You have a good list here. The myth of epilepsy being contagious is also a result of people failing to realise that there are differences between the meaning of disease, disorder, and disability. Many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and other neurological disorders have epilepsy as a symptom associated with their primary disorder. There have been cases where I met people who have cerebral palsy who used to have epilepsy and they don't anymore. They don't need to take anticonvulsants anymore as proof. And their physical feature may be a result of the other disorders, but not the epilepsy. Diseases are contagious and are spread by viruses and other maladies. But disorders stay with the person who acquired them.
Another thing that people should be aware of (and I had this happen to me as a teenager by some proffessional nurses in a hospital) is that when a person has a seizure, THEY SHOULD NOT BE RESTRAINED! Having this can injure a person having the seizure and the person who tries to restrain them.Thanks.
More myths abouit epilepsy to add to your list:
Myth: People with epilepsy cannot be employed. Fact: Many people with epilepsy are successful in all types of professions. Even today, people with epilepsy often do not discuss their medical disorder with co-workers for fear of what others may think. Yet, epilepsy is generally not a condition that gets worse with time.
Myth: People with epilepsy are physically limited in what they can do. Fact: In most cases epilepsy is not a barrier to physical achievement. In some circumstances, when seizures are not being well controlled, persons with epilepsy may be advised to refrain from certain activities such as driving an automobile, working at heights or working with certain machinery.
Myth: Only kids get epilepsy. Fact: Although epilepsy is more common in children and teens under age 15, epilepsy happens quite often to older adults, especially those with a history of stroke, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, more than 570,000 adults age 65 and above in the U.S. have the condition.
Myth: Epilepsy is rare and there aren’t many people who have it. Fact: Epilepsy in America is as common as breast cancer. There are more than twice as many people with epilepsy in the US as the number of people with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis combined. Epilepsy can occur as a single condition, or may accompany other conditions affecting the brain, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury.
Myth: Epilepsy is no longer a problem since there are medications to treat it. Fact: More than three million Americans of all ages are living with epilepsy. Every year 200,000 Americans will develop seizures and epilepsy for the first time. Unfortunately, treatment does not prevent seizures for everyone. Researchers continue to look for new ways to combat this disorder.
Myth: You can’t die from epilepsy. Fact: Epilepsy can become a life-threatening medical condition when seizures cannot be stopped. This year an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 will die of seizures and related causes. Patients with epilepsy have a mortality rate two to three times more than that of the general population, and their risk of sudden death is 24 times greater.
Phylis Feiner Johnson www.epilepsytalk.com
Thank you for posting this...
I have actually had a woman in public look me in the eye and say, "Wow. You don't look like you have epilepsy". I was taken aback for a moment and then asked her, "What, exactly, does a person w/ epilepsy look like?". I think she then realized that her comment was inappropriate.
I shouldn't fault her though because its plain ignorance. The same way I am ignorant when it comes to cancer or some other ailment that I have never had to deal with... I just have the common sense not to say something stupid!!