As we are gearing up to move forward into the brisk month of November, there are a couple of thoughts that many people are having while running errands. Those thoughts might include the approaching holidays, and winter’s looming presence to name a few. One thing that many are probably not aware of, is that November is also National Epilepsy Awareness Month. We want to shine a spotlight on this neurological disorder because we feel that knowing is half the battle, and that enabling others to be more aware of this illness can help them to recognize symptoms, know when to act, and how to be supportive of the cause, themselves or others that they may know who are going through it.
Description & Symptoms
What do you think of when you think of Epilepsy? To some, it is a person being taken over by an uncontrollable shaking or fit and falling unconscious. Those people would be partially correct, as this disorder has several facets. According to an article by Kirsten Fawcett at health.usnews.com, a source states: “the disorder is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.”
An article on mayoclinic.org maps out the experiences that individuals with some form of the neurological condition might have:
- Temporary Confusion
- A staring spell
- Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Psychic symptoms
Diving even deeper, this article describes other intricacies of Epilepsy that are very important to consider. Such as, roughly 1 in 26 people in the U.S. population having a variation of the illness, and it being the fourth most common neurological disorder in the country.
There is a silver lining however, Fawcett’s article does state that 70 percent of those diagnosed with Epilepsy can successfully manage the condition with medication.
When to See a Doctor
November is a time that has been designated for many to become aware of what goes on behind those hospital doors and to learn how to move forward regarding themselves or someone they are close with potentially having Epilepsy. This knowledge includes, knowing when to see a doctor.
Webmd.com had some good insights on when to consult the doctor:
- The person having a seizure stops breathing for longer than 30 seconds. Rescue breathing may need to be employed.
- The seizure is moving past the three-minute mark.
- More than one seizure in any 24-hour period
- The person who had the seizure does not respond normally or is showing signs of symptoms we mentioned above.
- A seizure occurs after any of these: severe headache, poison, head injury or in conjunction with diabetes or pregnancy.
There are several things that can be done to lessen symptoms of the disorder, epilepsy.com has some good ones:
Epilepsy can be serious, but it can also be managed with the right medication, care and support. Let’s make this November count, and continue to spread the word even further. Let’s continue passing on the knowledge we have found and dispelling myths, it could end up really helping someone down the line.