Epilepsy Talk

Help Line

September 25, 2017
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The secret here is the numbers 211.

Go to the website: http://www.211.org/. Where available, 211 allows people to give help and to get help.

211 can also give people who live in rural areas better access to health and human service information.


Posted in Epilepsy, Tips

Depression is quiet…

September 22, 2017
4 Comments

You would be surprised how many people in your life could be going through depression at this very moment.

People hide it like a paper bag over their heads out of fear of being judged, made fun of, seen as weak, or just not taken seriously.


The Stigma of Epilepsy

September 17, 2017
32 Comments

The stigma is ancient and it still remains today.

Laws in the United States and Great Britain that prohibited epileptic people to marry were just repealed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Until the late 1970s, legislations in the United States also prevented epileptic people from entering public buildings such as restaurants, shopping centers, and theaters. [US Department of Health]

Although these laws are no longer in effect, the underlying social divisions that they have created in the past thirty years are still present today.

In most states, having a seizure is technically illegal, and while prosecutions are rare, they do happen.


Updated — 40+ Different Kinds of Seizures

September 13, 2017
23 Comments

When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy, there were two kinds of seizures. Grand Mal and Petit Mal. (Can you guess how old I am?)

Now, things are much more different and difficult. No more cut and dried.

So, please, if you have any additions, subtractions or corrections, feel free to chime in.

Because I don’t pretend to be an expert. In fact, this has certainly been a learning experience, from start to finish.

Here, to the best of my knowledge, are the 40+ different types of seizures.


Conversion Disorder and Epilepsy…

September 10, 2017
10 Comments

What is it?

Is it epilepsy or conversion disorder?

The term “conversion” comes from the idea that psychological distress is being converted into a physical symptom.

The cause is not known…


Epilepsy and Exercise

September 7, 2017
13 Comments

Many people with epilepsy, especially those with uncontrolled seizures, live a sedentary life and have low physical fitness.

Because they’ve been told that exercise can trigger seizures. 

Not necessarily so.  At least for a large population of those with epilepsy.

Clinical and experimental studies have analyzed the effect of physical exercise on epilepsy.

The result? Exercise can be beneficial.


Your Thyroid…What Everyone with Epilepsy Should Know

September 3, 2017
8 Comments

Touch your neck, right above your collarbone, and you’ll find a little gland called your thyroid.  It only weighs an ounce, yet this thyroid’s hormones control your metabolism.

When those hormones are balanced, everything is fine.

But if your thyroid makes just a little less or more than you need…it could cause havoc, both with how you function and the effectiveness of your AEDs.


What Most Offends YOU About How People Treat Epilepsy?

August 28, 2017
91 Comments

I call epilepsy the “stealth disease,” because most people don’t actually witness a seizure. Which results in an abundance of ignorance…misinformation..and to be frank, discrimination and slurs.


Is Epilepsy Inherited?

August 23, 2017
18 Comments

Just because you have a parent, sibling, cousin or aunt who has epilepsy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have it also.

In fact, if you have a close relative with epilepsy, the chance of you having epilepsy is only about 2-5%, depending on the specific type of epilepsy.

The risk in the general population is about 1-2%.

On the other hand, there is a 92-98% chance for the close relative of someone with epilepsy to NOT have the same condition!


Violence and Epilepsy

August 19, 2017
21 Comments

No question about it. Epilepsy’s been the victim of bad press since ancient Greece. There, it was sometimes called the “Herculean Disease” because Hercules was thought to have murdered his family in a fit of uncontrollable rage.

Two thousand years later, Michael Crichton wrote in The Terminal Man, “Epileptics are predisposed to violent, aggressive behavior during their attacks.” Which didn’t exactly help.

In later editions of his novel, Crichton softened his stance with a postscript, but many physicians and laymen still truly believe that those with epilepsy are dangerous and potentially violent people.


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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