Epilepsy Myths Busted

Many people know very little about epilepsy and have a very distorted idea of what this condition really is. Most people associate epilepsy with an individual having an uncontrollable seizure on the floor, losing control of their body. Some even believe seizures to have a link with a mental health issue. However, these epilepsy myths are not always accurate.

While a seizure can be a disconcerting incident to witness, it is not as scary as it appears once you understand the condition. It is important to separate fact from fiction, so here are 5 common myths about epilepsy that you should disregard.

Myth #1 Epilepsy is not common

Epilepsy is not that rare; in fact, there are over 2 million Americans with epilepsy with over 150,000 people getting diagnosed with the condition annually. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions.

Myth #2 Restraining can help someone having a seizure

Restraining is not helpful in controlling a seizure at all. As a matter of fact, although a seizure may look like you need to intervene by holding down the individual, this hurts more than it helps. The best thing to do when you witness someone who is having a seizure is to allow them enough space and clear their surrounding of objects so they do not injure themselves.

Myth #3 You may swallow your tongue while having a seizure

As your tongue is pretty firmly attached to the floor of your mouth, it is physiologically impossible for someone to swallow their tongue. Those who believe this myth often choose to put an object in the person’s mouth to bite down, which can only result in an injury or teeth getting chipped. The only essential step is to ensure the individual is on their side while seizing.

Myth #4 Epilepsy deteriorate cognitive function

While people with epilepsy do become mentally incapacitated during a seizure, while they are not experiencing a seizure, their condition does not have any impact on their cognitive performance or intelligence. A lot of notably intelligent, renowned people have epilepsy, including world leaders and artists.  

Myth #5 Having a seizure means you have epilepsy

There are many different types of seizures, so not everyone who has a seizure necessarily has epilepsy. For example, an extremely high fever in children can lead to a febrile seizure. Epilepsy, on the other hand, is characterized by repeated seizures without a direct, identified trigger such as an injury or stroke.

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