Common epilepsy myths and misconceptions debunked

For many people living with epilepsy, the stigma that surrounds the condition is a big problem. A large part of this is the misconceptions, which are often taken for granted.

This blog post aims to debunk some of the most common epilepsy myths.


MYTH #1:

You shake and jerk when you have epilepsy

FACT #1:

Shaking and jerking while unconscious is normally associated with tonic-clonic seizures. There are actually many more types of seizures with very different symptoms.

For more information, check out The Epilepsy Society‘s useful guides.


MYTH #2:

Epilepsy is rare

FACT #2:

Epilepsy is actually very common: over 500,000 people in the UK have epilepsy. That’s nearly 1 in every 100 people. Epilepsy occurs in people of all ages, social classes and ethnic backgrounds.


MYTH #3:

You are born with epilepsy

FACT #3:

In fact, epilepsy can develop at any time. Genetics can be a factor, but there are other causes such as head trauma and strokes which are more common. The number of people who first experience a seizure above the age of 65 is nearly as high as those who first experience one as a baby.


MYTH #4:

Everyone with epilepsy has frequent seizures

FACT #4:

Actually, the majority of people living with epilepsy are able to control their seizures with anti-epileptic medication.

While some people still don’t respond to medication, the majority of people living with epilepsy are able to lead ‘normal’ lives. Despite this, there is still a serious need for research into epilepsy: the condition is by no means a solved problem!


MYTH #5:

You should always call 999 when someone is having a seizure

FACT #5:

The majority of seizures are not medical emergencies, and it is not necessary to call 999. However, there are several exceptions to this. You should call 999 if:

• You know that it is someone’s first seizure

• The seizure lasts for five minutes or longer

• The person is injured during the seizure

• The person is pregnant or has diabetes.


MYTH #6:

Epilepsy is contagious

FACT #6:

It is completely impossible to catch epilepsy off someone!

Article originally published on 21st October 2016 by


Epilepsy, Seizures, Convulsions – All The Facts – GNC Dubai

Epilepsy, Convulsions, seizures or fits are some of the most common neurologic disorders, with an annual incidence of 35 to 52 cases per 100,000 persons. It is a central nervous system disorder that affects the nerve cell activity in the brain characterized by the presence of recurrent, unprovoked seizures.