Categories: Neurology

Common Myths and Facts on Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition where individual encounters repeated, unprovoked seizures which are brought about by a sporadic, unexpected, and extreme electrical release from cells in the brain. India is home to an estimated population of 10 million epileptic patients. At least 1 out of 100 or 200 people in India are suffering from this neurological issue. Depending on its kind, Epilepsy affects people in various ways. Treatment choices for Epilepsy have advanced since the previous decade yet, the stigma and shame related to this issue keep people away from seeking proper medicinal help. In spite of being the oldest medical condition on record, Epilepsy has still been kept under wraps and almost no has been spoken about this issue on a public platform.

Let us debunk some of the common myths of Epilepsy:


Myth – Epilepsy is brought about by “evil spirits” or “supernatural powers.

Fact – Epilepsy is a neurological condition. It is not caused due to some external forces. It should be treated by neurologists, epileptologists, doctors, and pediatricians.


Myth – Epilepsy is infectious.

Fact – Epilepsy is a neurological condition and doesn’t spread by coming into contact with somebody who has seizures.


Myth – Epilepsy has no cure.

Fact – Medication, surgery, dietary as well as other treatments have helped in a reduction or elimination of seizures in many epileptic patients. With the correct treatment approach, most patients can lead full, productive lives.


Myth – Epilepsy is genetic.

Fact – Anyone can be diagnosed to have epilepsy at some point in their life. While a few people are born with this disease, there are others who are diagnosed with it for no clear reason. Regardless of your age, sex, ethnicity, or financial background, epilepsy can happen unannounced.


Myth – Epilepsy affects intelligence.

Fact – On average, epileptic patients appear to have a similar degree of intelligence as a healthy person. The learning capabilities of patients will only be affected if the frequency and power of seizures increase.


Myth – An epileptic patient can never get married nor have children.

Fact – With the consent of the two partners, it is possible for epileptic patients to marry and lead a healthy life. Additionally, with appropriate preconception guiding, it is possible for an epileptic lady to conceive and have children.


Myth – During a seizure, epileptic patients in some cases swallow their tongue.

Fact – An individual having seizures may wind up biting his/her tongue, but it is difficult to swallow the tongue and choke.


Myth – If you’ve had a seizure, you have epilepsy.

Fact – Not all seizures can be due to epilepsy. Seizures can occur due to different reasons like high temperature, binge drinking, head damage, etc. To be diagnosed as a case of epilepsy, the patient must have endured at least two unprovoked seizures.


Myth – You should force something into the mouth of somebody having a seizure.

Fact – Please don’t place anything into an individual’s mouth if he/she is having a seizure as it could cause an injury. During most seizures, the individual is unconscious and incapable of dealing with foreign objects in his/her mouth.

We hope this information helps you in clearing some of the misconceptions related to Epilepsy. Always consult your doctor, if you have unprovoked seizures and do not believe any misinformation about the same.

Dr. Radhika Manohar, Consultant – Neurology, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra

Narayana Health

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