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Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsOther - Diseases · 1 decade ago

does anyone have epilepsy?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    yes plenty of people. Many famous people were/are epileptics too.

    Bud Abbott 1897–1974 The straight man in the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. He had epilepsy all his life, and tried to control and hide it by drinking. [8]

    Ward Bond 1903–1960 A film actor. His epilepsy meant that he was rejected from the draft for World War II. [9]

    Danny Glover born 1946 An actor and film director who had epilepsy from age 15 to age 35. [10]

    Margaux Hemingway 1955–1996 A film actress and model who had epilepsy from the age of 7. Her death was attributed to suicide by an intentional overdose of phenobarbital, which is an anticonvulsant, but see the footnoted article for an alternative explanation. [11]

    Martin Kemp born 1961 Actor and former bassist with the pop band Spandau Ballet. He has had epilepsy since having two brain tumours in the 1990s. [12]

    Rik Mayall born 1958 A comedian and actor who was seriously injured and put in a coma for five days after a quad bike accident in 1998. Initially prescribed phenytoin prophylactically, he has since had two seizures, possibly due to not taking his medication. [13]

    Hugo Weaving born 1960 An actor who has taken anticonvulsants for epilepsy since his first seizure age 13. [14][15]

    Leadership, politics and royalty

    Michael IV the Paphlagonian 1010–1041 A Byzantine emperor who had frequent tonic clonic epileptic seizures since adolescence. It was perceived to be demonic possession – punishment for his sins. His royal entourage were alert to signs of an impending seizure and tried to hide the emperor when ill. [16]

    Ivan V Alekseyevich 1666–1696 Older half brother of Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Ivan V was feebleminded, epileptic, and half-blind. Would have never become Tsar except for the support of his sister Sophia, who wanted to become regent over him. His sister, with streltsy, made Ivan V rule as co-tsar with Peter I (Great) (who had already been tsar for a few weeks). [17][18]

    Martha Parke Custis 1756–1773 The daughter of Martha Washington and step daughter of George Washington. She had seizures from early childhood and died during a seizure, aged 17. Unusually for the time, her parents did not hide her epilepsy and encouraged her to lead a normal life. They tried various treatments including mercury, valeriana, factitious cinnabar, bleeding, and spring waters. [19]

    Pope Pius IX 1792–1878 Had childhood epilepsy. [20][21][22]

    Francis Libermann 1802–1852 A Jew who converted to Christianity and studied for priesthood. Epilepsy prevented his ordination for many years. [3]

    Ida McKinley 1847–1907 First Lady of the United States from 1897 to 1901. Her epilepsy started in adulthood and was to become quite disabling and inconvenient. As was normal for the time, great efforts were made to keep this secret. Her husband, William McKinley would cover her face with a napkin when she had symptoms at dinner parties. [23]

    Antônio Moreira César 1850–1897 The brutal commander of the third Expedition in the War of Canudos. He had epilepsy since his 30s, which worsened on the way to Canudos. He was shot on the first day of battle and some blame the seizures for his military misjudgements. [24]

    Vladimir Lenin 1870–1924 First Premier of the Soviet Union. Lenin's final year was characterised by neurological decline and loss of function. In his last few months, he developed epilepsy. His seizures worsened and he died in status epilepticus, which had lasted 50 minutes. [25]

    Harry Laughlin 1880–1943 The director of the American Eugenics Record Office from its inception in 1910 to its closing in 1939. In 1922, he drew up laws for the compulsory sterilization of various "degenerate" groups, which included those with epilepsy. [26][27]

    Prince Erik, Duke of Västmanland 1889–1918 The youngest son of Gustaf V of Sweden. [28]

    Prince John of the United Kingdom 1905–1919 The youngest son of King George V, John had epilepsy from the age of 4 until his death after a seizure aged 13. The shame of his epilepsy, along with other neurological problems, meant he was kept from the public eye. [29]

    Rabbi Lionel Blue born 1930 A rabbi and broadcaster, best known for his contributions to "Thought for the Day" on BBC Radio 4's Today program. His epilepsy was diagnosed when he was aged 57 and is successfully controlled with medication. [30][31]

    Dave Longaberger 1934–1999 A businessman and founder of The Longaberger Company, makers of handcrafted maple wood baskets and accessories. He overcame epilepsy and a stutter, eventually graduating from high school aged 21. [32]

    Neil Abercrombie born 1937 A United States congressman who campaigns for increased funding for epilepsy research. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in his early thirties. [33][34]

    Rudi Dutschke 1940–1979 A prominent spokesperson of the left-wing German student movement of the 1960s. An assassination attempt in 1968, when he was shot twice in the head, left him partially blind and with frequent epileptic attacks. He drowned in the bathtub after suffering a seizure. [35][36]

    Tony Coelho born 1942 A former United States congressman who developed epilepsy aged 16, possibly as a result of an earlier head injury. This would lead to rejection by his family and the Jesuits for "possession by the devil". He has campaigned as a congressman for disabled rights and chairs the Epilepsy Foundation's national board of directors. [37]


    Jimmy Reed 1925–1976 An American blues singer. His diagnosis of epilepsy in 1957 was delayed due to an assumption that these were attacks of delirium tremens. He died after an epileptic seizure aged 51. [38][39]

    Neil Young born 1945 Singer-songwriter, formerly of folk rock band Buffalo Springfield. Disliked the effects of his medication; seeking personal stability as an alternative means of control. [40]

    Lindsey Buckingham born 1949 The guitarist and singer in the music group Fleetwood Mac was taken to hospital after a seizure while on tour, aged 29. His epilepsy was successfully controlled by anticonvulsant drugs. [41][42]

    Chris Knox born 1952 New Zealand indie musician (Toy Love, Tall Dwarfs) has addressed his epilepsy in such songs as "Lapse", and it is also referenced in his album title "Seizure". [43]

    Ian Curtis 1956–1980 The vocalist and lyricist of the band Joy Division was diagnosed with epilepsy aged 22. The cover of their album Unknown Pleasures resembles an EEG tracing, but is actually the tracings of the radio emissions of a pulsar. [44][45]

    Richard Jobson born 1960 Formerly the lead singer with the punk rock group, The Skids, now a television presenter and film maker. He has absence seizures. [46]

    Edith Bowman born 1975 Scottish television presenter and a radio D.J., who had epilepsy as a child. [47]

    Peter Jefferies born ca.1961 New Zealand musician (Nocturnal Projections, This Kind of Punishment). [48]

    Hikari Oe born 1963 A Japanese composer who has autism, epilepsy and mental retardation and has created two successful classical-music CDs. He is the son of Kenzaburo Oe, the Japanese novelist who won the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature. [49]

    Adam Horovitz born 1966 Member of the music group Beastie Boys. [50][51]

    Mike Skinner born 1978 Also known as The Streets, he had epilepsy between the ages of 7 and 20. [52]

    Geoff Rickly born 1979 A member of the band Thursday, who discovered he had epilepsy while on tour. [53][54]


    Grover Cleveland Alexander 1887–1950 A major league baseball pitcher who tried to hide his epilepsy with alcohol, which was at the time considered to be a more socially acceptable problem. [55]

    Tony Lazzeri 1903–1946 A major league baseball player who probably died after seizure that occurred when he was alone at home. [56]

    Hal Lanier born 1942 A major league baseball player and manager. He developed epilepsy after a severe beaning. [57]

    Tony Greig born 1946 A former cricketer and commentator who is involved with Epilepsy Action Australia. He had his first seizure, aged 14, during a tennis game but has successfully controlled his epilepsy with medication. [58]

    Buddy Bell born 1951 A major league baseball player and manager. [57]

    Bobby Jones born 1951 A former pro basketball player who developed epilepsy and a heart problem as an adult, but persevered with his game. [59][60]

    Terry Marsh born 1958 A boxer who was IBF world light-welterweight champion. His diagnosis of epilepsy in 1987, aged 29, forced him into retirement undefeated. [61][62]

    Greg Walker born 1959 A major league baseball player who collapsed on field with a tonic-clonic seizure. He had a further seizure in hospital that night and took anticonvulsant medication for the next two years. Walker had a childhood history of seizures until the age of 4. [63][64]

    Florence Griffith Joyner 1959–1998 An athlete with world records in the 100 m and 200 m. She developed seizures in her thirties, possibly due to a cavernous angioma that was discovered on autopsy. She died from asphyxiation after a grand mal seizure while asleep. [65]

    Wally Lewis born 1959 One of Australia's greatest rugby league players, national team captain 1984-89. After retirement from the sport he became a television sports presenter, but became disoriented during a live-to-air broadcast in late 2006. Medical tests revealed that he had epilepsy. [66]

    Paul Wade born 1962 Former Australian national football player and television sports commentator. Wade had epilepsy all his life but was only diagnosed as an adult. He kept it secret until he had a seizure on live television in 2001. Drugs weren't controlling the seizures so, in 2002, he had surgery to remove a scar in his brain. He is now seizure free. [67][68]

    Maggie McEleny born 1965 Four times British Paralympic swimmer, winning 3 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze. McEleny has paraplegia and epilepsy. In 2000, she was made an MBE and awarded a Golden Jubilee Award by the British Epilepsy Association. [69][70]

    Jonty Rhodes born 1969 A cricketer who is involved with Epilepsy South Africa. [71]

    Tom Smith born 1971 Former Scottish international and Northampton Saints rugby player. Has had epilepsy since the age of 18. His seizures occur only at night, during sleep. He is a patron of the Scottish epilepsy charity Enlighten. [72][73]

    Alan Faneca born 1976 An American Football guard who currently plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 15 and takes the anticonvulsant carbamazepine, which successfully controls his seizures. [74][75]

    Samari Rolle born 1976 An American Football cornerback who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens. [76]

    Chanda Gunn born 1980 A goalie in the US 2006 Winter Olympic women's hockey team. Gunn was diagnosed with juvenile absence epilepsy at the age of 9, which was treated with valproic acid. Epilepsy meant that she had to give up her childhood sports of swimming and surfing, but these were soon replaced with hockey. [77]

    Art and writing

    Edward Lear 1812–1888 An artist, illustrator and writer known for his nonsensical poetry and limericks. His epilepsy, which he developed as a child, may have been inherited (his elder sister Jane had frequent seizures and died young). Lear was ashamed of his epilepsy and kept it a secret. He did, however, record each seizure in his diary. [78]

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky 1821–1881 A Russian writer whose epilepsy was probably inherited (both his father and his son had seizures). He incorporated his experiences into his novels – creating four different characters with epilepsy. Dostoyevsky's epilepsy was unusual in that he claimed to experience an ecstatic aura prior to a seizure, whereas most people experience unpleasant feelings. [79][80]

    George Inness 1825–1894 An American painter who had epilepsy from childhood. [81]

    R. D. Blackmore 1825–1900 Author of Lorna Doone. [82]

    Charles Altamont Doyle 1832–1893 Artist and father of Arthur Conan Doyle. His alcoholism and a violent outburst led him to be detained in an asylum. Whist there, he developed epilepsy and severe memory problems. [83]

    Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson 1832–1910 Norwegian writer and a 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Developed focal epilepsy following a stroke in the final year of his life. [84]

    Ion Creanga 1837–1889 A Romanian children's writer and memoirist who had epilepsy for the last six years of his life. [85]

    Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis 1839–1908 A Brazilian realist novelist, poet and short-story writer. He had epilepsy all his life, but was ashamed to mention it, using euphemisms when writing to friends. It is believed he had complex partial seizures, with secondary generalisation. [86][87]

    Dmitri Sinodi-Popov 1855–1910 A Russian artist, whose epilepsy interrupted his studies at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. [88]

    Minakata Kumagusu 1867–1941 A Japanese writer and naturalist. He had tonic-clonic seizures, with an aura that caused déjà vu. Postmortem MRI showed right hippocampal atrophy, consistent with temporal lobe epilepsy. [89][90]

    Vachel Lindsay 1879–1931 A poet who took phenobarbital for his epilepsy. [91]

    Laurie Lee 1914–1997 A poet, novelist and screenwriter, most famous for his autobiographical trilogy (which includes Cider with Rosie). His epilepsy probably developed after he was knocked down by a bicycle at the age of 10. He kept it secret and it only surfaced when his papers were read by biographers after his death. [92]

    Kyffin Williams 1918–2006 A landscape painter. His epilepsy ended his army career and may have prevented him marrying. [93]

    Max Clifford born 1943 A publicist known for representing controversial clients. He developed epilepsy at the age of 46. [94]

    Karen Armstrong born 1944 An author, feminist and writer on Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Her temporal lobe epilepsy went undiagnosed for many years. She wrote in her autobiography that when (in her early thirties) she was finally given the diagnosis, it was "an occasion of pure happiness". [95][96]

    Thom Jones born 1945 Author of short stories, many of which include characters with epilepsy. [97]

    Stephen Knight 1951–1985 An author who was known for his books criticising the Freemasons. He started having seizures in 1977 and in 1980, agreed to take part in a BBC documentary TV program Horizon on epilepsy. The producers arranged for a brain scan, which showed up a tumour. This was removed but returned in 1984 and despite further surgery he died in 1985. [98]

    DeBarra Mayo born 1953 Fitness and health author and writer. [99]

    Jago Eliot 1966–2006 Aristocrat, surfer and cyber artist. He died in his bath due to an epileptic seizure, which was recorded as a Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). [100][101]

    Kathy Sierra born 1957 A programming instructor and game developer who co-created the Head First series of books on computer programming. She had her first tonic-clonic seizure aged four. These were frequent and severe but greatly diminished by adulthood and were always preceded by an aura. [102]


    Jean Clemens 1880–1909 The youngest daughter of Mark Twain. She had epilepsy from age fifteen, which her father attributed to a childhood head injury. Her epilepsy was not successfully controlled and at one point she was sent to an epilepsy colony in Katonah, New York. She was found dead on Christmas Eve Day in her bath aged 29. The cause of death was reported as drowning due to epilepsy. [103][104]

    Derek Bentley 1933–1953 Hanged, aged 19, for a crime his partner committed, Bentley had epilepsy and a mental age of 11. He was pardoned after a 45 year campaign, which included the film Let Him Have It, starring Christopher Eccleston. [105]

    Emilie Dionne 1934–1954 The third of the Dionne quintuplets. Emilie's epilepsy was only made public after her death at a convent in Sainte Agathe, Quebec. She died from the complications of a series of epileptic seizures. These were recorded at noon the previous day, 11pm, 3am, and 5am, but no doctor was called until after her death. Her death from epilepsy caused alarm, leading H. Houston Merritt to inform the public that "the mortality rate among epileptics is no greater than among non-sufferers". [106][107]

    Virginia Ridley –1997 A woman who had agoraphobia, hypergraphia and epilepsy. Her eccentric husband Alvin was charged with her murder but cleared after the jury accepted that she may have suffocated during a seizure. She had not been seen outside her home for 25 years. [108]

    Don Craig Wiley 1944–2001 A protein-structure biochemist. He kept his epilepsy secret, did not treat it, and died under mysterious circumstances, possibly owing to a seizure. [109]

    Barry George born 1960 Convicted of murdering the British television presenter Jill Dando. Has epilepsy and mental health problems. [110]

    Daniel Tammet born 1979 An autistic savant who is gifted with a facility for mathematics problems, sequence memory, and natural language learning. He had temporal lobe epilepsy as a child

    and of course then there is me!

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  • 1 decade ago

    My son has epilepsy.

    I think that the statistics are 1 in 50 people have epilepsy.

    If you look in your local phone book you should find a contact number for your local epilepsy organization.


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have a form of it and compared to alot of people I am quite lucky, I have a few minor seizures every two weeks where I make funny noises. It hardly effects my life at all, except I have to watch my sleep etc.

    Epilepsy is more common than you think. The list is endless of the people that suffer from it.

    Is there something more specific you want to know?

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The Bible differentiates between Demon possession and psychological disability and trouble. There are also many scriptures that directly refer to depression. Matthew 4:24 24And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were LUNATIC, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. Matthew 17:15 15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water Proverbs 18:14 14The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? Proverbs 15:13 13A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. Proverbs Proverbs12:25 25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. This scripture is quite funny: 1 Samuel 21:12-14 12David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, "Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me? There are many more such scriptures dealing with these issues esp. within the book of Proverbs and Pauls writings (e.g. Philippians 4:7)

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have Epilepsy. I have had it since I was five years old. I have been on all sorts of meds. Including tegretal Dilatin, and Keppra. Keppra for me was the worst. It changed my personality. I hope u are not having to many seizures.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi my son had epilepsy, he developed it in his mid 20's, although he was on medication for it, he continued to have seizures, one even lasted 3 hours. Sadly he died in august this year, aged 30, after another seizure which lasted an hour. We just didnt know enough about it, and we certainly didnt know it could be fatal. I am a single mum and miss him so much.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, I do. I have had it since I was 7. I'm 29 now. I currently take Tegretol to control my seizures.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes I do. Can I help in any way?My name is Denise

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  • 1 decade ago

    Lots of people have it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    my two sons have it, why?

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