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Literature, cinema and television have often portrayed stereotypical images of people that have epilepsy and have helped foster false beliefs about the disease. To examine the image of epilepsy presented by literature, cinema and television over the years. Epilepsy has frequently been portrayed in literary works, films and television series, often relating it with madness, delinquency, violent behaviours or possession by the divine or the diabolical, all of which has helped perpetuate our ancestral beliefs. The literary tales and the images that appear in films and on television cause an important emotional impact and, bearing in mind that many people will only ever see an epileptic seizure in a film or in a TV series or might gain some information about the disorder from a literary text, what they see on the screen or read in the novels will be their only points of reference. Such experiences will therefore mark the awareness and knowledge they will have about epilepsy and their attitudes towards the people who suffer from it. Novels and films are fiction, but it is important to show realistic images of the disease that are no longer linked to the false beliefs of the past and which help the general public to have a more correct view of epilepsy that is free from prejudices and stereotypes. Literature, cinema and television have often dealt with the subject of epilepsy, sometimes realistically, but in many cases they have only helped to perpetuate false beliefs about this disease.

Citation

Susana Collado-Vázquez, Jesús María Carrillo. Epilepsy in literature, cinema and television]. Revista de neurologia. 2012 Oct 1;55(7):431-42

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PMID: 23011862

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