Epilepsy Misunderstood

by Reema on September 22, 2005

in Epilepsy

I took it upon myself to explain what is epilepsy and what type i have since a lot of people seem to think that epileptics are “retards” or “stupid”, I’m sick and tired of hearing this B.S especially from some of my ignorant countrymen. I remember when i was in Kuwait i had to endure the stupid comments and stares in fact my life was very isolated because i was surrounded by idiots. I want to make something clear EPILEPSY is NOT a deadly disease like some might think, nor am i stupid or possessed by the devil (i am NOT like EMILY ROSE- yeah some people actually thought that!!) and just FYI i do have a science degree therefore my mental abilities are unaffected.

Some Famous People with Epilepsy:

1. Alexander the Great.
2. Julius Caesar.
3. Napoleon Bonaparte.
4. Leonardo Da Vinci.
5. Socrates
6. Hercules.
7. Joan of Arc.
8. Gustave Flaubert, writer.
9. Charles Dickens, writer.
10. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, writer.
11. Vincent van Gogh, Artist.

Definition: Epilepsy is a neurological DISORDER resulting from temporary brain dysfunction which produces convulsive or non convulsive seizures.

What are Seizures?:

Uncontrolled reactions that occur when a group of nerve cells in the brain become unusually excited and emit a burst of electrical activity.
A sudden alteration of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain, in particular the outside rim of the brain called the cortex.
There are many types of seizures but i will only explain what i have, for more information about the other types click here.

I had this disorder since i was at the age of ten, i have what is called Nocturnal Epilepsy, seizures that happen ONLY during sleep. My seizures are called generalized Tonic-Clonic(Grand Mal) Seizures:

The first stage of a grand mal seizure is called the tonic phase, in which the muscles suddenly contract, causing the patient to fall and lie stiffly for about 10 to 30 seconds. Some people experience a premonition or aura before a grand mal seizure; most, however, lose consciousness without warning. If the throat or larynx is affected, there may be a high-pitched musical sound (stridor) when the patient inhales. Spasms occur for about 30 seconds to a minute, then the seizure enters the second phase, called the clonic phase. The muscles begin to alternate between relaxation and rigidity. After this phase, the patient may lose bowel or urinary control. The seizure usually lasts a total of two to three minutes, after which the patient remains unconscious for a while and then awakens to confusion and extreme fatigue. A severe throbbing headache similar to migraine may also follow the tonic-clonic phases.

Information was taken from Health and Age website.

I’ve been taking medication and thank god my seizures are quite controlled, over 80% of people with epilepsy can control their seizures with today’s medicines. The last seizure i had was last April because my body went through stress and trauma after my miscarriage and D&C procedure.

As an epileptic person i live my life like every normal person does with some exceptions of course but i learned how to cope with it, people back home seem to think i shouldn’t talk about it or hide the fact that i have this disorder, why? it’s important to educate people because i feel Epilepsy is so misunderstood. Guide to Understanding and Living with Epilepsy is one of my favorite books and i highly recommend it for those who have this disorder or their loved ones, my husband enjoyed reading it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this 🙂 I end my post with a quote i found,

“With knowledge and the right treatment plan, people with epilepsy can look forward to full, independent lives.”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Reema September 26, 2005 at 1:01 am

Shaira: I have no problems with my disorder it’s part of me and i accept it graciously and yes i do see myself strong in that area, thanks 🙂

Vasco: Me? one of the great ones? I’m only but a normal ordinary peace loving person 🙂

*huge hugz 4 both of you*

Your welcome I’m glad i could help 🙂

You’re right the list never ends i just picked out the famous ones 🙂 Just FYI Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) didn’t suffer from seizures these were allegations that spread among the people at that time to accuse him of insanity in order to falsify his prophethood, Wish i was a genius 😉


Shaira September 22, 2005 at 3:20 pm

Don’t take it as a disorder my dear.. such health issues make a person different from the normal ordinary people.. you will be battling with health but each day you will get stronger as an individual! Your are a Strong person! Cherries! (^_^)


Vasco Coelho September 22, 2005 at 7:35 pm

only you to take them off that ignorance..you know Reema,there’s people that are really really stupid,some you could change the others…well…will be stupid for all life…..anyway,one day your name could be next to that great names…as great people they were..*kiss*


hibbalicious September 23, 2005 at 7:00 am

Thank you reema for giving me a better insight into what it is, I have a cousin that has epilepsy and I didnt understand it I just thought its fits and thats all,

Thanks for the explanation 🙂


PALFORCE September 23, 2005 at 10:15 pm

I’m in love with Joan of Arc.


Kuwaiti Tranny September 24, 2005 at 7:27 pm

you shouldve added your name in the list of famous people with epilepsy.


Edgar September 26, 2005 at 12:03 am

interesting post. got me researching.
the list is endless:
lewis carol, author alice in wonderland; edgar allan poe;
napoleon bonaparte; actors margaux hemingway and danny glover; ludwig van beethoven; mohammed, founder of islam reported to have seizures…
some even believe there’s a connection between epilepsy and genius. thanks.


arthur mcbeth December 6, 2006 at 12:40 am

This fear can cause the disorder to be perceived far worse than it is. This “fear” dates back to ancient times, when people thought that anyone who experienced a seizure was “possessed by demons.


Prince January 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm

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