The Headache Disease & Migraine Disease Language & Image Guide is a collaborative effort of the headache, migraine and cluster patient advocacy community.
Its purpose is to help people who communicate about headache diseases to do so in a more accurate, informed and empathetic manner. Let’s treat these conditions and the people living with them with the seriousness and care they deserve.
Language and imagery play a vital role in how we understand the world. Too often, language and images used regarding headache diseases disparage and belittle people living with these conditions. The language and images label them as weak, lazy, helpless or victims. This creates shame and stigma that illegitimately justifies the notion that people living with headache, migraine or cluster diseases should be ignored or marginalized. This, in turn, affects the resources society makes available to support their pain and disability.
By changing the words and pictures we use for headache diseases, we change how these conditions are perceived and treated.
We do not intend this guide to be used to shame anyone for the language they use. Rather, the guide educates those unaware of our rights and preferences.
Language is constantly evolving. We plan to periodically update this guide so it reflects the latest preferences of the headache disease community.