Epilepsy Action Australia would like to speak out against the new Netflix film The After Party where a main character is nicknamed “Seizure Boy” who is ridiculed because he has a seizure. This film is an over-exaggerated and inaccurate portrayal of epilepsy and seizures.
Movies and portrayals such as this cause an undue amount of harm and perpetuate myths and misconceptions about epilepsy. It is at best irresponsible and at worst a form of bullying. We will not share the link in order to prevent promotion of this unacceptable portrayal of people with epilepsy.
The whole premise of the movie and the characters involved is contradictory to everything that we as an organisation believe in – it directly contradicts our values. It is extremely important for people with epilepsy and their families that we spread awareness of epilepsy but also that we inform and educate about the nature of the condition and what to do in the event of a seizure being experienced. We have recently been focussing our efforts on spreading awareness for epilepsy and seizures through our first aid video specifically designed for children.
Some General information about epilepsy
- 67% of individuals living with epilepsy think that other people, in general, don’t have a good understanding of what it’s like to live with epilepsy, with myths still widespread around the condition. This is why it is so important for us to generate community awareness for the condition. Acceptance, tolerance, compassion and above all understanding are really important for those affected by epilepsy.
- There are many misconceptions in the community about people living with epilepsy and these can impact their safety, ability to work, and chance to live an optimal life. These include the beliefs that epilepsy is rare, that it is a mental illness, and that all people with epilepsy are disabled, and that they can’t lead a rewarding life. In fact epilepsy is more common than Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined.
- Also, epilepsy is not a mental illness but a neurological condition that disrupts the electro-chemical activity in the brain. Given the right support and community understanding, people with epilepsy should have the same opportunities as those living without the condition. It is a part of our mission to spread awareness and to inform and educate the wider community about epilepsy… with the hope that this will in turn bring greater acceptance to our clients.
- New research commissioned by Epilepsy Action Australia shows that awareness of epilepsy is not only shockingly low, but decreasing, with only 28% of people aware of the world’s most common serious brain disorder.