Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that causes recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is stigmatized, misunderstood, feared, overlooked and therefore grossly under-funded.
I’ve lived with epilepsy for almost fifteen years. Talking about it was something that caused me anxiety because I was concerned about public perception and rejection.
Suppressing my diagnosis was draining. I learned that I was just hurting myself and making myself miserable.
I needed help. I needed to open up.
Below are 5 pros of talking about epilepsy:
Talking about epilepsy raises awareness and understanding within families and communities. Some people are unable to differentiate epilepsy from seizures and conclude seizures to appear as what is portrayed on television.
Knowing the different types of seizures and what to do in the event of witnessing a seizure can potentially save a life.
Dr. Gregory Holmes, Professor of medicine and of pediatrics at DMS and chief of neurology DHMC says “Epilepsy is one of the most misunderstood disorders. People think it’s contagious and causes mental derangement.”
Talking about epilepsy can help people realize that those with the condition are just like everyone else and can lead full, active lives.
Builds confidence –
Talking about epilepsy may feel awkward or embarrassing at first. Especially if you don’t appear unwell; but acknowledging that your epilepsy exists, and normalizing it, can be incredibly helpful and lead to validation.
Creates connections –
When you’re first diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You might feel like you’re totally alone. But the truth is, there are people out there just like you.
Join a support group. A support group can be a safe place to talk about what you’re going through and get coping tips from others who are managing the same condition.
The Epilepsy Network (TEN) is a wonderful online epilepsy community, which offers connections between patients and families managing epilepsy.
Encourages others –
You might not know it, but by talking about epilepsy and sharing your experiences, you are encouraging someone else who is managing epilepsy. You are helping them to feel less alone and pointing them in the right direction to better understand the condition.
What other pros have you discovered in talking about epilepsy? Post in the comment box below.