My last friendship did not end well because one of my friends did not understand my migraines and she thought they could be easily treated through medication. Instead of asking me for more information about my disability she assumed Hydrocephalus wasn’t a thing and called me psycho and accused me of making up a disability that did not exist. Hydrocephalus is a when there is too much cerebrospinal in the brain and although headache medication may help with preventing headaches and making them less severe it is not the most common treatment. The most common treatment for Hydrocephalus is to insert a tube called a shunt to help remove excess fluid in the brain and relieve pressure.
Hydrocephalus not only affects about eighty-percent of people with Spina Bifida but according to the Hydrocephalus Association over 100,000 in the United States live with Hydrocephalus so you don’t have to have Spina Bifida to be affected by it. Sometimes when your disability is invisible it can be difficult to explain to your friends because your disability may not be as obvious as many others and can be difficult to explain but telling someone it does not exist is hurtful. Disabled people often times are accused of either faking their disability or making one up so if you are struggling with getting your friends to believe that your disability is legitimate here are a few things you can do that may help convince your friends that your disability is real.
Educate-Before you even think about cutting all ties with your friends because of a hurtful thing they said regarding your disability why not try to educate them about it. Sometimes when your friends say hurtful things like your psycho and your disability doesn’t exist it is because they are uneducated about your disability and they legitimately have never heard of it before. Explaining to your friends that what they said was hurtful and giving them a little bit more information about your disability may help bring you closer and give your friend a better understanding of your disability and help to avoid rude comments like that in the future. There are no guarantees this will have any effect on your friend or really do anything at all but all you can do is try!
Google it- Telling your friends to google your disability may sound rude and it is if your friend legitimately wants to know more about your disability. If they are mocking it, calling you psycho and saying it doesn’t really exist then telling them to google is not anymore rude than any of the hurtful accusations that they are making towards your disability. You want to do your best to try to educate people on your disability but some people you just can’t get through no matter how hard you try and telling them to google your disability will give them the reassurance that you are not making it up if they were to decide to do some research. Wasting your time trying to educate someone who doesn’t care to learn always goes in an endless circle and is a complete waste of time because you will most likely make little to no progress!
Cut all ties-Sometimes no matter how hard you try you will not be able to get through to your friends and you may be forced to cut all ties with them. For me, that was the case because no matter how many times I tried to explain my condition to her she would not listen because she was so convinced it could be treated through medication. Geez, I had thought of that but unfortunately, it’s not that simple! You can do your best to try to educate your friends about your disability but if they don’t express an interest in wanting to learn more than it may be time to find friends that are supportive of your disability.
When you have migraines or any other invisible disability it is common to lose friends because more often than not your friends will think that your condition is an easy fix. They may start giving you medical advice on how you can be cured of your condition because they just don’t understand. If you don’t currently get migraines or have never experienced one you will never truly understand the pain and anxiety a migraine will bring and no one is asking you to all we are asking is that you listen to us and don’t question our condition. There are medications to treat migraines but often times it won’t cure them completely because there is no simple fix. Migraines are a neurological disorder and if your friends can’t accept that they may not be your friends. If you have any questions about what to do when your friends don’t believe you please leave them in the comments below.