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Culturally Preprogrammed

Roughly 2 weeks ago I was going to reply to someone's posting and include links to some websites for resources about what I was going to say in my reply. When I went to where these resources are located, I noticed a new series of articles have been added. The series of articles is titled "How (and Why) to Tell Others about Your Epilepsy", published in Exceptional Parent magazine in June through October 2009. The one individual, a neuropsychologist, who created these articles had to wait for a certain period of time before he could provide the articles on his own website. While reading through this series of articles there are two words I will probably never forget, which are "Culturally Preprogrammed". Instead of me posting parts and pieces of this series of articles, I'd highly recommend everyone to read this series of articles yourselves. The link to this newer series of articles should be located at

This neuropsychologist had previously created two other series of articles ( "Beating Bad Seizures" ; "Raising a Kid with Epilepsy" ), also published in Exceptional Parent magazine, and these articles can be located in the S.E.E. Program library, at

For those of you who read these articles I'd like to ask you to please provide some feedback by posting a reply on here, so it can be shared with the neuropsychologist who created all of these articles.

Thank you.



Re: Culturally Preprogrammed

Bumped back to the top.

Bruce. *I'm not a doctor, but the information I share is what I've learned and experienced due to having epilepsy myself.

Re: Culturally Preprogrammed

Hi Spike,

When I read "Culturally Preprogrammed," I thought more in terms of Cultural Anthropology, and, for instance, the practices of the Nacirema of today.

My reading of the articles got off to a rough start, as I'm wondering about how the observations were made. When I was placed in the "Epileptics," I conducted the basic experiment of the effect of the word "Epilepsy" on prospective employers. I quickly discovered the mere use of the word on any printed/written paper or form would bring employment cosiderations to an abrupt halt in more than 50% of the cases, while the non-use of the word would continue employment considerations in 100% of the cases (my non-Epilepsy resume/papers/forms most always placed me in the top 5%, where the information was available, and always got a positive response over the test period).

After reading a medical journal article comparing the effects of epilepsy on psychological aspects as being of the same broad coverage of aspects of bodily impairments bestowed by syphilis, honesty appears to be a rather foolish blush in any less than total medical situation with medical professionals involving epilepsy. Even on this website, the psychological aspects of epilepsy, and hence social interaction and epilepsy, is a hot-button issue.

I believe the Nacirema create the individual, more than the individual creates the Nacirema, and that this is also true with the relationships between the culture and the cultural aspects of epilepsy. With many prejudices, the Nacirema are not always the "good guys" or the "indifferent guys," as it appears to be greatly assumed to be limited to the prejudice of a small number "some people." One point in law that is seldom heard outside the courtroom, is that under Rehabilitation Act (and ADA), statistical evidence is prohibited, and cannot be used as it is used in discrimination cases involving race, creed, color, etc., despite that most medical evidence is based on application of classifications determined by statistical analysis. A large statistical majority is much more than just a small number of "some people."

Considering how my academic school performance improved once the public schools lost my "special educational needs" papers, I have many disagreements with the articles.


Re: Culturally Preprogrammed

Bumped back to the top.

Bruce (I'm not a doctor, but instead, an epilepsy support group leader, epilepsy advocate, who has epilepsy.)

Re: Culturally Preprogrammed

In my view, the place to begin to understand the many epilepsies is by reading a book like Nerves In Collision by Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. and a book like the How To (understand) Hyperactivity book (1981) about ADHD Inattentive (about paying attention, processing, memory, and modern nutrition) by C. Thomas Wild. Then a person has a basis for understanding what epilepsy (etc.) is/likely is. Cultural preprogramming often does not match actual facts. Cultural preprogamming (100% fantasy public relations) is often today along the lines of presenting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona as being fully rehabilitated by modern medicine and being able to return to serve in Congress like before. Generally speaking, epilepsy today - year 2011 - carries a real stigma (my view). Some persons with some types of epilepsies do very well in the workforce (example: the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court - John Roberts - who has had at least two seizures); others do not. Although there are exceptions, the mention of epilepsy often raises an automatic red flag in society. X-reference: The Andromeda Strain (classic movie - subplot - absence epilepsy and a woman Ph.D. scientist). Cultural preprogramming is very real but the odds of changing cultural preprogramming quickly is next to zero - pretty close to trying to change the extremist mindset of non-profit religions based in Mecca, the Vatican, or even Salt Lake City or instantly changing the extremist mindsets of the Democratic Party or Republican Party in the USA. It won't happen instantly. It may never happen. The cultural programming (brainwashing) was done using permanent India ink (so to speak)(my view). Some persons adopt the attitude of Oprah Winfrey: It doesn't matter what other people think - when people realize what extremist cultural programming actually is, it doesn't matter.

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