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Epilepsy Factsheets:

Family & Social Situation

10% of people with epilepsy expressed strained family relationships, citing em-barrassment, financial strain and being a burden to spouse and family members as chief reasons.

20% also admitted to difficulty making friends or maintaining a relationship at work or in social gatherings. Low self-esteem, fear of avoidance and embarrassment were among the common reasons.

Almost 42% also chose not to divulge their medical condition to their friends. 49 - 53% of responders cite resentment, depression and anxiety as their main psychological barriers. About

70% of people with epilepsy indicated that they would want to marry and have children. While 86% of community respondents (non-people with epilepsy) agreed that people with epilepsy should marry, only about 36% would allow their children to marry one.

Job Opportunities

Up to 38% of employers would hire an epilepsy sufferer though 66% would do so if seizures did not interfere with the epilepsy sufferer’s job. Almost half of the people with epilepsy polled keep their medical condition from their employers. As part of their employee medical benefits, employers in general do provide varying amounts of subsidy for employee health care visits.

Employers are understandably hesitant in employing people with chronic illnesses that could require frequent clinic visits and time off work. There currently doe not exist any sheltered workshops or government initiatives to encourage employers to hire people with epilepsy.

The type of jobs available to people with epilepsy could also be curtailed by their level of education and their educational exposure and progress during their developing years.