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Leonard (@jakedduck1)

Stigma and Epilepsy (or any stigma)

Epilepsy & Seizures | Last Active: Jul 1, 2020 | Replies (24)

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@lsittll

I had a seizure in public once. In fact, on the job. I was fired because of it! The stigma was so great where I lived that I couldn't get a volunteer job. Small town people, small minds. They know all your business. Especially since my father was a well known man. I moved from that area 22 years ago to a city. Now I have privacy of my own business (except with the apartment management). I'm afraid to tell people that I have epilepsy, I only say seizures, because of the stigma and fear of rejection. If I tell them they accept me here.

When I was in Giant once they said something about raising money for epilepsy. If you would have done that in public where I lived you would have been put in jail!

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Replies to "I had a seizure in public once. In fact, on the job. I was fired because..."

I'm glad to know that you found a more accepting community to live in, @lsittll.

@isittll
Good morning,
I'm sorry to hear you had to experience the indignities of stigma. When you were fired was it before enactment of the ADA (American disabilities act) of 1990?
Since it's enactment anyone with a disability can't be fired as long as they were able to execute their required job duties. It also applies to the application process but businesses still find ways to wiggle out of hiring and firing people with Epilepsy. I don’t know what it’s like to be fired from a job but I know what it’s like not to be hired based solely on having epilepsy.
When I applied for a job in 1971 I must have put on my application I have epilepsy. When the lady asked me I said ”yes,” she tore my application in half and said, ”we don't hire cripples.”
It's too bad people must hide an illness for fear of being ostracized but it happens all the time.
I tell people and they can either except it or not. If they choose not to I figure they aren’t worthy of my friendship anyway.
Take care,
Jake

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