Today is Cluster Headache Awareness Day. Cluster Headache is often referred to as “Suicide Headache” because the attacks are so severe that many choose to take their lives to end the pain. Patients with Cluster say the pain is worse than anything they’ve ever felt, including gunshot wounds, broken bones, and unmedicated childbirth. Many are misdiagnosed with Migraine, sinus problems, or mental illness and suffer for years. While treatments for Cluster overlap with Migraine to some degree, the most effective abortive is rather unusual. High-flow oxygen, delivered at a rate of 15 lpm for 20-30 minutes aborts a Cluster attack for about 80 percent of patients.
Cluster patients live “by the numbers”
- Cluster affects 1 in 1,000.
- It takes an average of 8 years to accurate diagnosis
- Attacks occur 1 to 8 times per day.
- Attacks last 15 minutes to 3 hours.
- 15 lpm high-flow oxygen aborts attacks.
- Severity can be 8 to 10 on a 10-point scale.
- Some have pain-free breaks longer than 3 months.
- Others never get a break at all.
- 47% seriously consider suicide to escape the pain. Too many succeed.
- There is NO cure.
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month isn’t just about Migraine. There are millions of people living with debilitating headache disorders. They are misunderstood, marginalized, and misdiagnosed, yet they possess the courage to keep on fighting.
- If you, or someone you love, has Cluster Headache, tell us about your experience.
- If not, think about what it would be like to live with a headache disorder that has fewer effective treatments and is even more stigmatized that Migraine. How would you cope?
Want to know more about Cluster Headache?
Visit our friends at Cluster Headache Support Group!
Ways to participate
- Share this post on your social media profiles. Personalize the post by sharing your response to today’s challenge.
- Respond to the challenge by commenting below.
- Write a blog post, responding to today’s challenge. When published, share the link to your post in the comments below and we’ll promote your blog’s participation in the #MHAM2018 Social Media Challenge.
- Don’t forget to invite your friends to take the #MHAM2018 Social Media Challenge, too!
Want to know more?
- View the full list of this year’s daily challenges.
- Discover the history of National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month