Migraines impact millions of men, women, and children in this country. But there’s also a forgotten group of people; family members who live with migraine sufferers. Adolescents, in particular, are impacted the most with many reporting higher rates of anxiety.
Learning Difficulties and Anxiety
A new study shows that older children who live with parents with chronic migraine were more than twice as likely to report difficulties concentrating at school. They were also almost twice as likely to have moderate to severe anxiety.
Given this impact, doctors like Dawn C. Buse, PhD, associate professor of neurology, stresses the importance of migraine treatment for parents with children:
“Parents should be aware that their condition may be emotionally affecting their adolescents,” adding: “Parents should talk openly with them about what they are experiencing and what to expect for their parent in terms of symptoms and treatment.
Migraine Treatment is a “Must”
For people living with a chronic illness, like migraine, or caring for someone with a chronic illness, it is common to experience feelings of depression and anxiety. The good news: These are treatable conditions.
While it’s up to the parents to seek proper treatment for the migraine and/or chronic illness, doctors recommend that moms and dads do everything they can to help calm and reassure their children. During migraine episodes, or doing ongoing treatment, specialists encourage parents to remain calm, and engage in safe coping behavior. Remember, children often take cues from parents as to how to react to a situation.
Routine and Communication are Key
Children should also be given information, ideally before an attack or between attacks, when the parent is best able to have a sit-down discussion. Consistent household routines should be maintained as much as possible.
Pasadena Pain Management recommends a two-pronged approach: one is to manage the migraine itself head-on; and secondly, provide support for all family members who may be affected.