“I still have to show up and drug up” – Migraines take a toll on Kiwis’ work and home lives

A qualitative survey of New Zealanders living with chronic or episodic migraines shows the deep toll the condition can take. One respondent said their broken elbow was less painful and debilitating than their migraines, while another said they don’t make social plans anymore because they can rarely see them through. Other respondents said they feel like they live with a “made-up illness”, and have to explain to people and the government how much it affects their ability to work and socialise. The researchers say that better understanding of migraines, and more support for those who experience them, are key.

Journal/conference: NZMJ

Organisation/s: University of Otago, Migraine Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand

Media release

From: Pasifika Medical Association Group

This study reports on a survey of 530 people that explored the impact of living with migraine in Aotearoa New Zealand. Almost half of respondents to the survey had severe migraine-related disability, indicating a significant impact on daily life. Migraine disease impacted on physical health, mental health, ability to work or study at full capacity, ability to engage and commit to social activities and led people to spend much time and money on trying to find a “cause” or “cure”, which was often fruitless. Improved support for people with migraine is needed, including more awareness and education about migraine disease, recognition of migraine as a complex, disabling neurological condition, more flexible and accommodating work and education, better support for people unable to work full-time or at all and increased access to effective treatment options.


Leave a Comment