Have you ever been told, “It’s not personal”? Personalization is a Thinking Trap that makes us believe that something is about us when it isn’t. Almost nothing is about us, but when you’re living with migraine, it’s sometimes so painful that many people start believing that migraine is some kind of punishment or curse. You might think that having migraine has something to do with who you are as a person – when in reality, it doesn’t.
When we personalize things and make things about us when they’re not, everything feels a lot more stressful than it needs to be.
Some examples of migraine-related personalization thoughts are:
- “I’m a weak person for not pushing through migraine attacks.”
- ”I don’t take good enough care of myself and bring on migraine attacks.”
- “I gained weight and made my migraine worse.”
Here’s something important to remind yourself of as much as you can: migraine is a neurological condition that can affect anyone. It affects a billion people around the world. You did not cause your migraine and you did not do anything to deserve it or the pain and symptoms or consequences on your life that it brings.
We’ll talk more about coping statements later on. But the next time you start to personalize your migraine – and make it into a characteristic or trait that’s personal to you instead of the disease that it is – try using more realistic coping statements to remind yourself that migraine is a neurological condition that’s indifferent to who it affects.
You might try saying to yourself:
- “It isn’t my fault that I have migraine.”
- “Having migraine doesn’t change who I am as a person.”
- “Having migraine doesn’t make me weak.”
- “I am more than this disease.”
Download the Juva app to get access to more self-guided CBT lessons that can help you learn how to manage the distress and disability that often accompany life with migraine. Juva’s innovative app uses your phone’s technology to measure your biometrics (like heart rate) while guiding you through evidence-based cognitive and behavioral strategies for migraine management.
Sign up for a FREE year of Juva Health today.