J. Carrizosa Neurosciences and History 2017; 5(4): 136-141
Type of article: REVIEW
J. Carrizosa Senior lecturer, Paediatric Neurology Section, Department of Paediatrics. Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.
Introduction. Seldom in literature has epilepsy been the main focus of a novel. In La piel del miedo (“The skin of fear”), the Ecuadorian writer Javier Vásconez focuses on the disease in the context of fear. This study reviews the novel’s portrayal of fear caused by epilepsy from a multidimensional viewpoint.
Development. The author read the novel La piel del miedo and analysed the clinical symptoms, the protagonist’s perception of epilepsy, and external perceptions of the disease. The novel provides several descriptions of epileptic seizures, the postictal state, treatment, and prognosis. The main character’s perceptions include clairvoyance, self-pity, insecurity, concealment, dependence, isolation, identity, confidentiality, powerlessness, secrecy, stigmatisation, and fear. External perceptions of epilepsy include fear, confidentiality, revelation, and hostility. These findings stand in contrast with the positions or descriptions of other authors who have the disease or who have employed it in their works.
Conclusions. La piel del miedo provides a subjective, human view of epilepsy. The true scope of epilepsy transcends the clinical aspects of the disease; this novel provides a comprehensive view by addressing its psychological and social aspects.
Epilepsy, fear, literature, medical humanities, narrative-based medicine, stigma
Neurosciences and History 2017; 5(3): 94-104
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