Stigma in Epilepsy and How to Combat It
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.
KeywordsDiscrimination Bullying Enacted stigma Felt stigma Concealment Malleus Maleficarum Epilepsy care
- 3.Valeta T. Impact of newly identified epileptic seizures in patients and family. In: Panayiotopoulos CP, editor. Newly identified epileptic seizures: diagnosis, procedures and management, vol. 3. Oxford: Medicinae; 2007. p. 138–44.Google Scholar
- 4.World Health Organization. Atlas epilepsy care in the world 2005. Geneva: World Health Organisation; 2005.Google Scholar