Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 158-163

Confronting the stigma of epilepsy


1 Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, India
2 Center for Development Studies, Trivandrum, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev V Thomas
Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.85873

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Stigma and resultant psychosocial issues are major hurdles that people with epilepsy confront in their daily life. People with epilepsy, particularly women, living in economically weak countries are often ill equipped to handle the stigma that they experience at multiple levels. This paper offers a systematic review of the research on stigma from sociology and social psychology and details how stigma linked to epilepsy or similar conditions can result in stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. We also briefly discuss the strategies that are most commonly utilized to mitigate stigma. Neurologists and other health care providers, social workers, support groups and policy makers working with epilepsy need to have a deep understanding of the social and cultural perceptions of epilepsy and the related stigma. It is necessary that societies establish unique determinants of stigma and set up appropriate strategies to mitigate stigma and facilitate the complete inclusion of people with epilepsy as well as mitigating any existing discrimination.


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