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Clearing Up Misconceptions About Epilepsy
March 4, 2019
By Dr. Temitope Olayinka
In this article, we consider how misunderstanding Epilepsy has affected its effective management.
Epilepsy is a long term disease of the brain, where seizures happen repeatedly.
These seizures also known as convulsions are brief episodes of involuntary movement.
They may involve a part of the body or the entire body.
When these convulsions happen, there may also be other symptoms like losing consciousness. They may also be unable to control their bowel and bladder. and loss of bowel or bladder movement 1.
For centuries worldwide, people with epilepsy have faced fear, misunderstanding, discrimination and social stigma due to incorrect knowledge of the disease. 1,2.
Not only do people with Epilepsy have a poor quality of life, but their families also experience stigma and discrimination – affecting their human rights.
In many places such as Nigeria, where most non-medical people misunderstand Epilepsy, stigma and discrimination are quite rampant.
It is so much to the extent they even suffer extortion by charlatans who claim to be able to cure this condition 2,3,4.
We hope that by continuing to share facts about this condition, readers would learn more about epilepsy and ensure changes in how we relate with people who suffer from epilepsy.
If an individual is having sustained episodes of seizures take them to a healthcare provider immediately.
A great proportion of death secondary to epilepsy is preventable.
When a person is having a seizure, if possible, ensure they lie on their left side, so they do not choke on their vomit.
Avoid trying to pin them down.
Ensure they do not roll into fire, water, or hit their head and limbs against hard/sharp surfaces.
Cushion their head when possible and loosen tight clothing.
Send for assistance/an ambulance and stay close to them till they recover.What To Do if someone is having a Seizure.
Anyone can have epilepsy.
Male, Female Young or Old. No one is immune; not even You
What is your own experience of Epilepsy, convulsions or seizures? What beliefs do people around you have about this condition?
Let us know in the comments section.
Editing By AskAwayHealth
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care.
The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly
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