Epilepsy is something that is bound by myth. Of people with Epilepsy (about 3 million Americans), only half know the cause. Most of the time, you wouldn’t even recognize someone who has it-it’s just not visible until the person actually goes into a seizure.
I am one of those people. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I do have Epilepsy-I’m mother who has Epilepsy. Of course, there are challenges, but for the most part, I live a normal life on medication. I’ve had it all my life. Nobody knows for sure why I have it, they cannot give me a reason at this point. Quite frankly, I don’t expect to get an answer. For most of my life, I only told those who needed to know of my condition. But now, everyone who reads this will know. There is a stigma that comes with it. A sense of isolation, perhaps, in sharing the knowledge. I mean, it wasn’t so long ago that people believed epileptics were possessed by the devil, or evil spirits.
I think the best thing we can do to dispel the myth of this disease is to advocate, be supportive and , above all, communicate the facts and experiences.
November rolled around and suddenly there was a slew of studies floating around. Some ridiculous, some not, some just perpetuating the myth. No doubt, by the time December comes, we won’t hear anything else about it.
Jenny Rough wrote a post a bit ago on this blog about infertility and Adoption Awareness Month (also in November), how it dosen’t get the recognition or funds as some other causes do. Epilepsy awareness is another that certainly does not get enough funds.
However, there are plenty of places to get info about Epilepsy, correlating events, and people who are living with it .
Epilepsy.com-lots of facts and figures, information
CURE-Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy by raising funds for research and by increasing awareness of the prevalence and devastation of this disease in the news
Living With Epilepsy-Jessica K Smith’s blog. A woman living with Epilepsy. A great resource.
About Kris Underwood
Kris Underwood is the Social Media Manager at Hunger Mountain (Vermont College of Fine Arts). Poetry has appeared in several publications including MotherVerse, mamazine.com and Poetry Midwest. I read books & write about them on my blog sometimes.