A collection of personal accounts from women living with epilepsy
Welcome to Epilepsy Mine, a collection of personal accounts from women living with epilepsy. This booklet is part of Epilepsy Action's campaign, which aims to highlight the challenges faced by women with epilepsy, promote their needs and encourage them to talk to their specialist about any concerns they may have.
On behalf of Epilepsy Action, I would like to thank our members for the more than 350 entries we received for Epilepsy Mine, some of which have been printed in the booklet and appear here on the website. I would also like to thank Epilepsy Mine's editorial panel for their enthusiasm for the project - their personal messages of support are printed below.
Public Relations Officer, Epilepsy Action
As a GP of 31 years standing, I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about epilepsy being a condition that’s different for women - until now, that is! Only after reading these powerful personal accounts of how epilepsy has affected these women do I now feel thoroughly ashamed at my lack of understanding of the widespread effects epilepsy can have on women’s lives!
For years I’ve routinely, if not even mechanically, written out prescriptions for anti-convulsants for my female epilepsy patients without a second thought about the possible influence these drugs might have on their lives - weight gain, implications of taking oral contraceptives, pregnancy,etc. My role as a ‘TV doctor’ on ‘This Morning’ with Richard and Judy, which has involved taking live medical ‘phone-ins’ every week for the past 13 years, has helped to keep me on top of all the latest advances in medical science. Yet, I have to admit that after reading the stories from the women with epilepsy in this ‘Epilepsy Mine’ booklet, I’ve discovered that I’ve been sadly lacking in my approach to my ladies with epilepsy.
This booklet has totally changed my attitude to epilepsy in women! I hope every GP is sent this booklet and I also hope that every GP reads it! It should and will, highlight the particular problems encountered by women with epilepsy. Women with epilepsy are a ‘special needs’ group and doctors need to be made more aware of the problems they face as a result of their epilepsy medication.
In conclusion, I can promise all my female patients with epilepsy, that as a direct result of reading women’s experiences with epilepsy in this ‘Epilepsy Mine’ booklet, my attitude and my clinical handling of the disorder has changed - permanently!
Dr Chris Steele
GP and TV medic on ITV's 'This Morning'
Please continue through these pages where you will find a selection of the entries from 'Epilepsy Mine'. You can also download the Epilepsy Mine booklet (524KB)