PURPLE DAY 2021: MYTHBUSTING AN “INVISIBLE” CONDITION

  • Friday, 26th March is Purple Day, a global day dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy
  • Half of Brits (51%) believe that those living with health conditions simply need to be more positive
  • 50% of those with epilepsy say they wish the public knew that the impact of the condition is so much more than seizures – including medicine side-effects, mental health impacts and memory problems’

Epilepsy is one of the most common serious neurological conditions in the world. It affects around 600,000 people in the UK. This means that almost 1 in 100 people – equivalent to one child in every UK primary school – has epilepsy. However, new research by Epilepsy Action ahead of Purple Day 2021 reveals that, despite this high prevalence, 80% of Brits don’t know or aren’t sure of how common the condition is.

Around 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy in the UK every day. Most commonly known to cause seizures, the condition is often misunderstood, with the research revealing 68% of Brits believe that those with health conditions simply need to be more positive and another 1 in 5 people (21%) incorrectly believe that once people get on the right medication, their epilepsy is pretty much cured.

Yet while epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions, almost 3 in 4 Brits (71%) say they don’t know or aren’t sure if they know someone with epilepsy. Perhaps more worryingly around 1 in 3 (38%) of us confess to not feeling equipped to help someone having an epileptic seizure, and 68% of people admitted they would be afraid to even witness one.

One common myth surrounding epilepsy highlighted by the charity includes over half (54%) of those surveyed being uncertain or incorrectly identifying flashing lights as an automatic seizure trigger, despite photosensitivity affecting only 3% of those with epilepsy. Furthermore, a quarter (23%) believe epilepsy has no impact on a person’s life when they are not having seizures.

Through fundraising, Epilepsy Action can continue providing life-changing support, such as the Epilepsy Action Freephone Helpline and its network of support groups. This Purple Day, people all over the country are coming together to raise crucial funds – including a Give It Up in March challenge to make a difference for people affected by the condition.

So it’s not just about Covid!