Can a person with epilepsy get married?

Marriage is a sacred institution that binds two individuals together for the rest of their lives. Indian citizens have the right to practice any religion they want. In India, several personal laws define marriage. Marriages were either outlawed or rejected due to epilepsy until recently. Take a look at the religious marriage laws, paying special attention to the exclusions that apply to people with epilepsy:

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 - The special marriage rules apply to all Indian citizens, regardless of religion, caste, or culture. People of different religions, castes, or communities are allowed to marry under the Act's terms, as long as both parties are of sound mind.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Under the Hindu marriage rule, an epileptic person is incompetent to marry. There are certain conditions that have to be complied with before marriage is valid in India. One is that man must not suffer from recurrent attacks of insanity (it was referring to epilepsy).

The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 - One of the conditions needed to be fulfilled for a valid marriage under Christian marriage laws is that both parties to the marriage must be sane.

The Marriage Law Amendment Act, 1976 - As per the Marriage Law Amendment Act promulgated by the Government of India, a person who suffers from recurrent episodes of insanity or epilepsy cannot legally marry, and such a marriage can be declared null and void.

The Marriage Law Amendment Act, 1999 - The Government of India amended the above-mentioned laws in 1999, and on 29 December 1999, the Marriage Law Amendment Act 1999 was enacted. During the debate on the relevant Bill, it was pointed out that equating epilepsy and insanity is inhumane because 80 percent of epileptic cases are curable. Epilepsy was separated from insanity, and it was no longer a reason for annulment or divorce. People with epilepsy have regained their legal marriage rights due to this.

The Nullity of Marriage Act, 1971 - When a court says your marriage never happened because it was never legal, it removed epilepsy as a ground for a marriage to be voidable.

Who should counsel a person with epilepsy regarding marriage?

Counseling people with epilepsy regarding their matrimonial prospects is a sensitive topic and should be undertaken by someone with a fair deal of experience and expertise. Physicians caring for epilepsy are the best professionals to deal with this sensitive topic. In following up with their patients, they are likely to understand their psyche, personality, and aspirations.

Women with epilepsy in India encounter even greater difficulties than men. Women with epilepsy are often told that they will have difficulty conceiving, having healthy infants, and raising children and that their epilepsy will worsen during pregnancy. This is a misunderstanding.

It is highly recommended to have early counselling to parents of a girl child with epilepsy. Many parents of young adolescent epilepsy girls are concerned about the long-term effects on marriage. These parents' priority is managing epilepsy and finding a cure before their children reach the age of maturity, and it takes precedence over other elements of their children's upbringing.

The best counsel for these parents is:
• well manage her epilepsy
• ensure appropriate education of the girl child
• empower her to support herself financially, emotionally, and socially in the years to come.

When to disclose your epilepsy?

It could be claimed that every minor detail cannot reasonably be shared with potential marital partners. Epilepsy that is well-controlled is essentially a benign disorder with a good prognosis from a medical standpoint. Of course, if your seizures aren't well controlled, it's probably best to bring up the subject of epilepsy before it comes up on its own. The talk may be difficult, but it's indeed preferable to the far more awkward position of having a seizure with a new partner who is unaware of your epilepsy. The person with epilepsy must openly, honestly, and completely discuss their condition.

Communication is essential in any relationship, and it's much more crucial when you have epilepsy and have seizures. Although it may be tempting to tell the other person over the phone, by email, or text rather than in person, any major communication like this is typically best done in person. You'll want to be able to see and react to the other person's face, no matter how unpleasant you think the conversation will be. On the other hand, rather than speaking out of the blue, it's probably best to wait and find the ideal time in the date to reveal your epilepsy. The better the conversation goes, the more at ease you are with the other person. Your partner should be allowed to react to what they have heard.

If you are planning to have arranged marriage, there are a few important things to consider

Traditionally arranged marriages provide future couples with little opportunity to meet and develop a relationship. Many planned marriages took place 20 years ago, with the bride and groom meeting for the first time on the wedding day. As a result, people with epilepsy generally fail to disclose their condition during marriage discussions, while those who do are frequently rejected.
When epilepsy is severe or linked to neurological or psychiatric illnesses, full disclosure should be made during the first meeting of the marital talks. Disclosure may be postponed in cases of milder, well-controlled epilepsy, but it should preferably happen before the wedding. .

During marital negotiations, the doctor should discuss:
• the consequences of concealment on the marital outcome
• patients seizure control and general health
• the importance of continued care after marriage

Many people with epilepsy struggle with the decision of whether or not to marry, although there is no medical reason for them to remain single. Remember that a spouse's health isn't the only thing that affects their relationship. Consider all of the various non-epilepsy-related concerns that can arise in a relationship. The vast majority of epilepsy patients will have normal relationships. If you're having relationship issues, it's crucial to figure out what's causing them.

Neeraj Epilepsy Clinic in Rishikesh has the best ayurvedic doctors specialised in epilepsy treatment. We provide unique, well planned, safe, individualized Ayurvedic treatments. We believe that we can help patients achieve a better quality of life. Ask for an appointment for a consultation to discuss your general health and seizure control.

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