Driving a car or taking a bath is a mundane part of some people’s lives, but for about 250,000 Australians living with epilepsy, those are luxuries they cannot take part in.
Bunbury resident Lozz Williams, pictured, has had epilepsy most of her life and wanted to raise awareness of the difficulties she faces.
“I can’t drive because of epilepsy, so getting jobs that I’m more than qualified for is a lot harder due to the restrictions,” she said.
She listed daily medication, tiredness and seizures among some of the struggles she dealt with because of epilepsy.
“I have to fight every day to get up and just turn up,” she said.
“There’s a stigma associated with it.”
People just seem to think it’s just a seizure but they don’t seem to think of the before or after effects or the daily medication or not being able to swim or have a bath on your own.
For Ms Williams, celebrating Epilepsy Awareness Day today is important to help the general public understand more about the disorder.
“Mainly so they know seizure first aid really, because you never know when you’re going to need it,” she said.
Epilepsy WA chief executive Emma Buitendag said epilepsy in Australia needed to be brought out of the shadows.
We need to shine a light on this common yet often misunderstood condition.
Mrs Buitendag said the true impact of epilepsy on an individual could be profound and many of the impacts were hidden from public view yet wide-reaching and cannot be underestimated.
“Living with epilepsy can really have major challenges, even those with well controlled epilepsy may be quietly fighting multiple battles and depression is commonly experienced” she said.
“Those living with epilepsy may also experience discrimination, fatigue, memory issues and other challenges — support services such as the ones Epilepsy WA provides are essential.”
In celebration of Epilepsy Awareness Day, the Koombana Footbridge will be lit up purple tonight to support those living with epilepsy.