Epilepsy is a poorly understood condition, despite the fact that it is the 4th most common neurological disease. Statistics show that 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. Although epilepsy is prevalent, public awareness is low, and many people are unaware of the symptoms and signs of epilepsy and how it impacts sufferers.
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. The aim of this campaign is to get people talking about epilepsy and raise awareness of a condition that affects thousands of people across the world.
The reality is that epilepsy can affect anyone, and learning about epilepsy and National Epilepsy Awareness Month equips people with the knowledge and insight to support campaigns and assist those who display symptoms of seizures.
Epilepsy can impact anyone, and there are currently over 3.4 million people living with epilepsy in the US alone. Globally, epilepsy is considered the most common severe brain disorder by the World Health Organization.
History of National Epilepsy Awareness Month
National Epilepsy Awareness Month has been celebrated since 1969, and in 2003, the US Congress confirmed that November would be National Epilepsy Awareness Month. The campaign has grown rapidly and is now celebrated across the world.
Initially launched to enable people to understand more about the condition and how it affects day to day life, more recently, the campaign has focused on preventing discrimination and eliminating myths and perceptions that permeate public thinking.
Over the years, more and more organizations have signed up to support National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and this trend looks set to continue.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which is characterized by seizures, which cause involuntary movements, shaking, confusion and anxiety. Seizures vary, and coming across somebody who is having a seizure can be terrifying, especially for those with limited knowledge about epilepsy. This is why campaigns like National Epilepsy Awareness Month are so important.
How to celebrate and get involved: What you can do.
There are myriad ways to lend support to National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Events take place all over the world to raise awareness of epilepsy and generate funds for charities and organizations that support epilepsy sufferers.
From sponsored walks and bake sales to dress-down days at work, there are plenty of ways individuals, communities, businesses, and schools can celebrate the event.
The color purple is also commonly associated with epilepsy, so wearing purple clothes and decorating rooms and public spaces with purple banners and balloons is also a great idea.
Another brilliant idea is to get involved in courses and workshops that provide information about the condition and basic first aid training. Many people wouldn’t know what to do if they came across a person having a seizure in the street, and one of the most crucial aspects of the campaign is to encourage the public to learn how to react in this scenario.
Cities, towns and small communities can celebrate National Epilepsy Awareness Month by lighting up landmarks in purple. Social media is also an excellent platform for sharing and liking posts about epilepsy and generating a buzz around fundraising events.