For many, many years, efforts to remove the stigma that epilepsy carries focused on a "living well with epilepsy" approach. "Normal" people who also "happened" to have seizures but who otherwise lived "normal" and productive lives were paraded out in advertisements and marketing materials, and while this helped to dispel myths about epilepsy, the approach neglected a significant number of people whose lives were severely affected by the disease. What happened because of that is a woeful under-funding for research into the causes of and cures for the epilepsies, and, equally as important, a lack of knowledge and awareness of just how serious the disease can be, including a higher incidence of death than breast cancer. The mental health aspects of the disease -- for both the person suffering the seizures and the parents and siblings of that person -- are often unacknowledged despite grim statistics, and the work I've done recently with national groups trying to remedy the inadequacies of the healthcare system have only just pecked at the surface. I call that number -- the nearly 30% of people with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled and whose lives are significantly impacted by the diseases as those who are experiencing The Living Hell That is Epilepsy.
With that in mind, the Los Angeles affiliate of the Epilepsy Foundation of America produced the following video that they showed at their most recent fundraiser. I think it deserves to be seen and shared and would appreciate you doing so if you have a moment.