You missed work because you had a migraine. Which do you get from your employer and co-workers: support or suspicious looks?
Migraine is disabling
According to the World Health Organization
According to a Canadian survey on 1202 employees
Migraine is a leading cause of absenteeism (missed work days)
Migraine should be a top priority for employers and disability insurance companies. It is a significant cause of lost productivity in the workplace.
Migraine is a leading cause of presenteeism (being at work but not able to function)
A study done in the US on presenteeism showed that migraine was more costly than 20 other conditions including depression, back pain, diabetes and asthma (Allen). According to a canadian survey, people with chronic migraine report an average of 40 days of presenteeism per year.
A few statements heard in the clinic include:
Migraine is stigmatized and not recognized as a medical cause of disability
According to an interesting study on stigma related to migraine and epilepsy, people with chronic migraine were more stigmatized than people with epilepsy and episodic migraine. Stigma was directly related to ability to work. (Young)
The «Blue Book» of official diseases leading to disability in the US does not include migraine. The consequence: patients disabled by chronic migraine have to use mental health diseases to claim disability recognition. The process to obtain disability recognized is difficult and requires a lot of collaboration from treating physicians. Considering the data provided by the World Health Organization, is this fair and reasonable?
Breaking the stigma will start with education and sharing.
What could Migraine Canada do about this?
Read the studies cited on this page