People with epilepsy worry about public’s attitude

Many people with epilepsy worry about the way other people react to their condition, a survey has found.

Scottish social care charity Quarriers commissioned an online poll of 505 people, conducted by research firm ComRes, which found that 30 per cent of epilepsy sufferers had been ignored as they lay on the ground during a seizure.

Twenty-eight per cent said they had been laughed at while having an epilepsy seizure and almost three-quarters (72 per cent) claimed their career progression and choices had been affected by their condition.

Overall, 69 per cent of respondents admitted they were worried about the public’s attitudes towards epilepsy, while a third revealed they were reluctant to leave home in case they had a seizure.

Commenting on the findings, Gerry Gahagan, head of clinical services at Quarriers, said people’s attitudes were stuck in the ‘Dark Ages’.

Around 500,000 people in the UK have epilepsy, which is caused by excess electrical activity in the brain.