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Myths Surrounding Epilepsy In Women And Children In India

A person with epilepsy can have a successful married life.

Myths Surrounding Epilepsy In Women And Children In India

A person with epilepsy can have a successful married life

A neurological disorder, epilepsy is not a psychiatric problem. In fact, people with epilepsy are not necessarily cognitively challenged, violent or crazy. Furthermore, having epilepsy doesn’t mean that it’s stays with the patient for life. Having epilepsy is not as problematic as facing the stigma associated with it. Some common misconceptions about epilepsy are that epilepsy is contagious even though the disease is not transferrable. Another social stigma is that people with epilepsy cannot be employed – which isn’t true at all as epilepsy does not lead to any physical limitations. An excellent case example is the former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes who overcame epilepsy and emerged as one of the best all-rounder in his profession.

Marriage and Epilepsy

A person with epilepsy can have a successful married life. There are many family members who have previously had epilepsy during their childhood but now, are living a normal married life. In our society, there is a fear of rejection of marriage proposal on disclosure of the disorder. But research on this condition has concluded that it’s better to disclose it if a person has this disorder prior to their marriage.  Contrary to popular belief, the chances of having a normal, healthy and successful pregnancy is more than 90%, without any effect on the baby. 

Epilepsy in Children

A child who has epileptic seizures is otherwise a normal child and should be allowed to have a normal childhood like any other. In fact, discrimination and restrictions are more likely to affect the child’s personality. With safety measures in place, playing games for a child is healthy. In a child with epilepsy, swimming is not an absolute contraindication. It requires special safety parameters especially individualized monitoring. If a family member continuously monitors the child, then swimming should not be a cause of worry. There are many historians including Alfred Nobel, Julius Cesar, Naepolian, and many sports legends like Leander Paes who have had epilepsy. There are also doctors, leaders, bankers and lawyers who have had epilepsy but have manged their seizures and have come out of it.  
 
Although epilepsy is more common in children and young adults, it can happen at any age. People with a history of stroke, head injury or Alzheimer’s disease are more prone to develop epilepsy in old age.

(Dr. Atmaram Bansal is a Senior Consultant, Neurosciences, Medanta - The Medicity) 
 


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