Ok we’ve all experienced this, having to tell someone either that you have epilepsy or what epilepsy is…or both, and it can be difficult sometimes especially depending on the person or setting. The first few times I can remember wondering how I was going to explain the topic of epilepsy to another person.
I try and think of the quote from Albert Einstein, ‘If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.’
The following, is very similar to what I tell people who want to know more about epilepsy without it becoming too technical, I find it works well as people can relate to it easily:
Epilepsy can affect ANYONE. (Sorry to scare you, but it’s a fact.) Anyone can have a seizure if they are tired enough, if their temperature is too high or if their have had a brain injury. The average person has a strong seizure threshold meaning that they have to become very unwell to suffer a seizure, but a person with epilepsy has a weaker seizure threshold which results in them having seizure much more easily.
Yes, I have said this a few times and it has worked, people do seem to be able to relate to it I guess.
I know sometimes you feel like your on your own, explaining something over and over again to people about something which is quite unusual, and pretty complex. Thats why I went for my angle, it makes it appear less scary.
Sometimes I have tried to be more, well, matter of fact with, ‘We all have electrical activity in our brains, well epilepsy is a surge of that electrical activity…’ and they’ve already glazed over. But perhaps its just the people I know.
I am really interested to know what angles you take, if you choose to take them.