As a woman with epilepsy it is clear to me that what we generally desire is the ability to self-manage our condition, so that the impact of epilepsy on our everyday lives is not necessarily immense. This can only be done in conjunction with the medical community, through the empowerment and education of women and our health care providers. The following passages prove that we don't necessarily wish to be passive in our medical treatment. We want the ability to make informed choices about our lives - living in ignorant bliss is surely counter-productive for all concerned. Hopefully the following accounts will show that what we as women with epilepsy need is good education and advice about the specific problems we face, and a sound listening ear.
As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on epilepsy, I am only too aware of the impact a diagnosis of epilepsy can have on someone’s life, not helped by the many misconceptions surrounding the condition.
The personal accounts within this booklet highlight the particular concerns women with epilepsy have. I sincerely hope that the sentiments expressed will provide the medical profession with additional insights to help foster much needed dialogue and ultimately, better understanding of the issues facing their female patients.
MP for Enfield Southgate
Advances in treatment mean that the diagnosis of epilepsy is no longer as debilitating as it used to be. Many thousands of people are able to take control of the condition rather than letting the condition take control of them.
But it is vitally important that they get the specialist care and support from the medical profession that allows them to manage their epilepsy and maintain as normal a life as possible. These women's stories show just how important correct medical management is and will hopefully inspire other newly diagnosed women to ealise that they can lead an enjoyable and fulfilling life with epilepsy.
Health Editor, The Mirror
Epilepsy remains a uniquely stigmatising condition. The personal accounts of 'Epilepsy Mine' testify to its impact on women's view of themselves, their aspirations and their everyday lives. They identify my profession's failure to address women's concerns for easons that include indifference, ignorance and lack of adequate data. One can only echo a contributor's call for "more research, knowledge and understanding".