Just power through it.” To truly show that you care, believe your loved one when they tell you how their migraines affect them, and tell them you are there to help. 

Help Learn What Triggers Their Migraines

Even if you only spend a short amount of time with someone who gets migraines, it can mean a lot to them if you take the time to learn about their condition. While you don’t want to be intrusive, you can learn what situations they need to avoid in order to minimize their migraines. When those situations come up, you can be an advocate and help them excuse themselves.

Make a Plan, and Stick To It

As a family member of someone who gets migraines, you’ll probably be the person who sees them at the worst of their pain. In the moment, you might feel helpless to stop their suffering. While they are feeling well, take the time to make a plan for the next time they start feeling like a  migraine is coming on. Ask what you can do to change their environment, like dimming the lights and avoiding loud noises, as well as how you can support them emotionally. This will make things less confusing and stressful for you as you help them through their next episode.