Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition. About one in every 100 people has epilepsy. A single seizure does not necessarily mean you have epilepsy.
Epilepsy can affect anyone at any age. 75% of people with epilepsy have had their first seizure before the age of 20.
Up to 80% of people will have their epilepsy controlled by medication. Many children with epilepsy will outgrow it. Epilepsy is not a mental illness or psychiatric disorder. Epilepsy is not infectious or contagious. One in 20 people have a seizure at some time in their lives.
The severity of seizures can differ from person to person. Some people simply experience an odd feeling with no loss of awareness, while others lose consciousness and have convulsions (uncontrollable shaking of the body).
8 Facts about epilepsy
- Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition.
- About 1 in every 100 people has epilepsy.
- Epilepsy can affect anyone, at any age, and anyone can develop epilepsy at any stage of life.
- Up to 80% of people will have their epilepsy controlled by medication.
- Many children with epilepsy will outgrow it.
- Epilepsy isn’t a mental illness or psychiatric disorder.
- Epilepsy isn’t infectious or contagious.
- There are different forms of epilepsy and types of seizures.
- Epilepsy affects people of all levels of intelligence and from all racial and social backgrounds.
How is epilepsy diagnosed?
The diagnosis of epilepsy is largely clinical, and an accurate description of the seizures and the circumstances in which they occur becomes very important. Find out as much as you can, because understanding your epilepsy will help you explain it to your doctors and family members. You may find it useful to prepare a list of questions before you visit your doctor.
Detailed descriptions will help in the diagnosis and may determine the need for further investigations such as blood tests and medical scans.
If you're suffering from epileptic seizures, visit your local community day centre for medical advice and medication.
Medication and helping yourself
The majority of people with epilepsy have their seizures controlled by anti-epileptic medication. The choice of drug depends not only on the type of seizure but also on the individual and it may take some time to achieve the right dose for each person.
Medication strengthens the resistance to seizures, so it’s most important to take the prescribed dose at the prescribed time.