Many people are concerned about how movies and television shows represent people with epilepsy. A lot of the time, portrayals of seizures and the disorder as a whole just serve to perpetuate the stigma associated with it. The ability of television and film to educate and begin to address real concerns rather than exploit epilepsy to add tension and drama is unquestionable. Characters with epilepsy appear in the following television series and films: Some examples have been gathered and shared with you so that you can decide for yourself what constitutes good, terrible, or just plain nasty portrayals of epilepsy on the big screen.
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Epilepsy on Television
Epilepsy in Soap Operas The Young and Restless
In this American soap opera, Victor Newman is a character who suffers from temporal lobe epilepsy. It’s rare to see a long-running character in a TV show with epilepsy, but the show has a hard time balancing education with shock and drama.
1. Coronation Street (2010)
Epilepsy was discovered in 2010 after hairstylist David Platt, played by Jack P Shepherd, lost consciousness while driving. Despite taking medicine to manage his epilepsy, he suffered a seizure in a March 2013 event.
2. EastEnders (2014)
This year’s episode of EastEnders has been praised for including an epilepsy plot line. In January 2014, Nancy Carter, played by Maddy Hill, suffered her first seizure on the show. Charitable organization Epilepsy Action was asked to provide input on the script in order to guarantee that epilepsy was depicted realistically while also raising awareness.
3. Deadwood (2004)
The priest of Deadwood, Reverend Smith (Ray McKinnon), suffers from epilepsy in this gritty Western TV series. He believes that the divine intervention that led to his seizures is to blame.
Epilepsy in Movies
4. The Andromeda Strain(1971)
In this sci-fi film, a group of scientists explore a virus that originated in outer space. To keep her colleagues from finding out about her condition, the chief scientist keeps her epilepsy a secret. They assume she has the lethal andromeda strain when she has a tonic-clonic seizure.
5. The Exorcist (1973)
Doctors first presume that the child has temporal lobe epilepsy in this horror classic.
In the face of some of cinema’s most horrifying sequences, they alter their diagnosis.
Washington Oddities has a picture of this oddity, which you can see here:
6. First Do No Harm (1997)
A mother’s battle against the medical system after discovering her small son has epilepsy is the subject of this television movie starring Meryl Streep.
7. Gods and Monsters (1998)
Sir Ian McKellen stars as Frankenstein filmmaker James Whale in this biopic.
After a series of strokes, Whale suffers from temporal lobe seizures.
8. Garden State (2004)
Garden State, a cult indie film written and directed by Zach Braff, tells the story of the protagonist’s return to New Jersey. A child named Sam (played by Natalie Portman), who has epilepsy, greets him at home. It’s as if a connection is being formed.
9. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
The case of Emily Rose is examined in this courtroom drama based on true facts. The story revolves around a priest who is accused of negligent homicide when Rose dies as a result of him forcing her to stop taking her epileptic medication in order to execute an exorcism.
10. Zach, A Film About Epilepsy (2009)
Zachery Smith, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, is the subject of a fly-on-the-wall epileptic documentary. A day in the life of Christian de Rezendes is depicted in the film, which shows how his family, friends, and therapists all have a role in his care. An organization called Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) co-produced the film. via IMDB, you may see the entire film in its entirety
11. What’s The Time Mr Wolf (2011)
To summarize Sal Anderson’s documentary about epilepsy, the film’s tagline is, “A seizure is like a Wolf creeping up on you, ready to pounce…” The story revolves around a group of people in an acting class who are on edge because of the possibility of a seizure.
12. Control (2007)
many accolades for his portrayal of Joy Division front man and epileptic Ian Curtis by Sam Riley in Anton Corbijn’s visually striking film, especially for the audacious depiction of Curtis having a seizure while performing live.