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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Epilepsy -- Myths and Facts

Myth: People with epilepsy are "epileptics."

Fact: The word "epileptic" should not be used to descrbe someone who has epilepsy, as it defines a person by one trait or problem. A label is powerful and can create a limiting and negative stereotype. It is better to refer to someone as "a person with epilepsy" or to a group of people as "people with epilepsy."

Myth: People with epilepsy are seldom brain-damaged.

Fact: Epilepsy is a disorder of brain and nerve-cell function that may or may not be associated with damage to brain structures. Brain function can be temporarily disturbed by many things, such as extreme fatigue; the use of sleeping pills, sedatives, or general anesthesia; or high fever or serious illness. "Brain damage" implies that something is permanently wrong with the brain's structure. This kind of damage may occur with severe head injury, cerebral palsy, Cerebral palsyA condition with various combinations of impaired muscle tone and strength, coordination, and intelligence.Close or stroke, or it may occur long before birth, with malformation or infection. Injuries to the brain are the cause of seizures in some people with epilepsy, but by no means all of them.

Brain injuries range from undetectable to disabling. Although brain cells usually do not regenerate, most people can make substantial recoveries. Brain damage, like epilepsy, carries a stigma, and some people may unjustly consider brain-injured patients "incompetent."

Myth: A seizure disorder is epilepsy.

Fact: Because some people fear the word "epilepsy," they use the term "seizure disorder" in an attempt to separate themselves from any association with it. However the term seizure disorder means the same thing as epilepsy. A person has epilepsy or a seizure disorder if he or she has had two or more seizures that "come out of the blue" and are not provoked—even if the problem first develops in adulthood or is known to be caused by something like a severe head injury or a tumor.

Myth: Seizures cause brain damage.

Fact: Single tonic-clonic seizures lasting less than 5-10 minutes are not known to cause brain damage or injury. However, there is evidence that more frequent and more prolonged tonic-clonic seizures may in some patients injure the brain. Prolonged or repetitive complex partial seizures (a type of seizure that occurs in clusters without an intervening return of consciousness) also can potentially cause long-lasting impairment of brain function.

Some people have difficulty with memory and other intellectual functions after a seizure. These problems may be caused by the aftereffects of the seizure on the brain, by the effects of seizure medicines, or both. Usually, however, these problems do not mean that the brain has been damaged by the seizure. There may be a cumulative, negative effect of many tonic-clonic or complex partial seizures on brain function, but this effect appears to be rare.

Myth: People with epilepsy are usually cognitively challenged.

Fact: People with epilepsy usually are not intellectually challenged. Many people mistakenly believe that people with epilepsy are also intellectually or developmentally challenged. In the large majority of situations, this is not true. Like any other group of people, people with epilepsy have different intellectual abilities. Some are brilliant and some score below average on intelligence tests, but most are somewhere in the middle. They have normal intelligence and lead productive lives. Some people, however, may have epilepsy associated with brain injuries that may cause other neurological difficulties that affects their thinking, remembering, or other cognitive CognitivePertaining to the mental processes of perceiving, thinking, and remembering; used loosely to refer to intellectual functions as opposed to physical functions.Closeabilities. The cognitive problems may be the only problem in most people. Less frequently, some people have other developmental problems that can affect the way they function and live.

Myth: People with epilepsy are violent or crazy.

Fact: The belief that people with epilepsy are violent is an unfortunate image that is both wrong and destructive. People with epilepsy have no greater tendency toward severe irritability and aggressive behaviors than do other people.

Many features of seizures and their immediate aftereffects can be easily misunderstood as "crazy" or "violent" behavior. Unfortunately, police officers and even medical personnel may confuse seizure-related behaviors with other problems. However, these behaviors merely represent semiconscious or confused actions resulting from the seizure. During seizures, some people may not respond to questions, may speak gibberish, undress, repeat a word or phrase, crumple important papers, or may appear frightened and scream. Some are confused immediately after a seizure, and if they are restrained or prevented from moving about, they can become agitated and combative. Some people are able to respond to questions and carry on a conversation fairly well, but several hours later they cannot remember the conversation at all.

Myth: People with epilepsy are mentally ill.

Fact: Epilepsy is not the same as mental illness and in fact, the majority of people with seizures do not develop mental health problems. Yet recent research is showing that problems with mood, such as anxiety and depression, may be seen more frequently than previously thought. The causes are not always known. In some people, the cause and location of the seizures may affect certain brain areas and contribute to mood problems. In others, side effects of treatments and the challenges of living with epilepsy may affect a person's feelings and behavior. If these problems occur, a variety of treatments are available.

Myth: Epilepsy is necessarily inherited.

Fact: Most cases of epilepsy are not inherited, although some types are genetically transmitted (that is, passed on through the family). Most of these types are easily controlled with seizure medicines.

Myth: Epilepsy is a life-long disorder.

Fact: Generally, people with epilepsy have seizures and require medication for only a small portion of their lives. About 60 % of people who develop seizures have epilepsy that can be easily controlled and is likely to remit or go away. However, about 25 % may develop difficult to control seizures and likely will require lifelong treatment. More than half of childhood forms of epilepsy are outgrown by adulthood. With many forms of epilepsy in children and adults, when the person has been free of seizures for 1 to 3 years, medications can often be slowly withdrawn and discontinued under a doctor's supervision.

Myth: Epilepsy is a curse.

Fact: Epilepsy has nothing to do with curses, possession, or other supernatural processes, such as punishment for past sins. Like asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, epilepsy is a medical problem.

Myth: Epilepsy should be a barrier to success.

Fact: Epilepsy is perfectly compatible with a normal, happy, and full life. The person's quality of life, however, may be affected by the frequency and severity of the seizures, the effects of medications, reactions of onlookers to seizures, and other disorders that are often associated with or caused by epilepsy.

Some types of epilepsy are harder to control than others. Living successfully with epilepsy requires a positive outlook, a supportive environment, and good medical care. Coping with the reaction of other people to the disorder can be the most difficult part of living with epilepsy.

Acquiring a positive outlook may be easier said than done, especially for those who have grown up with insecurity and fear. Instilling a strong sense of self-esteem in children is important. Many children with long-term, ongoingic illnesses—not only epilepsy but also disorders such as asthma or diabetes—have low self-esteem. This may be caused in part by the reactions of others and in part by parental concern that fosters dependence and insecurity. Children develop strong self-esteem and independence through praise for their accomplishments and emphasis on their potential abilities.

Famous people with epilepsy include Julius Caesar, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Tchaikovsky, Van Gogh, Dostoyevski, Dickens, Dante, da Vinci, Mozart and Alfred Nobel.


People with Disability or Disorder -- Myths and Facts

Myth: People with disabilities are brave and courageous.
Fact: Adjusting to a disability requires adapting to a lifestyle, not bravery and courage.

Myth: All persons with hearing disabilities can read lips.
Fact: Lip-reading skills vary among people who use them and are never entirely reliable.

Myth: All persons who use wheelchairs are chronically ill or sickly.
Fact: The association between wheelchair use and illness may have evolved through hospitals using wheelchairs to transport sick people. A person may use a wheelchair for a variety of reasons, none of which may have anything to do with lingering illness.

Myth: Wheelchair use is confining; people who use wheelchairs are "wheelchair-bound."
Fact: A wheelchair, like a bicycle or an automobile, is a personal assistive device that enables someone to get around.

Myth: People with disabilities always need help.
Fact: Many people with disabilities are independent and capable of giving help. If you would like to help someone with a disability, ask if he or she needs it before you act.

Myth: The lives of people with disabilities are totally different than the lives of people without disabilities.
Fact: People with disabilities go to school, get married, work, have families, do laundry, grocery shop, laugh, cry, pay taxes, get angry, have prejudices, vote, plan and dream like everyone else.

Myth: People who are blind acquire a "sixth sense."
Fact: Although most people who are blind develop their remaining senses more fully, they do not have a "sixth sense."

Myth: People with disabilities are more comfortable with "their own kind."
Fact: In the past, grouping people with disabilities in separate schools and institutions reinforced this misconception. Today, many people with disabilities take advantage of new opportunities to join mainstream society.

Myth: Non-disabled people are obligated to "take care of" people with disabilities.
Fact: Anyone may offer assistance, but most people with disabilities prefer to be responsible for themselves.

Myth: Curious children should never ask people about their disabilities.
Fact: Many children have a natural, uninhibited curiosity and may ask questions that some adults consider embarrassing. But scolding curious children may make them think having a disability is "wrong" or "bad." Most people with disabilities won't mind answering a child's question.

Myth: It is all right for people without disabilities to park in accessible parking spaces, if only for a few minutes.
Fact: Because accessible parking spaces are designed and situated to meet the needs of people who have disabilities, these spaces should only be used by people who need them.

Myth: Most people with disabilities cannot have sexual relationships.
Fact: Anyone can have a sexual relationship by adapting the sexual activity. People with disabilities can have children naturally or through adoption. People with disabilities, like other people, are sexual beings.

Myth: There is nothing one person can do to help eliminate the barriers confronting people with disabilities.
Fact: Everyone can contribute to change.


Cerebral Palsy (CP) -- Myths and Facts

Myth: Everyone with cerebral palsy is retarded. NOT TRUE!
: Some people with CP have above average intelligence. Because CP means damage to the brain.

Myth: Everyone with cerebral palsy has a learning disability. NOT TRUE!
: While some people with CP have learning disabilities many others with CP do not.

Myth: People with cerebral palsy are being punished for their sins. NOT TRUE!
: Our disability has a medical or physiological cause. We are not bad people.

Myth: People with cerebral palsy should not be employed because they might have an accident or will cause an embarrassing seen. NOT TRUE!
People with cerebral palsy are very productive workers and are an asset to anyone who hires them.

Myth: People with cerebral palsy should not be allowed to play physical games because they might get hurt. NOT TRUE!
People with CP participate in all kinds of sports including track, horseback riding, recess, and wheelchair sports.

Myth: People with cerebral palsy should go to special schools
Special schools provide for the needs of CP children. At a special school the treatment of a C.P child focuses on speech, movement & education. Given the right input, the sky is the limit for a C.P. child.

Myth: People with CP should not be allowed to get married and have kids. NOT TRUE!
Many people with CP have gotten married and have had kids. Most people with CP make wonderful loving parents.

Myth: People with CP are possessed by evil spirits. NOT TRUE!
Nothing possesses us or anybody else. We are simply who we are.

Myth: CP is the primary cause of death. NOT TRUE.
Early detection and treatment is vital.

Myth: There are corelation among CP with Heredity, Contagious, and Progressive.
There aren't corelation.

Myth: CP is cureable by drug or surgery.
Drugs and Surgery cannot cure this condition. These might be recommended to avert further complications.

Myth: People with CP are dangers. NOT TRUE.
We will not hurt you or make you sick. We will not bite. And we are very friendly.

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