7 Myths and Facts about Epilepsy

7 Interesting Myths and Facts about Epilepsy | The Lifesciences Magazine

Epilepsy is a brain disorder. The patient suffers from constant seizures due to epilepsy. Epilepsy causes shots of electrical current into the brain which makes the person give sudden jerks. There are too many myths and facts about epilepsy which may be confusing. People tend to go an assumptive nature and act wrongly when jerks are occurring.  

A lot of myths and facts about epilepsy are believed around the globe. It affects different people differently. No one human is the same. Some people may suffer from major epilepsy attacks with other issues too. Epilepsy type also depends on person to person. Some patients lose orientation, some give sudden jerks, and some collapse or become unconscious.

Mentioning 7 Myths and Facts About Epilepsy to Clear the Air:

Myth #1: Epilepsy is caused by the presence of “evil spirits” or supernatural powers.

In the list of myths and facts about epilepsy, this one comes at the top. The visual of the person experiencing epilepsy isn’t a pleasant sight to watch. The tongue may come out, and constant jerks, disorientation, and may fall unconscious after the attack. Seeing this the common people of the society have come up with this myth.

Fact: The fact is epilepsy is a neurological defect of the brain. It has to be handled by professional and certified doctors like neurologists, epileptologist, or pediatricians.

Myth #2: Epilepsy is genetic.

Epilepsy can never be genetic. It is a neurological condition that can happen to anyone during their childhood or at age above 60. This is one of the myths and facts about epilepsy.

7 Interesting Myths and Facts about Epilepsy | The Lifesciences Magazine

Fact: In children, it happens due to nerve-signaling imbalance. These are chemicals called neuro-transmitters that cause tumors, tremors, or brain damage due to illness or injury. In older adults, it happens as the blood vessels near the brain become narrower and tighter. It affects the blood supply to the brain and can’t provide enough oxygen too.

Myth #3: Epilepsy spreads from one person to another.

Epilepsy is a neurological issue. Anyone can experience it. It has no indication of spreading via touch or any other form. It isn’t a skin-borne disease that will spread from person to person. Again, baseless myths and facts about epilepsy.

Fact: It is a defect in the brain getting signals. The activity gets haywire causing the jerks, to fall unconscious, and lose orientation.

Myth #4: During the attacks, patients may swallow their tongues.

Another one in the group of myths and facts about epilepsy is that the patient will swallow their tongues. It is impossible for a person to swallow his/her own tongue. No matter how hard one will try, swallowing the tongue is not how our body functions.

Fact: During the attacks, the patient may curl up his/her tongue and end up biting the tongue. You should help the patient to turn on one side to try and stop the attack as soon as possible.

Myth #5: A patient with epilepsy will never get married.

Getting married and having a healthy life has got nothing to do with having epilepsy attacks. The consent of both parties for marriage is important.

7 Interesting Myths and Facts about Epilepsy | The Lifesciences Magazine

Fact: Even if a female suffers from epilepsy, she can conceive and have kids normally. There’s no issue in leading a perfectly normal life with epilepsy.  

Myth #6: Epilepsy decreases intelligence.

This is strongly believed by the people. Myths and facts about epilepsy like these are strongly trusted by people.

Fact: People with epilepsy can function very much normally like any other ordinary person. The level of intelligence among epilepsy patients and non-epilepsy people is the same. It does not affect your intelligence quotient in any aspect.

Myth #7: You should force-feed the person during the epilepsy attack.

There’s no point in feeding the person in the middle of an epilepsy attack. It is utter disbelief or a very wrong practice to do so.

7 Interesting Myths and Facts about Epilepsy | The Lifesciences Magazine

Fact: This is a very thing to do being a guardian of a person having a seizure attack. The person is not in his senses during the attack. So he/she is not capable of or not in the condition of taking something inside the mouth.

Causes of epilepsy:

  1. Head Trauma: This means a shift caused in the original position of the brain inside the head. The shift happens due to sudden external force due to an accident, major fall, or any type of body jerk.
  2. Injury before birth: Incidents like injuries when in the mother’s womb can cause epilepsy in the child. Hence, it is advised to avoid accidents during pregnancy.
  3. Defective brain factors: Tumors in the brain are a cause of epilepsy. The way blood vessels are formed in the brain is also a cause. Malformation of the blood vessels is known as arteriovenous malformation. People with such a condition can have seizures.
  4. Less oxygen supply during birth: Epilepsy in children can happen because of less oxygen received during pregnancy. At the time of delivery of the baby, an adequate amount of oxygen level for the baby is necessary. It helps the baby to come out safe and sound.


These are some of the myths and facts about epilepsy. A person having an epilepsy attack is a sight no one would want to watch in his life. Due to its unpleasantness, there are these mentioned myths attached to it. Myths are specially made by older generation people and people from urban areas. They believe so because they were told the same when they were small.

So they believe it to be true. When actually, there’s a scientific reason attached to it. Also, keep in mind to help the person turn to one side when the attack is going on. It helps the attack to relax and the person comes back to normal, or he may get unconscious. If unconscious, spill some water on his face to wake him up. Call the doctor immediately too. Do not believe in the mentioned myths.     

Also Read: 7 Myths about Lung Cancer that are not true! 

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