International Epilepsy Day
10th FEBRUARY 2020
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the brain and nervous system. It is estimated that 65 million people are living with epilepsy around the world. There are half a million people, 1 in 100, of all ages with Epilepsy in the UK. They are caused by a sudden burst of intense electrical activity in the Brain which results in a seizure. There are many types of Epilepsy, that can start at a young age or later on in life, but not all seizures are due to epilepsy and workers are not provided with epilepsy awareness training to help those that this affects.
Just over 10 years ago I began having regular seizures. I do not have any recollection of these events and used to wake up either on a floor or in hospital. Apart from those close to me, many people did not know how to help me whilst having these seizures as they had not been provided with appropriate epilepsy awareness training. After having all the tests for Epilepsy, including an EEG (electroencephalogram), I was finally diagnosed with Non-epileptic seizures, also known as Dissociative seizures, which were controlled by medication. I am lucky as my seizures are not caused by electrical activity, starting in the brain, and I have subsequently been able to control them.
International Epilepsy Day was started to promote awareness of Epilepsy in over 120 countries worldwide. With one-third of those with epilepsy living with uncontrollable seizures because there is no available treatment that works for them and 8 out of 10 people in developing nations not having access to appropriate treatment it is imperative that we highlight this disease.
Epilepsy is a well known medical condition but many still do not understand it and often fear it as they are not given epilepsy awareness training to help them assist if they see someone having a seizure. This has led to discrimination in workplaces and communities throughout the world and a lack of funding for new therapies research. By promoting epilepsy awareness globally we can educate the public and strive to advocate for appropriate legislation that will guarantee human rights for those with epilepsy as well as urge people to take appropriate training and encourage those with epilepsy to live to their full potential.