Facing Epilepsy Stigmas

Facing Epilepsy Stigmas head on is the greatest way to rise above the misinformation hovering around like a dark stormy cloud.

Terrible myths have been told about what epilepsy is and about people who live with the condition. Myths such as these can take such a toll on those living with this condition and their families too. With that, I’ve decided to detail these epilepsy stigmas to help the world gain a greater understanding of just how bazaar these stigmas truly are in reality.

Below, I will describe the epilepsy stigma and from there include an illustration to go along with it. When a person experiences epilepsy stigma, it is unique to the individual. I encourage you to describe your experiences following this article!

Some believe that epilepsy is contagious! You cannot catch epilepsy from someone else.

Some people believe that epilepsy is caused by demon possession! This is undoubtedly the most frightening, most dangerous and most uneducated information about epilepsy and seizures. Unfortunately, still in this day and age there are some that do believe this very myth.


Some people believe that those having a seizure are in danger of swallowing their tongue. They are not. It is impossible to swallow your tongue. Nothing though, should go into the mouth of a person having a seizure.


Some people believe that people with epilepsy cannot hold a job. People with epilepsy are employed in all kinds of positions in business, government, medicine and many other fields.


Some people believe only humans have epilepsy. Epilepsy can occur in animals and has been identified in dogs and cats!


When we continually open up and speak out about epilepsy, educating the public, sharing about our journey, we are shattering the stigma surrounding the condition still in existence today! Have you experienced epilepsy stigma? Share your experience in the comments section below!

I am a happily-ever-after wife, an Epilepsy Diagnosee, Advocate for Epilepsy Awareness (The Epilepsy Network), life lover & Christ inspired! Life is a journey and I'm loving every moment of it. Even the bumps in the road!

One Comment

  • Liz

    I had my first seizure at 6 mo. Like many who live with epilepsy, I would have to determine triggers, go through several medications, and experience obnoxious side effects. I was forced to keep my health a secret from everyone (I have another neuro condition, too), and I grew up scared and deeply ashamed of myself.

    Fortunately, for me, almost all of my seizures occurred in sleep. My aura would wake me up, and after about 4 minutes, the seizure would start. I did have a few daytime episodes, though, including one that my 2 1/2 yo daughter witnessed. I was pregnant with her brother at the time. It seemed impossible to determine how to tell her about them at her young age, but I did, and as she grew older, she asked more questions, which I readily answered.

    Then, just after my 40th birthday, I began to experience a number of health issues. At 41, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and for months, I vehemently argued against a gluten-free diet. Gluten was in everything! What could I eat? But when my blood sugar wouldn’t stop crashing even as I ate, I started to educate myself, and after about six months, I was completely gluten-free. My blood sugar stopped crashing, I had no more joint pain or plantar fasciitis…and I had no more seizures, not even an aura!!

    Of course, there were a few oopses along the way, and over Christmas 3 years ago, I had several auras (or simple partials) over about a week’s time after inhaling airborne flour! I’m THAT sensitive!

    It’s now been 3 1/2 years since I’ve had any seizure activity, and for the past year or so, I’ve been on the ketogenic diet for my Type 2 diabetes. Kickin’ its tail, too! My daily average is 111–without insulin or med! I am still on a very low dose of Keppra (500 mg/daily) as a safety cushion, since gluten is everywhere, but per my experience, it only “softens” the seizure if gluten triggers it. A grand mal/tonic-clonic may be an aura or GM “lite”–shorter and less intense than usual–but as long as I’m gluten-free, I’m seizure-free, something I never thought possible. 🙂

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