It’s not just a bad headache: Migraines can take over your life

Migraines are NOT just bad headaches. They disrupt people’s lives. They take people away from work, from their families, from their social lives. They cause immense pain, a loss of appetite, dizziness and photophobia. 

For Ciara O’ Rourke, migraine patient and mum-of-three, her symptoms leave her with a severe throbbing headache, a pain that feels like a heaviness on her head that leaves her struggling to lift her head during an attack.

“I get a severe throbbing headache, nausea and vomiting, photophobia (sensitivity to light), lack of appetite and sensitivity to noise. As you can imagine those symptoms impact on all aspects of my life but one of the toughest ones for me is the nausea and vomiting as I can get quite severe bouts of my attack which can last three days. I also have young children, so I hate when they see me sick or I need to be away from them resting. It’s so difficult to not be able to spend time with them.”


Ciara explained that migraines are a lot more severe than people believe. “Migraine has affected my whole life. As a mum of three, having migraines means that it can sometimes be hard to look after my children. Thankfully, I have my husband who is a fantastic support system to me and he rows in where he can. In terms of my social life, it can be hard to meet friends and family and it’s hard to make plans because you never know when a migraine attack will occur. 

Ciara has been experiencing migraines since her early twenties and she’s tired of people claiming they’re simply just bad headaches, because they’re so much more than that. A study by Teva recently found that 40 percent of people believe migraine to be ‘just a bad headache’

This statistic shocked Ciara, “I know first-hand what it’s like to live with migraine and with 1 in 7 Irish people suffering from migraine, you’d think that there would be a better understanding around the condition but the awareness just isn’t there. 

She stressed, “That’s why this campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals is so important. We want to drive awareness of the condition and hopefully reduce stigma associated with it.”

"Over the years I’ve had people who didn’t understand the full effects of migraine and assumed it was ‘just a bad headache’. I certainly have had people say to me that I should just get over it and that I was just overreacting to a headache. I am lucky that the people who know me best understand the true nature of migraines. My hope is that through this Teva campaign, we can create more awareness around migraine so that more people can understand what it is really like. Hopefully more people will begin to understand what migraine sufferers really experience and they won’t be so quick to judge."

If you are suffering with migraines, it is important to talk to your GP and get a referral to a Constultant Neurologist so that they can assess your needs properly. 

Teva launched their migraine awareness campaign this week. You can find out more about it here.