Our Training Manager, Nicola Milne looks at 10 reasons why you should care about epilepsy.
There are many reasons why you should care about epilepsy, even if you don’t know anyone with the condition.
Would you be able to help someone who is having a seizure? Could you provide support to a friend or family member who may be diagnosed with epilepsy? How much do you know about one of the most common serious neurological conditions?
Here are ten reasons why you should care about epilepsy.
1. You may know someone who has epilepsy
1 in 97 people have epilepsy, and British anthropologist Robin Dunbar has demonstrated that we each have an average of 150 casual friends, which tell us that you probably DO know someone with the condition, but they might have not disclosed it.
2. It would help to identify seizures and symptoms
Epilepsy is one of the most common serious neurological issues. It sits in the top three most common, with migraines and Alzheimer’s. It can affect anyone at any time, so being able to help identify seizures and symptoms can lead to a speedier diagnosis.
3. It is most common in the over 65s
Epilepsy is most common in the over 65s. It can go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed when people already have other conditions.
We would be wise to ask ourselves if what we see in our elderly loved ones is their current condition, or a seizure, especially if they already have neurodegenerative concerns.
4. There are various types of seizures
Most people are familiar with tonic-clonic seizures, but would struggle to name any other form of epilepsy. There are over 40 different epileptic seizure types!
5. There is more to epilepsy than flashing and flickering lights
You might have read about photosensitive epilepsy, where flashing and flickering lights can trigger a seizure, but only 2-3% of people with epilepsy are photosensitive.
Stress, tiredness and illness are all far more likely to bring on a seizure, for most people.
6. Epilepsy is more than just seizures
People with epilepsy are more likely to suffer from depression, generalised anxiety disorders and OCD. It is more than seizures alone.
Even if you never see someone having a seizure, there is a good chance that you will see changes in their wellbeing, and might be able to offer support.
7. Some seizures can be fatal
Around 1000-1100 people die as a direct or indirect result of their epilepsy, each year in the UK.
The more that people understand the condition, the more able they are to identify seizures and help save lives.
8. You can help stamp the ignorance and stigma out
Epilepsy is a hidden disability and we hear reports of people receiving abuse for parking with their carer in a disabled space before ‘walking just fine’ into the store.
It’s dangerous to have that person cross a huge carpark, so they require the safety of that space. We need to stamp the ignorance and stigma out.
You can help by challenging these notions and having an awareness of the condition.
9. Around 1 in 20 of us have a single seizure in our lifetime
Seizures are symptomatic of many conditions and it’s incredibly common to have a single seizure in your lifetime – around 1 in 20 of us do!
Understanding the basic mechanics of a seizure, and how to help someone, can be useful in other situations.
10. It’s not that complicated to learn the first aid process
Would you know how to help someone having a seizure or would you walk past?
It is not that complicated to learn how to help someone who is having a seizure and you could potentially save someone’s life.
Here at Epilepsy Scotland we have a dynamic team of professional trainers providing epilepsy training of the highest quality.
To find out more about the training Epilepsy Scotland provides, please email Nicola Milne at NMilne@epilepsyscotland.org.uk or call 0141 427 4911.