Destigmatization through “Patient Voices”

A few days ago, I stumbled upon the audio-visual story “Patient Voices: Epilepsy” in The New York Times while in the midst of my twice-daily scan of the four newspapers that, especially now that we seem to be on the brink of worldwide collapse, I rely on to keep me apprised of global events, scientific discoveries, etc. It made me happy for a few reasons.

First, for a disorder that affects as many people as it does, epilepsy gets surprisingly little media attention. It’s nice to see a human-interest piece whose aim is, seemingly, simply to educate and destigmatize.

Second, epilepsy is treated in a careful way here that shows, without glamorization, the challenges of navigating life with a seizure disorder, as it manifests for the eight individuals featured.

Related, the article presents a good cross-section of people with epilepsy. It thus defies presiding stereotypes that are based on those who have convulsive seizures and that ignore people who experience other seizure types, also making clear how difficult and individual the search for a “cure” can be.

Without further preamble, here’s the link.

(As noted at the end of the story, it was originally published in February 2009.)


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