Epilepsy and discrimination – prejudice against seizure sufferers is common
Leading epilepsy expert and health educator speaks of perhaps the largest obstacle many people with epilepsy face – prejudice and discrimination. Epilepsy is not contagious; seizures can and must be completely controlled, and people with epilepsy can and do lead absolutely normal lives. Discrimination against people with seizure disorders is absolutely unacceptable:
Is there anything else you’d like to add to the conversation? Is there a question I should have asked but didn’t? Maybe a topic of your interest that you’d like to expand upon? I think that this is wonderful to really be able to use the Internet to educate people about seizures and epilepsy. Because more and more these days people have access to the internet to find out educational information, and can use it to seek expert opinion. Here at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we have a service where people can send in information and an expert can review their records. I think we’re not alone in that. There are many other ways that people will be able to seek out medical care in different formats. And it’s very important that people are aware of the various signs and symptoms of epilepsy. So that they can bring those signs and symptoms to their doctor and hopefully be diagnosed earlier, before they have more severe seizures. And then the last thing I want to emphasize about epilepsy, the biggest problem the people with epilepsy face is discrimination. Epilepsy is not contagious. People with epilepsy can live completely normal lives. And epilepsy can be very treatable. So I think it’s important for people to be aware of epilepsy and what it is exactly. Because there’s a tremendous amount of ignorance, and I think it’s that lack of knowledge that can lead to a lot of discrimination. That is a very important point and especially it’s important internationally, where the awareness of epilepsy might even be lower than in general in the United States. Dr. Milligan, thank you very much for this conversation, and we hope we’ll be able to come back to you for further questions in the future! And thank you for being a superb expert in treating epilepsy in adults and adolescents! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about epilepsy!