Below is an interview taken place towards the end of March between myself and, my very special very own Nurse Practitioner, Peter Jones. The busy physician managed to fit this interview with me in early in the morning on his first day off in who knows how long. We were supposed to conduct this interview earlier but, as I said, he’s a very busy man and sometimes some things don’t work out the way we want them to.
While this series was intended to be released on Purple Day, this is a health blog about somebody with health concerns therefore, my health got the better of me and it took until now for this to be set free into the world. We hope you still enjoy the following interview on the topic of “Epilepsy Representation in Media” and find something you connect with or learn from.
Pete is a nurse practitioner specialising in epilepsy, the first of his kind here in Queensland, Australia, and he works in both the public and private sectors.
When asked what his experience with epilepsy in the media has been like he gave a refreshing answer, saying it was fairly positive.
“It helps when iconic individuals or those in the media spotlight are intimately involved either as diagnosed or as champions.”
Pete’s general opinion on epilepsy in the media is also pretty good to date. As we seem to always have good local coverage of events such as Purple Day, Pete thinks information is shared by the media at the right time. He also believes there is a good global awareness through all forms of media, but stigma of diagnosis is still there and more exposure would always be better.
When asked about the frequency of epilepsy representation, Pete pushed the stance of needing to continue to fight the negative implications of the diagnosis.
He also believes we mostly see epilepsy portrayed accurately but the gaps are why we need solid ambassadors.
Television, good press, blogs, and Epilepsy Queensland were listed by Pete as doing a fantastic job as portraying epilepsy accurately.
Everyone interviewed was asked if, when it comes to epilepsy, they think that they see themselves or their loved one represented in media? Pete said he doesn’t need to be represented and that he’s just the lucky one who gets to work in a job he loves.
Personally, I’d argue that as dealing with medical physicians is an important part of the epilepsy journey and, while my own experiences with Pete have always been fantastic, dealing with different physicians can be hard due to medical negligence. This crucial part of our journey needs to be shown, with both the ups and the downs, so I believe showing physicians who love their job, know what they’re doing, are kind and most importantly caring is an integral part of representing epilepsy accurately.
While Pete was unsure of what representation meant to him he acknowledged that it has the potential to expand accurate awareness.
In interests of storylines regarding epilepsy in media Pete noted that he’d just like people to look at the statistics of occurrence before going to work as to normalise the disease.
“Any media that promotes a fair go for those with epilepsy works for me.”
Regarding the different types of media, where would you like to see epilepsy represented more often?
Thank you to Peter Jones for his valued time and unique answers. I hope all readers enjoyed this interview and find something to like in the other installments in this series.