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Famous People with Epilepsy by Kyle Niehaus

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Epilepsy is a disease that most people know of, but do not truly understand. Though Epilepsy is an extremely common disease, to which there are 6 different types of it, it is one of the most deadly. Pope Pius IX, recording artist Neil Young, Roman Emperor; Julius Caesar, and the American author Truman Capote are just a few notable names who are afflicted by this neurological illness. The most common effect of Epilepsy is the arrival of seizures; which can or cannot be linked with a source of a stimulant.

Ian Curtis, the lead singer of the English rock band Joy Division, too suffered from Epilepsy and had some of his most violent seizures before performing on stage and at times, while he was on stage. The result of these seizures is not only physically draining, it is also a mentally tiring experience as well.  Shortly after experiencing a serious seizure at his home on May 2, 1980, Ian Curtis hung himself in his kitchen. It is not to say that Epilepsy was the sole cause of Curtis’ decision to end his life, as his story was well documented as having other occurrences throughout his life as a “rock star”, but it is neglectful to ignore that a “brain disease” would affect an individual’s mood or mindset, as well as the prescription drug’s side effects that are used to treat it. Many of the side effects include an easily irritated stomach, drowsiness, and dizziness to name a few.

The added stress of endearing such a public illness as Epilepsy makes it clear that the effects these seizures have on a person’s body are only just a fragment of the weighing factors that go along with it. As stated before, these body convulsions caused by Epilepsy can be ignited by some type of traumatic provocation such as intense light, sounds, or a series of flashing images; however, they can also be unprovoked, making it increasingly hard to plan for.  Many times, Epileptics will have seizures when they least expect it; grocery shopping, driving, bathing, working, etc. However, over the years it has become a more manageable illness best treated under the care of a series of doctors who specialize in that area. It is encouraged that the earliest signs of Epilepsy be addressed as soon as possible to aid in the handling of both past, present, and future situations that can arise.

Many Epileptics are more susceptible to experiencing seizures when they’re undergoing any form of stress, so learning to manage stress becomes a key point in the treatment plan.  Recently it has been some studies that might aid in not only fighting Epilepsy but also curing it. Many scientists and doctors have looked into both surgical and genetic options to prevent the seizures that accompany Epilepsy however no approach has proved to be 100% accurate or reliable.

Epilepsy is a disease whose causes seem to be as speculative as its treatments, making it a dangerous and serious condition that must be met with support; both emotionally and physically.





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