Seeing is Believing with The Migraine Experience
I don’t change my mind easily.
I was skeptical when I first heard about Excedrin’s new initiative, The Migraine Experience. After all, Excedrin’s commercials have never impressed me. I’ve published more than one scathing rebuke. Although the product does occasionally relieve some of my milder attacks, I have not appreciated the content of their commercials and have said so on numerous occasions.
So why change now?
JP Summers contacted me a few months ago stating that she was going to be interviewing Dr. Elizabeth Seng about her involvement in The Migraine Experience. I expressed my skepticism and waited for her to publish her perspective. After Summers published her review, I decided to download the app and see for myself.
They nailed it.
Although I don’t experience a stereotypical aura, I do get flashing lights, disorientation, and extreme light sensitivity. All of it was accurately portrayed, right down to the visual haze and twinkling light show. Excedrin actually hit the ball this time. Better yet, I think they hit a home run. I felt confident that I could show other people exactly what I experience (minus the pain and nausea). Man, there are a few people from my past that I wish could have seen it.
Then Excedrin contacted me.
They offered me the opportunity to interview Dr. Seng about The Migraine Experience. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Seng, so I really wanted to hear what she had to say. We’ve both worked with patients whose loved ones struggled to understand and accept the reality of migraine. From a clinical mental health perspective, we both agreed. Anytime someone can truly “walk in someone else’s shoes” there is an opportunity for growth, understanding, and empathy. It’s a lot tougher to criticize someone when you really understand what it’s like to live their life.
Dr. Seng shared that Excedrin interviewed migraine patients, discovering that most felt misunderstood by friends, colleagues, and family members. So they created this tool to help patients communicate with others about the challenges of living with migraine. I believe this will be an important tool for creating awareness and educating the public. Migraine is stigmatized, in part, because it is shrouded in mystery. When I talk to people about migraine, they are genuinely surprised by the sheer number of people affected. The prevalence of migraine is around 12% of the total population — somewhere between 36 and 39 million people just in the U.S.
Here’s the breakdown…
- one in four households
- one in nine women
- one in ten children
- one in eighteen men
Migraine affects far more people than you might think. Most don’t realize it because no one is talking about migraine. In fact, less than half the people with migraine have ever even talked to their doctor about their symptoms. Many don’t even realize they actually have migraine! The tragedy is that migraine is most treatable when attacks are mild and infrequent. By the time someone gets worried about symptoms, the problem has often progressed to the point that migraine is difficult to treat.
Seeing is believing.
I also took the opportunity to watch a few of the videos posted on Excedrin’s website. What impressed me the most while watching the videos was how quickly each volunteer took off the headset. They couldn’t stand it for even a few moments. Realizing that their loved ones experience hours of those symptoms was mind-blowing. Several recognized that their loved ones also face horrible pain and often nausea along with all the other symptoms. What I finally realized is that people understand the pain. It’s all the other symptoms that they just don’t understand. The Migraine Experience will help our loved ones and co-workers understand what’s it’s like and why it’s impossible for us to function during an attack.
Get The Migraine Experience
Do you have one or more people with whom you would like to share The Migraine Experience? Excedrin has partnered with Google Cardboard to offer an at-home virtual reality experience. I just happen to have a few extras available, courtesy of Excedrin, that I can share with you. Don’t forget to check out the story of The Migraine Experience and then get your own app, available for iPhone or Android. You can use the app with or without Google Cardboard. However, using Google Cardboard provides a more accurate virtual reality experience.
ENTER TO WIN!
- In the comments section below, tell me with whom you would like to share The Migraine Experience and explain why.
- Then share this article with your friends via social media by clicking on the links below. Encourage them to vote for your entry by liking your comment.
- The three comments with the most “likes” at the end of the contest will win their very own Migraine Experience Google Cardboard.
- Submissions will be accepted through Labor Day Weekend. Comments will close midnight (PST) on September 5th.