What I have noticed lately is that people have been referring to Epilepsy as a disease. That is one of the few words other than “crippled” that makes my skin crawl. I know it sounds weird but it’s true. In my eyes, Epilepsy is not a disease. It is a chronic medical condition. When I think of a disease, the image or thought that pops into my mind is something that is infectious or that can be passed on from one person to another. That is what I think. Sometimes, people react so out of character when they hear the word “seizure”. They automatically think that there is something to worry about or maybe they should stay away from the person. Well, everyone who has been diagnosed with Epilepsy are normal. They live their lives one day at a time with beautiful memories in their hearts. They are able to do just about anything that they want to do.
In ancient times, Epilepsy was tied to the notion that people with this neurological condition was possessed by demons and other demonic figures and so Epilepsy was known as the Sacred Disease. In addition, I remembered when William Little first discovered Cerebral Palsy in young children. He called it Little’s Disease. I guess there was no other way to describe it back then. Over the years, the medical condition has evolved into a suitable name and it describes the motor disorder very well. In the past, there has been myths made up about Epilepsy such as people with Epilepsy are possessed by demons, they are not able to work, only kids have Epilepsy, and Epilepsy is contagious. All of these are clearly not true. People with Epilepsy have exceeded these expectations and have made a place for themselves in this world. Follow this acronym regarding Epilepsy and the people who have it: ELIAES (Express, Love, Include, Advocate, Educate, and Support). With these six words in mind, everyone will be able to learn how to accept people for who they are and not by the things that define them. We are so much more than just the medical problems that we are dealing with.
What do you all think about this? Is Epilepsy a disease or a medical condition?