Literature Review

The Stigma Attached to Epilepsy is Alive and Unwell

Misconceptions about the disease continue to infect the public in the Americas, Europe, and Australia.


Misconceptions about epilepsy abound in the Western world. An analysis of English language publications revealed that many people have “socially exclusionary attitudes” toward persons with epilepsy, are ignorant about proper treatment, and tend to overgeneralize about people with epilepsy in a way that stigmatizes them. The literature review also found that intervention studies have been effective in improving attitudes about the disease but concluded that “many were targeted to healthcare and education settings, were time intensive, and impractical for broad general population implementation.”

Herrman LK, Welter E, Berg AT, et al. Epilepsy misconceptions and stigma reduction: current status in Western countries. Epilepsy Behav. 2016;60:165-173.

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