Migraines: A Complex Disorder Essay

2477 words - 10 pages

Migraines: A Complex Disorder

If I can only make it to my bed, I'll be fine. My head hurts terribly. I would do anything to stop the pain. I've taken three extra strength Tylenols and the pain hasn't diminished at all. My head is spinning. Ever so often, the world around me turns dim and then bright. I close my eyes. I need to lie down, but I am driving. I feel nauseous. The pain that started on one side of my head is spreading as it pulsates. I squeeze my head and rub my temples, but the pain remains. I wish for a lobotomy. I wish somebody could stop the pain. I'm home. I run to my room. I tie a rag tightly around my head. It doesn't help. I press my head against a wall. I feel like vomiting again. I know relief is coming soon. I pass out. I am a Migraineur, and have been ever since I can remember.

Migraine headaches are a type of vascular headache that affects 28 million
Americans, 75 percent of whom are women
1) "http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/pubs/migraineupdate.htm">National
Institute of Health, a good source of general information on migraine headaches.
Annually, migraines cost the American taxpayers $13 billion in missed work and reduced
1) "http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/pubs/migraineupdate.htm">National
Institute of Health, a good source of general information on migraine headaches.
Migraines are not a disorder unique to overworked Americans. In fact, the World Health
Organization identified migraine among the world's top 20 leading causes of disability name="2">2) "http://www.w-h-a.org/wha/info.asp">World Health Alliance, a source of current articles about migraine headaches. According to the World Health Organization, aside from the physiological experience of the headache for the individual whom it affects, there exists the "burden" of the migraine. In particular, this burden includes "the economic and emotional difficulties that family experiences as a result of migraine" name="2">2) "http://www.w-h-a.org/wha/info.asp">World Health Alliance, a source of current articles about migraine headaches. According to one report, migraine headaches account for 1.4% of total years of life lost due to disability in both sexes of all ages name="2">2) "http://www.w-h-a.org/wha/info.asp">World Health Alliance, a source of current articles about migraine headaches. Despite all this data, migraines are not considered by many to be a legitimate medical problem.

Migraine headaches, as previously noted, are not unique to Americans, nor are they an exclusively modern disorder. In fact, there exists a rich body of historical literature that demonstrates the progression of mankind's knowledge of the headache from the "magical to the molecular level" 3) "http://archneur.ama
assn.org/issues/v57n8/ffull/nhn8476.html">Archives of Neurology, provides a historical perspective on topics related to neurology. Five thousand years ago, Mesopotamian physicians were not in the practice of...

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