Epilepsy Talk

Can You Believe It?  | February 28, 2022

Just when you thought the modern world was becoming enlightened, there are still a whole lot of myths and fears about epilepsy — fueled by ignorance and misinformation.

These fears might sound ridiculous to you…but they’re real for those who don’t know better.

Myth: Epilepsy is contagious.

Fact: Epilepsy cannot be caught from contact with a person with epilepsy.

Myth: People with epilepsy cannot be employed.

Fact: Many people with epilepsy are successful in all types of professions. Political leaders, philosophers, writers, celebrities, athletes and many others who have achieved greatness in the arts and sciences, suffer from epilepsy.

Myth: People with epilepsy are physically limited in what they can do.

Fact: In most cases epilepsy is not a barrier to physical achievement. In some circumstances, when seizures are not being well controlled, persons with epilepsy may be advised to refrain from certain activities such as driving an automobile, working at heights or working with certain machinery.

Myth: Only kids get epilepsy.

Fact: Although epilepsy is more common in children and teens under age 15, epilepsy happens quite often to older adults, especially those with a history of stroke, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, more than 570,000 adults age 65 and above in the U.S. have the condition.

Myth: Epilepsy is rare and there aren’t many people who have it.

Fact: Epilepsy in America is as common as breast cancer. There are more than twice as many people with epilepsy in the US as the number of people with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis combined. Epilepsy can occur as a single condition, or may accompany other conditions affecting the brain, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury.

Myth: Epilepsy is no longer a problem since there are medications to treat it.

Fact: More than 3.4 million Americans of all ages are living with epilepsy. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. Unfortunately, treatment does not prevent seizures for everyone. Researchers continue to look for new ways to combat this disorder.

Myth: You can’t die from epilepsy.

Fact: Epilepsy can become a life-threatening medical condition when seizures cannot be stopped. This year an 50,000 will die of seizures and related causes. Patients with epilepsy have a mortality rate two to three times more than that of the general population, and their risk of sudden death is 24 times greater.

Research:

https://www.thechildren.com/health-info/conditions-and-illnesses/12-common-myths-and-misconceptions-about-epilepsy

https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/facts-about-seizures-and-epilepsy

http://www.epilepsy-ohio.org/about-epilepsy/characteristics/myths-about-epilepsy/

https://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/epilepsy-information.php

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4 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.

    Like

    Comment by Kenneth — February 28, 2022 @ 12:31 PM

  2. No matter how much I try to say “I have Epilepsy! STOP You’re hurting me!” To many people who still don’t want to educate themselves about Epilepsy, they still try to embarrass me or others who should know something about Epilepsy either talk to me s-l-o-w-l-y or yell at me “because they can’t hear me!” As stupid, tired and old as that line is!
    Or people still steal from me, like my privacy and security!

    It’s not real! I keep telling myself to wake up from this over a decade long nightmare and let me be the way I was then.
    Healthier with less Epileptic Seizures, my Cat and we (I) was trying to see if I could rescue/adopt a kitten for us so when I volunteered or worked my little guy wouldn’t be alone. He’d have a tv and play time buddy when I had everything for him.
    The veterinarian’s weren’t far away away from us.
    Now that I know that a stroller is a benefit with my Epilepsy (honestly!) I was looking for another one since I was told years that the one I bought was stolen!!
    Animals and music are benefitical (sp?!) for my Epilepsy as was my Kickboxing and my own Wave bag and boxing gloves!
    I focused on my stressors and beat the crap out of my Wave bag knocking it over at least 6 times(?) before I let my stress out and broke out laughing in sweat. My Cat was all purrs. We were abused for attempting to make my Epileptic Seizures turn into Status Epilepticus as it did in 2014 that put me in Comatose.
    That I’ve never heard before people started talking about my “Hero” Ryan White!!
    These people started doing things as the movie characters did to Lucas Haas’s “Ryan White” and Ryan was his his real friend who passed away.

    These people want/demand that they get their share of whatever there isn’t!

    I never heard that Epilepsy was a contagious disease until 2018!
    I never have drank alcohol or used illegal drugs but I have been accused of using them after I’ve had Epilepsy Seizures too many times.

    Once where someone’s memory was told that his dad or his friends dad was a cop, they in cruisers after I was released from hospital for Epileptic reasons(some one connected to my phone loves typing in prison” when I have never done anything wrong or illegal!) anyway I was released from the hospital and was walking to the bus shelter and I still don’t understand why the cops were chasing after me in their cruisers without saying anything outside of their cruisers!
    The person said it in the apartment building less than a decade ago then again last year when I was talking to someone who spoke two different languages to calm him down I talked to him, and that person (was a security guard ) said “there she is! She’s that one that I told you about to another security guard… She’s talking gibberish!!”

    I heard that originally when I was being chased and I only stopped because of an Epileptic Seizure that That other language helped me to get out of the Epileptic seizure, and away from that cop!!
    I guess that the cops found out that I was the wrong person to chase and another offered me a ride home because it was too late.
    It was his personal way to apologize for being part of the chasing of a person who was released from hospital.

    Yes, I have had to deal with a lot more ignorant first responders because of who lied about “no witnesses to that! Seriously? Epilepsy, what’s that?”

    Or Naloxone sprayed in my nose after I told the people that I have Epilepsy. They said that while I was awake to Firefighters and paramedics. Neither were pleased when they read my MedicAlert.
    That happened after 2019!

    When something happens to me that I have to go to the hospital the same thing happens to someone else within a week.

    I was locked out of my apartment for Epileptic reasons?

    Like

    Comment by Tabitha — March 1, 2022 @ 1:20 AM

  3. Hello everyone. I just want to share that my daughter who started having seizures at 17 years old is now doing much better. She has completed her Bachelors, has gotten married and is now completing her Masters in Architecture. It would appear that just sticking to her time schedule for taking the medication has helped tremendously. It has been rough but she has had support all the way and has been seizure free for a while now. Guys hang in there, stay safe and continue to press on.! We all have different distances on our journeys. Ours have not ended but the burden has become lighter as we travel

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Angella — March 2, 2022 @ 6:06 AM

    • How fabulous. Congratulations!

      It must have taken a lot of strength and fortitude to get to where you are. Hats off to both of you.

      You are a living inspiration!

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 2, 2022 @ 9:38 AM


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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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