Famous People with Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes seizures. This condition is common in people with other health conditions, and it can have different causes. Symptoms of epilepsy can vary widely and can often be hard to distinguish from symptoms of other conditions. Here are some of the famous celebrities who suffer from epilepsy.

Famous People with Epilepsy.

The following are some famous people who have been diagnosed with epilepsy:

  • Robin Williams
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Cameron Boyce
  • John Roberts
  • Susan Boyle
  • Prince.

In this blog, we will discuss these celebrities and others who have been diagnosed with epilepsy, and spoken publicly about their diagnosis.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. The word comes from the Greek words epilēpsia meaning “to fall out” and epileptos meaning “seizure”. A person with epilepsy is sometimes described as having a “seizure disorder,” or as having “epilepsy” or “seizure.”

Epilepsy is a condition that affects how the brain works. Many people with epilepsy have seizures that can be triggered by flashing lights, smells, or other sensations, they can also have seizures that occur unexpectedly even when nothing unusual is going on. 

Seizures are sudden episodes of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. They occur due to various reasons such as head injury, stroke, or infection. These episodes are often accompanied by uncontrollable shaking, convulsions, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Many people with epilepsy also have another type of seizure called a “motor seizure.” A person with a seizure may lose control of his or her body and fall to the ground. A person may also have a loss of awareness of the environment or a blank period of confusion or inactivity.

What are some of the signs of epilepsy?

Some signs of epilepsy include:

  • changes in behavior and motor skills, such as difficulty walking, talking, or understanding. 
  • Sudden and unexpected episodes that cause loss of consciousness or convulsions. 
  • Changes in appetite. 
  • Passing small amounts of urine.
  • Experiencing unusual sensations in the body.
  • Pulsating feeling in head.
  • Nausea, and vomiting. 
  • Convulsions that can cause you to lose consciousness or shake uncontrollably. 

What are the types of epilepsy?

There are two main types of epilepsy: 

  • Focal (partial) Epilepsy. Focal epilepsy occurs when abnormal electrical activity arises in only part of the brain. This causes brief episodes of shaking or convulsions called seizures.
  • Generalized Epilepsy. Generalized epilepsy involves widespread areas of the brain. People with this type of epilepsy experience multiple seizures at once.

What causes epilepsy?

Epilepsy is caused by a number of different factors. The causes of epilepsy depend on the type of epilepsy a person has. Some of the causes of epilepsy are:

  • Brain Damage
  • Abnormalities in the structure or function of the brain. 
  • Brain tumors or brain injury.
  • Head injuries.
  • Stroke.
  • Infection.
  • Birth defects. 
  • Genetic disorders, such as Fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis.
  • Certain medications such as antidepressants and lithium.
  • The side effects of taking other drugs such as steroids or antibiotics.

Celebrities with Epilepsy.

John Roberts.

John Roberts was born in 1989 and grew up in Washington D.C. His parents divorced when he was young, and he moved around a lot. At age 3, he started having seizures. They would come out of nowhere, usually after playing outside or watching TV. By the time he was 4 years old, doctors told him he had epilepsy. 

He went through several treatments, including medication and surgery. In 2015, he underwent surgery to remove part of his brain.  After the surgery, he began experiencing frequent seizures, and he now suffers from memory problems. 

Now, he wants to share his story to raise awareness about epilepsy and encourage other kids who might be dealing with similar issues.

Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe was a famous American author who suffered from epilepsy. Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809. He spent much of his childhood living with his mother and stepfather after his father died. Poe had a number of epileptic attacks throughout his life. 

In addition to his sleep problems, he also experienced hallucinations and blackouts. These episodes led to his being diagnosed with epilepsy. During these periods, he would experience strange visions and hear voices. Some of his most famous poems were written during these episodes.

Robin Williams.

Robin Williams had epilepsy, but according to his wife, he didn’t seem to have the condition while he was alive. His family later revealed that he had an epileptic seizure disorder. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014, and he also battled depression. His wife said that he had been struggling with severe anxiety and paranoia for years.

He also had other health problems, including Tourette syndrome, social anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorder. His depression, also likely related to his epilepsy, was also well-documented. Williams died at age 63 after being found unconscious in his home in California. 

He had suffered a seizure earlier that day. The autopsy revealed that he had a history of seizures and had recently taken antiseizure medication.

Susan Boyle.

Susan Boyle was diagnosed with epilepsy after she had a seizure at the age of 25. The singer revealed her condition in an interview with the BBC last year.

Susan Boyle was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1958. Her parents divorced when she was young and she moved to England with her mother and stepfather. At the age of nine, she began singing in local talent shows and won several competitions. In 1985, she became the runner-up in the UK version of ‘Star Search’ and went on to win the British version of the show.

Neil Young.

Neil Young is a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, author, activist, and actor. He is known for his distinctive voice and guitar playing style. His career began in the 1960s rock band Buffalo Springfield before he formed Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. In 1970, he released his debut solo album, After the Gold Rush.

Neil Young was diagnosed with epilepsy after experiencing seizures for years. The diagnosis came out of nowhere, and he didn’t even know he had epilepsy until then. Young’s condition started manifesting itself around the time he turned 30. He said he felt tired and would fall asleep during concerts. When he woke up, he couldn’t remember anything from the previous night. At times, he would experience short periods of confusion or memory lapses.


Prince died at age 57, he was found dead in his Paisley Park home on April 21, 2016. In the last decade, Prince had been struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues. His struggles with drugs and alcohol led him into rehab several times. He also suffered from seizures and depression.

Prince was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12. He was prescribed medication to help control his condition. However, he stopped taking his medication for the last two years of his life.

Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in 1822. She escaped from bondage at age 20 and became a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In 1849, she led her family out of Maryland and went on to serve as a nurse during the Civil War. After the war, she worked tirelessly to free other slaves.

Harriet Tubman was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 15 years old. Her condition worsened over time and she suffered seizures several times a day. Tubman had a strong faith in God and believed that he would provide a way to get her through her illness. 

She prayed every night before bedtime and asked God to heal her. The next morning, she woke up feeling better. This experience inspired her to continue fighting against slavery. Despite these challenges, she continued to fight for freedom.

Elton John.

Elton John was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 25 after experiencing seizures for over 20 years. The singer revealed his condition in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. John later told Oprah that he had experienced around 30 seizures but he didn’t tell anyone because he feared being labeled crazy or weak.

In 2016, Elton John had a seizure during a concert in Australia. Afterward, he was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered that he had suffered from epilepsy for decades.

Danny Glover.

Danny Glover was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 11. In 2015, he began using cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat his seizures. The actor says that CBD oil helped him reduce his medication dosage and improve his quality of life.

Danny Glover has epilepsy, but he also has a passion for helping other people who suffer from the same condition. He hopes that sharing his experience will encourage others to seek out medical treatment.

Terry Marsh.

Terry Marsh was diagnosed with epilepsy at age six after he had several seizures. His parents took him to a neurologist who said he would never walk or talk. The Marsh family lived in rural North Carolina where they struggled to get medical care. They didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford medication. After years of struggling, they finally found a doctor who believed in them and helped them get the treatment they needed.

Cameron Boyce.

Cameron Boyce was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 3. He had seizures since then, and he also developed autism. The family took him to several doctors who said he had epilepsy but Cameron’s parents disagreed, saying he didn’t have epilepsy because he wasn’t having seizures every day. They wanted to see if he would start having seizures after taking medication.

After Cameron stopped taking his seizure medicine, his parents noticed that he was acting differently. He became aggressive and violent towards other kids. When he went to school, he was disruptive and couldn’t focus. After seeing these changes, his parents decided to take him off of his seizure medicine.

Boyce died from SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) at the age of 20 years old. 


Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain, causing seizures. It can affect anyone, but some people with epilepsy have had their lives changed by being in the spotlight. Famous people with epilepsy have changed the world, helped others, and changed the way the public looks at epilepsy. 

Celebrities have shown that even those with the most severe form of the disorder can achieve great things and go on to do amazing things in their lives. This has helped to raise awareness of epilepsy and has also helped those with the disorder to gain a better understanding of their condition.


Is epilepsy a mental illness?

Epilepsy is not a mental illness. People living with epilepsy have no psychological issues. Though, people with severe and uncontrolled epilepsy may have some psychological deficits. 

What foods to avoid with epilepsy?

Research shows that you should avoid processed foods and foods that are overcooked or over-ripe. For example:

  • white bread.
  • non-whole grain cereals.
  • biscuits and cakes.
  • Honey.
  • high-sugar drinks and food.
  • Chips and mashed potatoes.

Can epileptics donate blood?

No. It is prohibited for people who have epilepsy, and other seizure conditions, to donate blood. This is due to the assumption that they may have some donor reactions.


Famous People with Epilepsy


Famous People with Epilepsy

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