Simply put, Epilepsy is defined as, "A disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures."
There are many different types of seizures, and many, many ways as to how a person develops Epilepsy. Take a peek at Twitter and you'll find countless numbers of individuals who suffer from Epilepsy and a lot of them keep online journals or blogs just like this one.
There are, however, epileptic seizures and non-epilepstic seizures. Read up online and you'll find information on this as well.
I suffer from BOTH epileptic seizures and a kind of non-epileptic seizure called psychogenic seizures. Basically, my brain has learned or has been trained to have epileptic seizures, so in moments of stress I can have these psychogenic seizures, as well. Both types of seizures look and feel the same to me. The only difference that I've noticed, or have come to notice is that my psychogenic seizures don't leave me with the same seizure "hangover" or strong postictal feelings that one of my epileptic seizures will leave behind. Plus, psychogenic seizures won't show up on an EEG.
I'm having to define Epilepsy because recently I was told by another Epilepsy patient that I don't have Epilepsy. Quite matter-of-factly, actually. Obviously, I, and some of the best doctors in the world have disproved this claim, but even knowing that there is someone out there, someone who also suffers from Epilepsy would say this to me is very disturbing and sick.
This has caused me great pain knowing that there's someone out there that suffers from the same horrible disorder that would confront a fellow Epilepsy patient; telling them that they don't have Epilepsy. I've heard of, and have experienced discrimination from people who do not have Epilepsy, but not from someone I hoped to gain support and camaraderie from.
My life has been destroyed by Epilepsy. I'll never again be the man that I hoped I'd be before contracting this awful illness. Too many hospital stays, too many EEGs, too many pills and the horrible side effects that go along with them, too many doctors giving me little to no answers on how to treat or possibly cure me of Epilepsy. Just too much pain to be discriminated against in this fashion.
If it were a stranger off the street with no knowledge of Epilepsy, I think I could handle this a little better, but not from someone who I thought I could trust.
There's a chance that the person who said this to me will read this post, and there is a possibility I will have to see this person in the near future, but I promised myself that this blog would be here for me to talk about my struggle... my fight, with Epilepsy. It has taken weeks for me to get the courage to write this, and it shouldn't be that way. This is my forum. A place where I'm free to say what's on my mind, so that's what I'm doing... and I'm doing it without fear.