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Functional Neurology

If you want to understand what it really means to live with cluster headache, imagine... fostering empathy through European patients’ own stories of their experiences

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doi: 10.11138/FNeur/2018.33.1.057
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Abstract
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Cluster headache (CH) is arguably the most severe pain condition that afflicts humans. The severity of the pain has earned it the nickname “suicide headache”. Understanding how CH impacts on those who suffer from it is essential, because this understanding creates empathy, which is so valuable to these patients. On the occasion of Cluster Headache Day 2017, we asked CH patients from different European countries to share their experiences, in order to help people to imagine what it means to live with the condition. Here, we look at some extracts from their stories.
These CH patients’ direct accounts provide an important illustration of the clinical features and consequences of the disease, helping to contextualise it and its psychological and social consequences.
Reports of CH patients’ first-person accounts might help to underline the physicians’ role and responsibility with regard to the psychological and social consequences of this disease.

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