How to get help with your migraine

Who can help

You shouldn’t have to deal with migraine by yourself.

There are people who can help you when you have a migraine attack. They can also help you manage your migraine and reduce the impact it has on your life.

Here’s who can help and how.

Your mum, dad and carer can help you

  • How they can help when you are having a migraine attack
  • Depending on where you are, they could help you by finding you somewhere to sit or lie down, or collecting you and bringing you home. They could get you something to eat and drink if you are hungry or thirsty.
  • If you need it, and don’t want to give it to yourself, they can give you medication for your migraine.
  • How they can help when you aren’t having a migraine attack
  • They can help you understand your migraine. This can be by helping you work out if you have any migraine triggers, the type of migraine you have, how long your migraine attacks are and how often you get them.
  • They can then help you manage your migraine by trying to avoid certain triggers (such as making sure that you have enough water to drink if being dehydrated gives you a migraine) or preparing you for when you have migraine attacks.
  • They can talk to you about your migraine and how you feel about it.
  • They can also help you explain your migraine to other people so that they can help you. This could be telling your school about your migraine and how it can help you manage it. It can also be by taking you to a doctor to see what is the best way to manage your migraine – although you can go by yourself too.

A medical professional can help you

  • How they can help when you are having a migraine attack
  • A medical professional can give you medication to help end a migraine attack. This is known as acute medication.
  • This medication can be given to you by a GP or a pharmacist.
  • How they can help when you aren’t having a migraine attack
  • A medical professional can officially diagnose your migraine and help identify the type of migraine you have.
  • They can assess what they think is the best medication to help you manage your migraine. This can be acute medication for when you have a migraine attack, but it could also be medication to help prevent you having migraine attacks in the first place.
  • If you think it would help, they can also provide a letter for your school, college or employer that states you have been diagnosed with migraine and how it affects you. It could also state the medication you take.

Your school and college can help you

  • How they can help when you are having a migraine attack
  • They can help you feel as comfortable as possible when you are having a migraine attack. This could be by finding you somewhere to sit or lie down at school and college or by arranging for you to go home if you need to.
  • If you take medication for your migraine, your school can give it to you, but your mum, dad or carers will need to speak to them about this first and agree a plan.
  • How they can help when you aren’t having a migraine attack
  • Depending on your migraine and its triggers, there might be some things that your school can do to help avoid certain triggers (such as allowing you to have a bottle of water on your desk if being dehydrated gives you a migraine).
  • Your school can help if your migraine means that you have missed a lot of lesson time or if it makes it harder to do school work and study. This help could be materials to catch up on work missed, extra tuition, and sometimes more time to do assessments.
  • Your school can also help you tell other students in your school about migraine if you think they don’t understand it properly.

Your employer can help you

  • How they can help when you are having a migraine attack
  • They can help you feel as comfortable as possible when you are having a migraine attack. This could be by finding you somewhere to sit or lie down at work or by arranging for you to go home if you need to.
  • How they can help when you aren’t having a migraine attack
  • Depending on your migraine and its triggers, there might be some things that your employer can do to help avoid certain triggers. These are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’ and are often small changes but which can have a significant impact on your ability to do your job. The adjustments that a person needs vary depending on the nature of the job and the workplace but common adjustments include working near a window to reduce exposure to artificial light or being allowed to have a water bottle where you work so that you can stay hydrated (you can read more about how to manage migraine at work here).
  • Your employer can also help you tell other people in your work about migraine if you think they don’t understand it properly.

Do you need help telling them?

It’s not always easy to explain your migraine to other people. Here’s how you can explain migraine to other people and how it affects you.