Epilepsy: Debunking the Myths 1

Hi everyone

You are Welcome

I started this series on Epilepsy yesterday.

Like I said yesterday, Epilepsy is shrouded in secrecy. There are so many MYTHS and BELIEFS that make it so.

I’m going to take time to debunk most of the myths and beliefs.

The commonest belief is

‘Epilepsy is a Spiritual disease’!

This belief stems from the dramatic presentation of the disease. A person suddenly falls, shakes and is unaware of self within the period.

The truth is that

‘Epilepsy is a brain disease’

It results from seizures.

Seizures occur as a result of scattered irregular electrical discharges in the brain.

The commonest type of seizure is seen as convulsions: the person falls unconscious and shakes uncontrollably.

Please note that there are many other types of seizures where the person does not shake.

It is also interesting to note that ANYBODY can have a seizure (commonly called convulsions) .

In fact as many as 5% of the population have a seizure or convulsions in a lifetime.

You see……….it is not only you or your relative. It is that COMMON.

It is common in children with high fever.

It can be seen in persons with Meningitis or Malaria

It can be seen in pregnant women with elevated Blood Pressure

It can be seen in persons with markedly reduced sugar level caused by Alcohol or some medications

It can happen after a head injury.

It occurs commonly after a Stroke.

It can occur in persons with brain tumour or Dementia.

There are so many other reasons anybody and I mean anybody may have convulsions.

However, for it to be called Epilepsy (by the Doctor), it has to be repeated ( more than twice) without the obvious causes as listed above.

Some of these persons with Epilepsy( PWE) have a minor ailment affecting the brain. This does not mean that they are mad.

Please note that nobody is called ‘epileptic’ anymore. It is wrong to label a human being with a disease!!

The correct terminology is Person with Epilepsy( PWE) and it can be anybody.


Thanks for reading.

See you tomorrow.

Published by berthaekeh

Medical Doctor/ Teacher/Author

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