Myths and legends about epilepsy


Despite of social effects might vary depending on the country, discrimination and social stigmatization around epilepsy over the world are harder to defeat than the seizures themselves. 

Epilepsy patients can be a target of prejudice (at school, at work) and they may not be easily accepted by the society.

Epilepsy is not a mental illness, but not having the right treatment over the years; it could derive in memory damage and psychological problems. It is not contagious and nobody is free of contracting it. 

Hippocrates (c. 460 -370 BC), Ancient Greece doctor, was the first to establish the brain as the source of the disease. It wasn’t until mid- nineteenth century when his theory was ratified; epilepsy is a brain neurological disease. Until then, those suffering epilepsy were thought to be possessed by devil spirits or even portrayed as antisocial and dangerous people, the sort of prejudices which are still running nowadays.

Facing a seizure, especially a convulsion becomes scary for those witnessing because it feels the person is in death risk or he/ she can act violently. But this is not true. When someone suffers a seizure, he /she don’t know what he / she are doing. However, it is very important that relatives, teachers, tutors and society in general know how to react in front of a seizure. 


Campaign for epilepsy information and awareness:

  • Talk About this!’, campaign started by Greg Grunberg, American film and TV star. One of his children has epilepsy.