More Latinos Are Struggling With Epilepsy Than You Might Think
Epilepsy is a disorder that is characterized by unprovoked seizures that are not tied to alcohol withdrawal or low blood sugar. The disorder can be genetic or a result of a traumatic brain injury. Hundreds of thousands of Latinos in the U.S. are diagnosed with epilepsy and there is more we can do as a community to help those with the disorder.
There are around 400,000 Latinos who are living with epilepsy.
Camila Coelho, a Brazilian fashion influencer and blogger, recently shared her own journey living with epilepsy. In an interview with PEOPLE, Coelho opened up about being diagnosed with epilepsy since she was 9 years old.
“My mother said to me, ‘Camila, you are a normal child. You will live your normal life. There’s nothing you can’t do,'” Coelho told the magazine.
Coelho is using her platform to educate people about epilepsy.
“I have EPILEPSY and I didn’t let it stop me from achieving my dreams 🙏🏻 💜 I am happy to announce that I am not only an @epilepsyfdn Ambassador, but now also a member of the BOARD,” Coelho shared on Instagram. “As someone who lived with epilepsy since the age of 9, I feel honored and excited to join this amazing team, and help change and save lives of those with epilepsy around the world, who may feel different and alone like I once did!! (I shared more on my stories)! #epilepsyawareness“
The Epilepsy Foundation did a study to find out the cultural awareness around epilepsy.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, there is still a perception of fear and misunderstanding around epilepsy. The misunderstandings around epilepsy make diagnosing and treating the disorder a challenge.
There are different therapies and treatments for epilepsy. The Epilepsy lists some of those therapies as:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This form of therapy started in the 1960s and has been successful in helping people to overcome some of their symptoms. This form of therapy is based on the belief that the thoughts are responsible for guiding behavior. The therapy helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression that might lead to seizures.
Educational Intervention: Studies have found that people being diagnosed early and supported have a better time adjusting to the diagnosis. The younger someone can learn about epilepsy and how it can be managed with appropriate therapy, the better they can adjust.
Relaxation Therapies: The Epilepsy Foundation claims that massage, acupuncture, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and deep breathing therapies could be beneficial for people living with epilepsy.
Make sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your existing treatment plans.
You can learn more about epilepsy and how you can help by going to the Epilepsy Foundation website.