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Australian National Headache and Migraine Awareness Week

on September 16, 2014

This week, is an important week for me, it is not one that I have known about in the past but the 15-21 September is National Headache and Migraine Awareness Week in Australia. The week has been run by Headache Australia which is a branch off the Brain Foundation. There are various types and causes of headaches, cluster, tension, migraine, hormone headaches and ones that are triggered by situations, smells, foods or the environment.

I have suffered from Daily Persistant Headaches for as long as I can remember, mum thinks that they started way back when I was in primary school, and I am 22 now. I didn’t really notice my headaches that much until I left school and had the long breaks once I started uni. I think it is the concept that my mind was consistently occupied with the 8:30 – 3:15 routine of school that I didn’t really notice them as much. Now that I am on my own majority of time, besides the few hours at uni at work I can really notice them.

You might be thinking but Nat its just a headache? It can’t be that bad? Well, I want you to remember the last time you had a headache, remember that dull, tight, achy feeling or that sharp, stabbing pain that you feel in the back of your head, you take panadol for it and the pain subsides. Now imagine if that pain was always there, sometimes on a varying pain scale, no amount of drugs or alternative therapies assist in the treatment of them.

That is what I am dealing with, it is a matter of waking up with the pain, attempting to perform daily tasks with the pain, then something aggravates it and makes it a whole lot worse and then I go to bed with the pain. It affects many aspects of my life. It affects my concentration levels whilst I am at uni and my ability to function and do simple daily activities like go to the shops for an extended period of time, concentrate on an assignment, even daily chores can really be affected or spend a night out with friends. Having headaches affects your whole being, it affects your spirituality, it affects your self-esteem and self-belief that you are able to undertake a task, it affects the relationships with people. It can affect how you behave in daily situations because instead of being able to function normally its strikes you down at any time or is always there and when becomes unbearable then your whole demeanor changes.

There is a great lack of knowledge and misunderstanding around headaches and the causes as well as treatments, especially in the development of the new daily persistent headache. Headaches are invisible to the outside world, only those who know you or those that you tell know that you suffer from headache. Hopefully this week will raise awareness for those that do suffer from headaches to give them options as well as those that do not have an understanding of how headaches can affect the daily functioning of someone if it is something that they suffer with over an extended period of time.

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