9 Stubborn Myths About Epilepsy to Stop Believing

person shaking hair around
Dominik Jirovský

smiling boy with glasses
frank mckenna

Myth: Epilepsy is always diagnosed in childhood.

three young women hanging out
Priscilla Du Preez

Myth: Epilepsy is contagious.

red leaf surrounded by green leaves
Ine Carriquiry

Myth: Epilepsy is super rare.

caregiver walking with senior woman

Myth: Epilepsy is a lifelong, debilitating disease.

sad woman with hair in face

Myth: Epilepsy causes psychological problems.

Danger sign with skull
Mikael Seegen

Myth: Seizures are dangerous and life-threatening.

clock half obscured by cloth
Bruno Figueiredo

Myth: You never know when a seizure may strike.

close up of woman's mouth

Myth: If someone is having a seizure, you should put something in their mouth so they don’t swallow their tongue.

woman on couch with daughter
Paige Cody

Myth: People with epilepsy can’t lead normal lives.

Jennifer Rainey Marquez

Jennifer Rainey Marquez


Jennifer Rainey Marquez is a longtime health and science writer based in Atlanta. Her work has appeared in Women’s Health, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Parade, and many other outlets. You can follow her at @jenrrain.