Telling your employer and coworkers that you have migraines is a difficult and personal decision. Only you can decide if you want to share this information about your health.
Why is it difficult to talk about migraines at work?
Migraines affect about 38 million people in the United States. That’s about 12% of the population. But many people still do not understand the condition. You might worry that your employer and coworkers will think you “just have a bad headache,” are lazy, or fake your symptoms to skip work.
If you have migraines, you might:
- Feel guilty about missing work or for being less alert and productive when you have a migraine
- Worry about what your employer and coworkers will think if you tell them you get migraines
- Have to talk to your employer to ask that migraine “triggers” be removed from your work area
Why would I want to tell my employer or coworkers?
- The quality of your work might not be as good as usual because of migraines; it might help if your employer understands this
- If you cannot remove all of the migraine triggers in your work area by yourself, you might need your employer’s help or permission to remove them
- If you have to leave work often because of migraines, you might want or need to tell your employer or coworkers why
Research shows that telling your employer about migraines can help you cope better. Talking about migraines with your employer can include describing your migraine symptoms and how you handle them. It can also include telling your employer or coworkers that you are working with a healthcare provider to prevent and control migraines.