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Together We Stand: Purple Edition

March 26th was international Epilepsy Awareness Day, where all over the world individuals were wearing and lighting important landmarks purple to bring awareness to the neurological disorder. Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures, and for many the cause of these seizures is unknown. Epilepsy affects 1 in 100 Canadians with new cases being concentrated in seniors and young children. However, how to care for individuals who suffer from seizures is not commonly known and seizures are often portrayed inaccurately in media.

The stigma that surrounds epilepsy often includes an individual going into a compulsive fit with little to no control, when in reality, these types of seizures can be maintained with medication and only account for one type of seizure an individual may experience. Epilepsy affects each individual differently, and there is no found cure for epilepsy.

In 60 to 70 percent of cases, there is no specific cause for seizures that can be identified, and there are different routes that can be taken for treatment. Medication is one route of treatment that provides the ability to control seizures. For some patients, surgery, or the VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulation) implant can offer the reduction of seizures. This being said, there are side effects that accompany the treatment of epilepsy. In many individuals, mental illnesses such as depression do occur and individuals with epilepsy have a higher probability than the general public to suffer from mental illness. Epilepsy is a difficult condition to live with, but with support and understanding, a safer place is created for individuals with epilepsy to live a normal life!

4th year English student at the University of Guelph
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