Jill Dehlin, a board member of the National Headache Foundation, is hard to miss with a bold purple streak in her hair. Purple is the color of Migraine disease, and she uses her hair as a vessel to talk to people about the disease and raise awareness. Over 40 million Americans suffer from migraines. These aren't your run-of-the-mill typical headaches, they come with nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light, and can put you out of commission for hours.
Migraines disease lives in our DNA, which is why not everyone gets them. It is also largely hereditary, so if you have them, someone else in your family most likely does as well. Dehlin says it's the second most debilitating condition on the planet and the most debilitating among people who are child-bearing age.
"Migraine is not just a headache, it's a complete total body experience where people will have nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, dizziness, trouble processing language....there is so much more to migraine than just a headache," she says.
If you don't get migraines but want to offer support for someone who does, Dehlin says the best thing you can do is believe the person when they tell you what they're going through.
"We're not faking it, we're not trying to get out of responsibilities...there's nothing more that we would like to do than have our lives back," she says.