Exclusive interview: About epilepsy in her own words
- IWB Post
- January 6, 2015
Here is another brave heart Jaipur woman SHWETA SHARMA , who has open up with us about her life with epilepsy. Here is what she shared in an exclusive chit-chat.
What is Epilepsy for you?
Epilepsy is a common seizure disorder. Seventy percent of those with epilepsy can control their disorder with medications and proper precautions. I fall in this 70% category. There is often no apparent reason why a seizure occurs. Following things can trigger seizures:
- Stress or anxiety.
- Some medicines such as antidepressants, antipsychotic medication (these lower the seizure threshold in the brain).
- Lack of sleep, or tiredness.
- Irregular meals (or skipping meals) which may cause a low blood sugar level.
- Heavy alcohol intake or using street drugs.
- Flickering lights such as from strobe lighting or video games.
- Menstruation (periods).
- Illnesses which cause fever such as flu or other infections.
Importance of the family support
When an illness affects a member of the family, the whole family gets affected by it. Amidst that alteration, it is important to keep the home’s environment positive. My family has been great in providing me an affectionate and motivating living space. Care and emotional support go a long way in recovery and well-being.
Your evolution with epilepsy
I am living with epilepsy and leading a productive and outwardly normal life. I feel more determined and empathetic now. The greatest strength that I have developed after epilepsy is the adaptability. Moreover, I think the family has come closer, and I really appreciate this.
Any societal stereotype you want to break
People think epilepsy is some kind of metal disorder. They associate it with madness and violence. Even if a person has had seizure once or twice a year, but still he has to live with the stigma of seizures throughout his life.
Because of this, people with epilepsy hide it from society which, in turn, makes them depressive. I think, the only way to tackle this stigma is to increase the individual’s personal resilience and to try and change attitudes at a social level. Through this interview, I am doing my part.
About society being gender-bias towards epilepsy
It’s true. Girls face issues majorly during marriage negotiations. Apart from that, people think women with epilepsy face problems while conceiving, raising a healthy baby and even during breastfeeding. It’s all nonsense. There are drugs available to keep the child safe, and hence, the new-born can remain out of danger.
Such illogical stigma can affect a woman’s life. She can lose her self-esteem and can reduce her status in the society.
In case you encounter person who is experiencing the epileptic seizure, you can:
- Remove any harmful thing around that can cause injury. Cushion their head if they’re on the ground.
- Loosen any tight clothing around their neck, such as a collar or tie to aid breathing
- When their convulsions stop, turn them so that they’re lying on their side.
- Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth, including your fingers. They may bite their tongue, but this will heal. Putting an object in their mouth could cause more damage.
- Stay with them and talk to them calmly until they have recovered.
Personal health regime
Epilepsy cannot be cured with medication. However, staying happy and having an active lifestyle helps a lot. I take a complete sleep of 8 hrs and eat a balanced diet.
Message for JWB women
I agree, it may be hard for you to live with epilepsy, but this is not the end of the world. Talking about any worries, asking questions and sharing information about epilepsy helps big time. I am feeling so motivated after sharing my story with all of you and somewhere, it has made me stronger.