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Home Myths Surrounding Epilepsy

Myths Surrounding Epilepsy

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Sometimes having epilepsy is not as difficult as facing the problems associated with the stigma of epilepsy. Some common misconceptions about epilepsy include:
  • Only kids get epilepsy. Although epilepsy is more common in children and young adults, epilepsy happens quite often to adults. People with a history of stroke, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease are more prone to develop late onset epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is contagious. Epilepsy cannot be "Caught" from being in contact with a person with epilepsy.
  • People with epilepsy cannot/should not be employed. People with epilepsy are employed and successful in all types of professions. Even today people with epilepsy often do not discuss their medical disorder with coworkers for fear of being ostracized.
  • People with epilepsy are physically limited in what they can do. In most cases epilepsy is not a barrier to physical achievement. An excellent case example is South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes who has overcome epilepsy to emerge as on of the fittest & finest players of the game in the world today. In some circumstances, when seizures are not being well controlled, persons with epilepsy may be advised to refrain from certain activities like driving an automobile.
  • You should force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure so that they do not swallow their tongue. It is impossible to swallow your tongue. However, a cloth may be placed between the teeth to prevent tongue biting.
  • Epilepsy is no longer a problem since there are medications to treat it. Unfortunately treatment does not prevent seizures for everyone. Researchers continue to look for new ways to combat this disorder.
  • You can’t die from epilepsy. Epilepsy can become a life threatening medical condition when seizures cannot be stopped (a condition termed status epileptics).

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