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Inappropriate Terminology

Some terms used to describe epilepsy or seizures are inappropriate. The following words should be avoided due their inaccuracy and negativity:


  • The term 'fit' should be avoided. A 'seizure' or 'epileptic seizure' is preferred because people with epilepsy do not always experience convulsions.
  • To describe a person with epilepsy as 'epileptic' is inappropriate. Please remember - only seizures are epileptic, not people.
  • The term 'illness' - epilepsy is a neurological condition not an 'illness'
  • The term 'victim' or 'sufferer' gives the impression of someone who is helpless.
  • The terms 'grand mal' and 'petit mal' previously described types of seizures. These terms are old fashioned and are too general to describe the many seizure types that exist.

For journalist enquiries please contact Robyn Friel Tel: 0141 419 1701