Facts and Fallacies of Epilepsy

Facts and Fallacies of Epilepsy

Facts and Fallacies of Epilepsy

It’s another International Epilepsy Day, and in this instalment, we provide awareness of the Facts and Fallacies of Epilepsy.

International Epilepsy Day is observed on the second Monday of February each year. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about epilepsy and its impact on the lives of those affected by the condition. The purpose of International Epilepsy Day is to educate the public, reduce stigma and discrimination, and improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy.

For many people with epilepsy, the stigma attached to the condition is more challenging than the condition itself.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterised by recurrent seizures. It affects people of all ages and can significantly impact their quality of life.

Here are some facts and fallacies about epilepsy:


  • Epilepsy is a common condition – approximately 1% of the world’s population has epilepsy.
  • Seizures are a symptom of epilepsy, but not everyone with a seizure has epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is not a single disease but a group of related conditions with different causes.
  • The cause of epilepsy is often unknown, but it can be caused by factors such as brain injury, stroke, brain tumours, infections, and genetic factors.
  • Seizures can be controlled with medication for many people with epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, including employment, social activities, and mental health.


  • Epilepsy is contagious – this is false. Epilepsy is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
  • People with epilepsy have low intelligence – this is false, intelligence is not affected by epilepsy, and people with epilepsy can have normal or above-average intelligence.
  • Epilepsy can only be treated with surgery – this is false. While surgery may be an option for some people with epilepsy, many other treatments are available, including medication, dietary therapy, and electrical stimulation.
  • A person can swallow their tongue during a seizure – this is false, the muscles in the mouth and tongue are controlled by different parts of the brain, and a person cannot swallow their tongue during a seizure.
  • People with epilepsy are not safe to drive – this is false. Many people with epilepsy can safely drive with proper treatment and management.

It’s essential to educate oneself about epilepsy to dispel myths and understand the condition better. If you or someone you know has epilepsy, it’s critical to seek the advice of a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

By working together, we can help to reduce the impact of epilepsy and improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy everywhere.


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