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Epilepsy Behav. 2002 Dec;3(6S2):21-25.

Stigma and epilepsy.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Columbia University, 10032, New York, NY, USA


For individuals with epilepsy in the United States and other countries, stigma can be one of the most distressing consequences of having seizures, along with the unpredictability of future seizures and the inability to drive. The impact of stigma on the lives of epilepsy patients is far reaching, frequently including effects on interpersonal relationships, general health, employment opportunities, and overall quality of life. Education about epilepsy directed at the broader community, as well as at the individual with epilepsy, is the most effective means of addressing misperceptions and fear. Epilepsy advocacy organizations, such as the Epilepsy Foundation, are important allies in this effort.

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