Are Teenagers and Other People with Epilepsy Being Bullied?

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Answered by: Denise, An Expert in the Teenagers Today Category
Are Teenagers and Others with Epilepsy Being Bullied?

We all know what it means to be a bully. May be it’s an unkind word, a look, a push or even a Facebook post or tweet all meant to hurt another. But bullying can also be exclusion. Not inviting someone to a birthday party or being allowed to ride a public bus. These can also be forms of bullying.

Every person on earth at some point in their life has or will be on one end or the other of a bullying situation. That seems to be the unfortunate part of life. Let’s take a moment to talk about a group of people who are bullied because of the fear and lack of education on the part of the bully. People with Epilepsy have been mugged during seizures while they are laying on the ground. In one case in Ashlabula Ohio in March 2012, 14 year old Troy Tomchak was beaten on a basketball court by classmates who knew about his condition. While bullying in any case is heartbreaking, bullying a person with special needs is too much. There are more than 2 million Americans with Epilepsy and 150,000 cases are diagnosed each year. You may know someone who is affected by Epilepsy but you are not aware. As a society, we must teach others that it is not okay to treat people differently because of a disability. Epilepsy is a disability that cannot be seen and that makes it difficult for others to understand. However, that is no reason for teens or others to be bullied due to the ignorance of others.

Bullying of people with Epilepsy is not isolated to children. In September 2012, Jess McGee, was denied passage with her disability travel card by a bus driver in Bath, Somerset all because according to the driver she did not look disabled. So let’s help educate those who live in fear and allow fear to hold their power. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder, you cannot catch it. One in ten people will have a seizure at some point in their lifetime. Epilepsy can strike at any age for any reason or no reason at all. There are over 40 different types of seizures ranging from the generalized also known as Grand Mal or Convulsive seizures which are the most noticeable kind. These types of seizures happen when the entire brain is suddenly hit with electrical energy, kind of like having a thunderstorm in your brain. A less obvious type is absence seizures, also called petit mal. These seizures look may look like the person is like day dreaming or blankly staring. They may begin and end so suddenly that they often go unnoticed and last only a few seconds. These are just of few of the types of seizures a person may have. A person may have a seizure in front of you and you may never know it. But you may notice some of the effect of their medications or developmental delays due to their epilepsy. They may have trouble finding words when speaking, may need assistance with daily tasks, however, none of this is cause for ridicule or bullying.

You see, in the grand scheme of things, people who live with epilepsy have be aware that epilepsy occasionally can be fatal. Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), is a term that is becoming all too common in many households. SUDEP stands for the sudden death in someone who is known to have epilepsy and is used as the cause of death when no other obvious medical cause can be found. Please help to Educate…Eradicate…Embrace. To learn more about Epilepsy please visit;;

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