Well-known member
Every year, the Epilepsy Society [https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/] has an Epilepsy Awareness Week. There are 600,000 people UK with Epilepsy. The reason I thought it worth raising the subject was, apart from taking a close personal interest in the condition, but to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions which surround it.

"Epilepsy" is frequently misunderstood, with many people mistaking the symptoms for the causes. Frequently, it is assumed that Tonic-clonic seizures ARE Epilepsy. But they are not. What is often taught in many basic "First Aid" courses is how to "protect the head" and make the person comfortable [After a Tonic - Clonic Seizure]. There are many, many symptoms, dependent upon which area of the neuro-system are affected. Epilepsy can be triggered by infections, autoimmune deficiencies, genetic inheritance, head trauma and many other factors.

A person's experience, may not be immediately visible to the untrained eye, or unless it's a family member or someone who knows the person and familiar with their condition. "Absences" "Aura's" a feeling of "déjà vu" and a "Metallic Taste" are all symptoms of dysfunctional brain activity. Memory loss is a big issue and sometimes people with epilepsy are labelled as "forgetful", "lazy", "day-dreamers", not "concentrating", being "ignorant", "rude", "irritable", etc. Temporary loss of spatial awareness isn't always obvious. Frequently, after any type of seizure, the person can feel exhausted and will need sleep - sometimes for days, before they recover. There are conditions which are associated with Epilepsy, such as Hippocampal Sclerosis and Dementia. They are not mutually exclusive. Continuing seizures, even as a child, can cause long-term brain damage, even if medication is used to "control" seizures. Medication varies in terms of its effectiveness in controlling particular aspects of each individuals' epilepsy. Epilepsy cant be cured.

There are also frequent issues with the supply of some anti-convulsant medications, which can cause anxiety and serious issues for the person. In extreme ccases a person can die without the appropriate medication. Non -concordance with medication sometimes means medications have to be prescribed and supplied in blister packs and delivered on a regular basis, on a particular day, in a given time period. Non-concordance with the prescribed medication isnt just being "forgetful" or "careless": sometimes it doesnt occur to the person when they havent taken their medication, untill they begin to feel "ill".

Epilepsy is disabling to differing degrees: driving, for example, obtaining a driving licence can be an issue. With professional assessment, sometimes a person can obtain a driving licence if they have been "seizure free" for twelve months. For others, a person who has had seizures whilst awake and asleep, may have to wait three years, dependent on changes in medication, for example.

People sometimes adapt to issues with memory by carrying a note-pad and pen to write down appointments or important dates. Some carry a voice recorder as a prompt or "eye pens" which can be used to convert to script and voice on a computer, with the appropriate software. Being "forgetful" is not a helpful description, as seizures can be like wiping the RAM on your computer: you can't retrieve information which isn't stored in your brain.

Here is the trailer to the Epilepsy Society, "Its more than just seizures" video [V=01:00].

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Thank you Roofie. My brother has severe epilepsy, which has led to him being housebound for the last decade. His last ‘episode’ in Stockton High St led to him being shunned by passers-by as a drunk.
Tough for all people these days.
There is a fella who suffers from it in the South stand. He used to stand behind me and had a few episodes so they have moved don to the pitch side so medics can get to him quicker if he has another episode. He told me that they could operate which obviously the risks are very high ans has decided to take the chance and live with it.