Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by recurrent seizures affecting millions worldwide. Seizures are short bursts of aberrant electrical activity in the brain that can induce convulsions, loss of consciousness, muscular rigidity, and behavioral or emotional disturbances. Multiple causes can contribute to epilepsy, including genetic susceptibility, brain damage, illness, and aberrant brain development.
Despite its prevalence, there are several myths and misconceptions about epilepsy. This post will debunk some of the most frequent epilepsy misconceptions and present real information to refute them.
Myth: Epilepsy is a psychological disorder.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder, not a mental ailment. It is caused by irregular electrical activity in the brain and has nothing to do with intellect or mental health.
Myth: All seizures are the same.
Seizures are classified into numerous categories, each with its symptoms and causes. It is critical to correctly identify the type of seizure a person has to choose the appropriate course of therapy.
Myth: Epileptics cannot live regular lives.
Many people with epilepsy live full, productive lives with adequate medication and care. Epilepsy should not hinder a person’s ability to work, attend school, or engage in hobbies.
Myth: During a seizure, you can swallow your tongue.
This is a widespread misunderstanding concerning seizures. During an attack, it is practically impossible to swallow your tongue, and attempting to do so might result in harm. If you encounter someone having a seizure, ensure they are safe and get medical treatment if required.
These are common actions to assist someone experiencing any form of seizure:
- Stay with the individual until the seizure is over and he or she is fully awake. When it’s over, assist the person in finding a safe spot to sit. Tell them what occurred in simple words once they are awake and ready to talk.
- Soothe the individual and talk softly.
- Examine the person to check if he or she is wearing a medical bracelet or other emergency information.
- Maintain your and others’ calm.
- Offer to contact a cab or another person to ensure the individual arrives home safely.
Myth: Epilepsy patients should not drive.
Fact: With good epilepsy care, many persons with epilepsy can drive safely. Driving may not be advised in some situations, depending on the individual and the frequency and severity of the seizures.
We must educate ourselves and others about the truth to refute these beliefs and give factual information about this widespread neurological disorder. Many people with epilepsy live full, productive lives with adequate medication and care.
Epilepsy: 13 Epilepsy Myths Busted. (n.d.). https://www.valleychildrens.org/blog/epilepsy-13-epilepsy-myths-busted
Epilepsy Foundation. (n.d.). Myths and Misconceptions. https://epilepsyfoundation.org.au/understanding-epilepsy/about-epilepsy/myths-and-misconceptions/
Seizure First Aid | Epilepsy | CDC. (n.d.). https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/about/first-aid.htm