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7 common myths about epilepsy or seizures busted!

Along with conventional treatment, there are some natural ways that could help epilepsy management © Shutterstock

Epilepsy is a form of spiritual possession. NO. It is just a myth.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : January 5, 2018 11:48 AM IST

Epilepsy is one of the common neurological disorders affecting more than 60 million people worldwide. It has no age, racial, or geographical boundaries. It s sudden and dramatic appearance has mystified mankind for a long time. And maybe this is the reason why it is surrounded by prejudices and myths. Even now, despite significant scientific progress, people with epilepsy continue to suffer from discrimination not only in India but all over the world. Dr Ashok Hande, Neurosurgeon, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi debunked some of the common myths surrounding epilepsy and seizures. Read first aid for epileptic seizures.

Myth 1: Epilepsy is a form of spiritual possession.

Fact: Epilepsy is a neurological condition affecting the brain. It is also a physical condition because the body is affected when someone has a seizure.

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Myth 2: Epilepsy is contagious.

Fact:Epilepsy cannot be caught if one comes in contact with an epileptic patient; like many other medical problems, so it is NOT contagious. In the past, people used to spit at a person with this condition and refused to use the same dish as used by an epileptic person thinking the disease is contagious, which is not the case. Have an epileptic friend? Here are 13 things you need to know.

Myth 3: You are born with epilepsy, it is always genetic.

Fact: Anyone can develop epilepsy at any time. There are those who are born with it while others have their first seizure at an adult age. While genetics can play a factor, there are other more common causes of epilepsy, such as head trauma, brain tumour and stroke, to name a few. Hence, is not always genetic.

Myth 4: People with epilepsy can t work, excel at school, have children or lead normal lives.

Fact: Epileptics often lead normal lives. The range of abilities and intelligence in people with epilepsy is no different than the rest of us. It is a misconception that epileptic persons cannot have children or perform as normal individuals at schools, colleges and offices. Read about the common symptoms of epilepsy.

Myth 5: During a seizure, you can swallow your tongue.

Fact: The human tongue cannot be swallowed. However, one can bite their tongue during a seizure.

Myth 6: You should force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.

Fact: This is not at all recommended. If someone is having a seizure, it is advisable to roll the person on to one side and place something soft under the head to protect the person from injury. Also, it is advised to put a cloth in the mouth to prevent them from biting their tongue during a seizure. Here's more on things you should NEVER do in case of a seizure.

Myth 7: You should restrain someone having a seizure.

Fact: The seizure will run its course and cannot be stopped or avoided. Hence, you must not try to stop or restrain a person when having an epileptic attack.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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