Stigma in Epilepsy and How to Combat It

  • Thalia Valeta


From ancient times, people with epilepsy have been viewed with fear, suspicion, and misunderstanding and were subjected to enormous social stigma including punishments such as outcasts and death. Only in the nineteenth century, the scientific concept of epilepsy as a brain disorder became more widely accepted, especially in Europe and the USA, but again patients with epilepsy continued facing significant discrimination. Widespread ignorance, fear, misunderstanding, and stigma contributed to severe legal and social penalties. Society, prejudice, and people’s attitudes can influence the quality of life of people with epilepsy. Increasing knowledge about epilepsy by raising awareness and educating about the disorder is a significant factor toward eradicating epilepsy-related stigma.


Discrimination Bullying Enacted stigma Felt stigma Concealment Malleus Maleficarum Epilepsy care 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thalia Valeta
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.First Neurology and Psychiatry ClinicUniversity of Athens, Aeginition HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and EpilepsiesSt. Thomas’ HospitalLondonUK

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