Purple Day – Supporting Epilepsy Around The World!

26th March is Purple Day, a time to get everyone talking about epilepsy, educate people about the condition, and get raising those crucial funds to support those suffering from this condition.1

So how did it all begin? In 2008, Cassidy Megan (aged 8 at the time) from Canada felt passionate and motivated by her own diagnosis and her struggles with living with epilepsy. She realised the importance of helping others to understand more about this neurological condition, educating and dispelling myths and fears. She named her idea after the colour of lavender, the globally recognised flower for epilepsy, and so Purple Day came to be known.1

Over the years, the event has grown to become the international success we know today, celebrated by the epilepsy community across the world.

What is epilepsy? Epilepsy is a neurological and physical condition. It is described as the tendency to have repeated seizures, which are the result of intense electrical activity in the brain that causes disruption to normal brain functioning. It is usually only diagnosed after the person has had more than one seizure. Here are some interesting myths about Epilepsy and the facts behind those myths:2

MYTH: Flashing lights cause seizures in everyone with epilepsy.

FACT: Around 1 in 100 people has epilepsy and, of these people, around 3% have photosensitive epilepsy. Photosensitive epilepsy is more common in children and young people (up to 5%) and is less commonly diagnosed after the age of 20. Triggers differ from person to person, but common triggers include a lack of sleep, stress, and alcohol. 

MYTH: You shake and jerk when you have epilepsy.

FACT: Not every seizure means a person shakes and jerks, nor is a person always unconscious during a seizure. Shaking and jerking while unconscious are usually associated with tonic clonic seizures. There are a range of seizures which have different side effects and can affect people differently. 

MYTH: The only side effects of a seizure are tiredness and being confused.

FACT: Having epilepsy can affect people in different ways. Knowing that a person ‘has epilepsy’ does not tell you very much about what happens for them or how epilepsy affects them. For example, some people may have problems with sleep or memory and for some people epilepsy may affect their mental health. 

To learn more about epilepsy and how you can get involved and show your support for Purple Day,

visit: https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/

References

1. Epilepsy.org.uk. 2022. Purple Day | Epilepsy Action. [online] Available at: https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/purple#:~:text=In%202008%2C%20eight%2Dyear%2D,and%20Purple%20Day%20was%20born!> [Accessed 24 March 2022].

2. Epilepsysociety.org.uk. 2022. Epilepsy facts and myths | Epilepsy Society. [online] Available at: https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/about-epilepsy/what-epilepsy/epilepsy-facts-and-myths> [Accessed 24 March 2022].