Migraine Awareness Month and #ShadesForMigraine Day

June is National Migraine Awareness Month on a purple background with a purple awareness ribbon

Happy Monday, book people. Normally, I post about books or bookish things on this blog. Today, I’m doing something a little different. For those that have followed this blog for a while, you might recall that I periodically state that my reading (and sometimes writing of reviews) gets interrupted by severe migraine episodes. Although I’ve been dealing with migraine for 42 years, I am now what is classified as a chronic migraineur. Chronic migraine is defined as 15+ migraine days per month and it is estimated that at 4 million people have chronic migraine. Sadly, I’m in that small percentage of chronic migraineurs that actually experiences a headache every single day (yes, every day for 15 years now).

Migraine impacts more than you know and is much more than a headache. People with migraine often have a second chronic disease such as depression/anxiety, autoimmune disorders, IBS, or fibromyalgia. It is estimated that 90% of people with migraine have a family history of migraine disease. Migraine is the number one cause of disability for women between 25-50 years of age. Migraine is actually an umbrella term representing a genetic, multisystem neurological disorder known for headaches, but migraine can also affect mood, gastrointestinal function, balance, sleep, cause facial pain and more.

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (along with Pride Month and Caribbean Heritage Month). And today, June 21st is #ShadesForMigraine Day. I am taking part in #ShadesForMigraine because in addition to head pain, I also suffer from severe light sensitivity issues as do most migraine sufferers. (In addition to light sensitivity, I also deal with noise sensitivity, smell sensitivity, nausea, vertigo, and allodynia [extreme sensitivity to touch especially my hair].) Raising awareness for this debilitating disease is easy! I’m challenging my blog readers to take part today, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Wear your shades on June 21
  • Post a photo wearing your shades on social media with #ShadesForMigraine
  • Spread the word and challenge three others to take part too!

Here are a few headache and migraine facts for you to consider:

  1. 60 million people with migraine in the United States
    (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2019)
  2. Cluster headache is the most painful condition someone can have
    (Burish et al., 2020, #)
  3. 9 million – 30 million people in the United States have New Daily Persistent Headache
    (NDPH) (Yamani & Olesen, 2019, #)
  4. Migraine is the 2nd leading cause of global disability
    (GBD, 2017)
  5. People with cluster headache are 20% more likely than average to experience suicidal ideation
    (Koo et al., 2021)
  6. Headache disorders often disable without head pain (e.g. sensory, vertigo, GI, cognition)

Burish, M. J., Pearson, S. M., Shapiro, R. E., Zhang, W., & Schor, L. I. (2020, December 18). Cluster headache is one of the most intensely painful human conditions: Results from the International Cluster Headache Questionnaire. Headache. 10.1111/-head.14021

GBD. (2017). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Globacl Burden of Disease Study. Lancet, 390, 1211-1259.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. (2019). GBD Compare. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/#

Koo, B. B., Bayoumi, A., Albanna, A., Abusuliman, M., Burrone, L., Sico, J. J., & Schindler, E. A. D. (2021, April 20). Demoralization predicts suicidality in patients with cluster headache. Journal of Headache Pain, 22(1), 28. 10.1186/s10194-021-01241-7

Yamani, N., & Olesen, J. (2019). New daily persistent headache: a systematic review on an enigmatic disorder. Lancet, 20(80). https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-019-1022-z#:~:text=The%20prevalence%20of%20NDPH%20estimated,in%20some%20has%20migraine%20features.


If you or a loved one has migraine and you’d like more information, please visit https://shadesformigraine.org for links to a number of national and international migraine and headache partners. Other sites to visit for migraine information include, but aren’t limited to: https://migraine.com/, https://migrainedisease.org, https://headachemigraine.org, and https://migrainedisorders.org.

Happy Reading, y’all!