By Soniya Khan
We are living in the twenty first century. But still some of our thoughts belong to the past. Brain is only part of our body which keeps on working 24/7 without any pause, without any break. Sometimes the parts from which the brain derives the main power also known as neurons get tired or stop working properly. During this period the brain starts sending false signals to our bodies and our bodies behave abnormally. These actions include jerks, eyes start rolling up; frothing at the mouth, sometimes short term memory loss and a person can behave in other weird ways. The disease where the brain or neurons start working improperly is known as Epilepsy.
In our society or in mostly rural setup, instead of focusing on treating the disease, people might think that this person has attracted evil eyes or some supernatural forces have occupied their bodies.
Epilepsy is a socially noticeable disorder. Over the ages, the disease has in many ways been associated with many stigmas. This could be because the condition is not easily understand.
Despite improved education and increasing awareness, the problem of stigmatization has not disappeared; only its manner has changed.
In the past, persons with epilepsy were considered to be possessed by evil spirits or gods. But today the concept has seen a sea change in developed countries. However, in under developed and developing countries, this mindset is still prevalent and the person who is already suffering from epilepsy suffers socially as well.
Epilepsy is treatable. We can diagnose it by electroencephalogram test and many anti-epileptic drugs are also available in markets, which can control the neurons. As a result, person can live normally and can behave well in the society as well.
But this is not enough. We need to spread more awareness in our society that abnormal movements in body or weird behaviour cannot only be linked to the evil eye. It can be caused by disease and the person needs to get treatment to survive and stay healthy.
About the Writer: Soniya Khan is working as Neurophysiology Scientist/Technologist in American Hospital, UAE. Her experience is in field of neurophysiology; to diagnose scientifically brain related disorders, like Epilepsy, Encephalopathies, migraine, nerves and muscular diseases, sleep related disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy, etc.