(HealthDay News) – Individuals with migraine experience as much stigma as individuals with epilepsy and panic disorder, which are also episodic, according to a study presented at the 2013 International Headache Congress, held from June 27–30 in Boston.

Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD, from the University of Vermont in Burlington, and Peter B. Reiner, PhD, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, used the Attitudes towards Mental Illness Questionnaire to compare the attitudes of 765 individuals (recruited through a crowdsourcing website) towards individuals with migraine and towards individuals with epilepsy, panic disorder, and asthma.

The researchers found that the stigma was lowest towards individuals with asthma. The stigma towards individuals with migraine was found to be similar to the stigma towards individuals with epilepsy and panic disorder.

“As if the pain of migraine weren’t disabling enough, it also comes with a stigma that often renders it invisible at home and in the workplace,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Many people believe that the mild and tolerable headaches they experience are the same as migraine, and tend to discount the disabling impact that migraine has on the quality of life of those who have these attacks.”

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