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Epileptic Attacks Are Causes Of Some Accidents   
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Epileptic attacks suffered by people while driving could be the cause of some unexplained road accidents in the country, Mrs Priscilla Elikplim Tawiah, Head of the Psychiatric Unit of the Ho Municipal Hospital, said on Friday.

She told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that her view was based on her watching some epileptic patients behind the wheels of taxis in town.

Mrs Tawiah explained that such seizures would not always make the sufferer slump. The variant called "petit-mal" comes with momentary unconsciousness without convulsion as happens in the "grand-mal". Mrs Tawiah appealed to licensing authorities to ensure that anybody licensed to go behind the steering wheel goes through periodic checkups. A total of 147 mental cases were recorded in the unit in 2008 as against 145 in 2009.

Mrs Tawiah listed depression among women as high-up in the cases reported at the unit and the causes being mainly love relationships going sour and postpartum dejection which is depression suffered after delivery. Other cases include substance abuse especially marijuana and alcohol, psychosis, sub-normality and epilepsy.

Mrs Tawiah said the unit was receiving increasing cases of patients whose conditions were triggered by the knowledge of being HIV/AIDS positive. Mrs Tawiah advised women to take the message of economic empowerment seriously as it was the only way they could insulate themselves from male chauvinists and besides condition themselves to stand shocks. She said the notion among Ghanaians that mental illness was a spiritual affliction had made prayer camps first points of call for mental patients.

Mrs Tawiah said her Unit had therefore developed some working relationships with these camps as a result of which cases were often referred to the Unit. She said mental ailments could be well managed by the psychiatrist units backed by a well resourced social support system to tackle the trigger factors.
Source: GNA

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