Purple Day is a worldwide campaign dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of epilepsy.
On 26 March each year, people are encouraged to wear purple to show their support of those living with epilepsy. Purple Day was founded in 2008, by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, with the help of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia (EANS). Cassidy chose the colour purple after the international colour for epilepsy, lavender. The lavender flower is also often associated with solitude, which is representative of the feelings of isolation many people affected by epilepsy and seizure disorders often feel. Cassidy said: ‘I was afraid to tell people about my epilepsy because I thought they would make fun of me.’ Cassidy's goal is for people with epilepsy everywhere to know they are not alone.
Epilepsy is a common condition in our community and can develop at any age, regardless of gender or ethnic group. According to Epilepsy Australia, research suggests that some 3–4% of the Australian population will develop epilepsy at some stage in their lives.
There are many causes of epilepsy, which vary with the age at which seizures begin and the nature of the seizures. However, in 50% of cases, the cause is unknown.
Many people do not understand exactly what epilepsy is. To say a person has epilepsy simply means that a person has shown a tendency to have recurring seizures. Therefore, when a person has a single seizure this does not necessarily mean that they have epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a disorder of brain function that takes the form of recurring convulsive or non-convulsive seizures. Epilepsy is not just one condition; rather it is a diverse family of disorders comprising many seizure types.
There are seizures that are not epileptic such as those that result from diabetes, kinked blood vessels, and a range of other health conditions.
Your local pharmacy can help too. One of the key aspects to managing epilepsy is medicine management. Pharmacists are medicines experts and can assist you with understanding how your medicines work and any possible side effects.