In The News

Hidden Pain: Migraine Stigma at Work Is a Big Problem

Chef leaning against a wall, distraught.

An excerpt from the, Hidden Pain: Migraine Stigma at Work Is a Big Problem, written by Angie Glaser.

“A large poll shows more than half of Americans miss work due to Migraine, but they often don’t tell their bosses the truth. Discover the impact of Migraine stigma at work.

“Migraine in the workplace is hiding in plain sight,” commented Paula K. Dumas, Managing Editor of Migraine Again at the Spotlight on Migraine Disorders in the Workplace event in Scottsdale, Arizona. She explained: “People with Migraine do their best to hide their attacks because they fear discrimination or demotion — their bosses have no idea what they’re battling.” Ms. Dumas spent twenty-two years working with Migraine in Fortune 500 companies including Disney, Apple, and CNN.

More than half of Americans say they miss work or school due to Migraine or headache. But only 42% of those who miss work tell their bosses or supervisors that Migraine is the cause of calling in sick.

Why not? Because most people think their bosses won’t accept Migraine or headache as a valid reason to call out.

Migraine Is Incredibly Disabling

Researchers strongly disagree. Migraine is the leading cause of disability in people under age 50, according to a large study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain earlier this year (1). And yet, thanks to social stigma, those who lie about why they call out sick may have good reason to do so.

While most managers (57 percent) view migraines as a good reason for missing work, 38 percent were less amenable, saying migraines either only sometimes justify calling in sick or don’t justify it at all. Managers were even tougher on headaches: While 43 percent responded that headaches could be severe enough to justify calling in sick to work, 53 percent said “no” or “sometimes” to the issue (2).

Interestingly, men were more likely than women to miss work due to Migraine or headache but were less likely to tell their bosses why. ”

Continue with the full article here.