Right. Fear is down to ignorance. I hadn’t seen (that I’m aware of) any type of seizure until I had video telemetry (I asked the nurse to see the video and she looked at me like I was a complete weirdo!). The thing is that unless we witness a seizure ourselves I think that it can be hard to imagine how the general public may feel if they are witnessing one for the first or even the second time.
It isn’t at all fun to witness any type of seizure and the general public tend not to regularly witness one, so you can understand them feeling uncomfortable.
Indeed, most of us don’t like seeing another person in discomfort or danger and if we don’t know what to do in certain circumstances then that can induce fear too.
It is however rather ridiculous and embarrassing to consider how few people know about epilepsy and what to do should they witness a seizure. Especially considering that 1 in 103 people or nearly 73 MILLION people in the world have epilepsy!
I’m very open about my epilepsy and am happy to chat about it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of after all. I see that they only way we can all help each other is by spreading the truth about epilepsy, the causes of the condition, the causes of seizures, the effects on our lives, treatments, etc.. Neurology is extremely interesting. I find that when I speak about epilepsy I can tell who was previously ignorant as they look a bit scared or/and embarrassed. But you know, that’s ok because they want to learn.
Ignorance leads to discrimination with epilepsy, the same as with mental health, other disabilities, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, etc.. Anything that makes us different. So let’s educate. We can even bring humour in when explaining epilepsy (well, I try to!).
Let’s be upbeat where possible and remove the fear of epilepsy.