Ask an Educator: Epilepsy and Stigma - Epilepsy Queensland

Ask an Educator

"What is epilepsy stigma and how do I navigate it?"

What is stigma?

Stigma is a negative label, evaluation, or stereotype that society attaches to an individual who possesses or is believed to possess some attribute or characteristic, such as epilepsy or a physical deformity. Stigma is a large part of the burden carried by people living with epilepsy.

How can it affect me?

People living with epilepsy can be treated negatively or discriminated against in various settings, e.g. workplace, healthcare, and educational settings, thus limiting access to various important life domains.

Individuals experiencing stigma can experience negative mental health outcomes (anxiety, depression, and social isolation), as well as poor health, social and financial outcomes.

How do I navigate it?

You can educate yourself and others about epilepsy, including your family, educators, and employers, to reduce misconceptions about the condition. Self-advocacy is another thing you can do to build self-esteem, define realistic expectations and formulate an appropriate life plan.

Epilepsy Queensland