National Epilepsy Day is celebrated every year with an aim to raise awareness about epilepsy among people living in India. Around 50 million people in the country are currently affected by this neurological condition. This is what the World Health Organisation states. The need to start the campaign, National Epilepsy Day, was felt after looking at the increasing prevalence of the disease. National Epilepsy Day was started by the Epilepsy Foundation of India to reduce the number of people developing epilepsy.

Known as the ‘falling disease’, epilepsy was once believed to be caused by ghosts. Till today, most people are not aware of epilepsy and one of its main characteristic, seizures are misunderstood as something caused by the possession by a demon. Usually, people living in villages believe so. Today, on National Epilepsy Day 2019, we bust some of the common myths and misconceptions associated with the condition.

Myth1: Those suffering from epilepsy are mentally retarded.

Fact: Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects your brain signals and results in abnormal behaviour, emotions, and sensations for some time. But that doesn’t mean people suffering from epilepsy are mentally retarded. In such patients, the affected brain area drives these symptoms and other parts of the brain work perfectly normal. Notably, some of the famous personalities including Napoleon, Sir Alfred Nobel, and Socrates were suffering from epilepsy and still managed to become known individuals.

Myth2: Epilepsy can occur anytime without any trigger or warning.

Fact: This is absolutely not true. Epilepsy does have certain triggers including flashing lights, alcohol, menstruation, stress, disrupted sleep, smoking, etc.

Myth3: A person suffering from epilepsy attacks should be restrained.

Fact: This is one of the worst things that you can do to an epilepsy patient. In this situation, what you really need to do is to keep the sharp objects away from him. Also, if he falls, turn him to one side to let the saliva drain. Make sure there is no crowd around the affected person. In case epilepsy lasts for more than 5 minutes, immediately call for doctor’s help.