November is Epilepsy Awareness Month! For those of you who do not know, Epilepsy is a condition which causes many people (young and old) to have seizures.
I was actually born with epilepsy and had a seizure not to long after my mother gave birth to me. Growing up, I realized that many people do not know what epilepsy is or how seizures affect people’s lives. Here are 7 facts you probably did not know about epilepsy.
1. There is more than one kind of seizure
As discussed last week, many people think of seizures and think of a person falling on the ground and shaking, Though these seizures seem to be the most severe and are cause for concern, this is not the only kind of seizure that exists. There are at least 6 kind of seizures. The learn more about the different kinds of seizures CLICK HERE
2. You cannot control the seizures
One of the most off guard questions that I was ever asked concerning a seizure came from my undergraduate college’s residence department.
I had a roommate who was causing me so much stress and the stress was beginning to cause seizures.
When I reported it to the residence department, the woman asked, “did you call the police or ambulance while you were having a seizure”. I honestly looked at the woman as if she had 4 heads because clearly that is impossible.
However, I understand that she did not know what a seizure actually consists of. I pray that she has properly educated herself.
However, her question is not very uncommon. There are many people who think that people can “control” it or “stop” it. That is impossible. However, you may be able to know it is coming (usually only a few seconds before it hits and brace yourself.
3. You may know that a seizure it coming, but you still cannot stop it
As mentioned above, you may know that a seizure is coming, but you will not be able to stop it. For me, I typically hear a sound about 5 seconds of less before my body freezes. This usually occurs before a partial seizure (a seizure where I am aware but unable to control what is happening)
Usually, I will hear a buzzing sound, my body will freeze, and I will not be able to move for a few minutes. Eventually my head will jerk for a few seconds and I will be able to stop. I usually fall asleep right after but I am able to remember what happened.
4. Sometimes You do not even know that you are having a seizure
There are a few seizures where you lose consciousness. Tonic clonic, absent seizures, and a few others will cause you to lose consciousness. Some partial seizures you are still aware of what is happening. However, there are many times you do not know what is happening and you may not even remember after it is done.
To learn more about the different kinds of seizures CLICK HERE (Available 11/11/2019
5. Do NOT put anything in someone’s mouth when they are having a seizure
There is a common myth that you should put a spoon in the mouth of someone who is having a seizure so that they do not swallow their tongue. It is true that many people will bite their tongues while they are having a seizure. IT may even cause bleeding. However, it is unlikely that they will swallow their tongue, and putting things in their mouth is actually more dangerous.
6. Every seizure is not a reason to go to the hospital
For people with epilepsy seizures are pretty commo. Many may not be a cause to go to the hospital, especially if they are not hurt. You should definitely call the ambulance if there is more than one seizure in a row, if the seizure lasts longer than a few minutes, or is the person has injured themselves due to a seizure. However, if this isn’t the case, they may simply need to document it and speak to their doctor about it at their next visit to discuss the effectiveness of treatments and medication
7. Every person with epilepsy is affected differently
The truth is that many people with epilepsy are different. We are all affected differently. For some people it is so bad that they have to have surgery or part of their brain removed. Some people may be so severely affected that they cannot lead a normal life. Some people may be lucky enough to get by with medication. Others may eventually not need medication but simply have to manage their stress level, physical activity and maintain a healthy diet, as these things may affect seizures
Next Week's Question of the Week
Do You Know that there are multiple types of seizures?
Answer of the Week
With over 50 million people in the world diagnosed with Epilepsy, there should definitely be more common knowledge about it. I hope you have learned something new and I pray that you are more wise and aware of what’s going on.
About the Author
Mish (Pronounced Meesh) Truth has always been a natural social justice advocate. She now holds BA in Psychology and will hold an MSW by May 2021. She is currently a goal coach, a tutor, and a writer.
She is is passionate about social justice issues and overall mental wellness. This includes knowledge on how to develop healthy relationships, and awareness mental and medical illnesses, and social justice issues.
Growing up in an urban, low income, community, she learned a lot before her time. She credits her success to her self awareness and desire for personal growth.
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