Neve Campbell Illness: Why Did Neve Campbell Stop Acting?

Actress Neve Campbell and Coleen Campbell-Olwell were more like sisters than first cousins when they were children growing up in Canada. They were only eight days apart in birth and adored dressing up and acting out princess roles. While Neve preferred ballet, Coleen developed an interest in the full beauty routine after observing her mother go through the daily ritual of wearing cosmetics and arranging her hair. It didn’t take Coleen long to start practising makeup techniques on Neve and other willing models.

Neve and Coleen, both 32, have accomplished their childhood aspirations today. After making her name on the “Party of Five” TV series, Neve is a talented actress most remembered for playing the haunting protagonist in the Scream movie trilogy. (This year, she will be seen in the Danny DeVito comedy Relative Strangers and a Robert Altman-directed play in London.) Coleen is a Hollywood cosmetics artist who works behind the scenes while Neve is recognised for her acting.

Despite having a long list of famous clients that includes Fred Durst and Bernie Mac, Coleen’s path to success in the aesthetic world wasn’t always smooth. She was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 18, an illness that also affects her mother.

Coleen remembers, “I started getting recurring seizures, and it was quite frightening.” “I had no idea what I was going through.”

She quickly realised it was epilepsy, a disorder marked by seizures that happen when neural circuits malfunction. Short glassy-eyed stares, jerking movements, convulsions, and loss of consciousness are all possible symptoms of seizures.

Coleen remembers feeling embarrassed and concerned about how other people may respond while being glad to find she had a problem that could be controlled by medication. She questioned whether having a seizure in public would make people think she was ill or incapable of handling the demands of a hard profession.

When people found out I had epilepsy, I was afraid they would reject me, she adds. “The idea that people with epilepsy are unique persists in society. Many people naturally associate epilepsy with grand mal seizures, although there are many different types of epilepsy. Many epileptics are ashamed or embarrassed to admit they have the illness.”

Neve Campbell Illness
Neve Campbell Illness

She’s always been at ease opening up to Neve, and after getting her diagnosis she frequently looked to her cousin for consolation. Neve was a sympathetic listener, although she wished she had more knowledge about epilepsy to properly allay Coleen’s concerns.

Coleen can now control her seizures, but getting there was challenging, according to Neve. “She found it difficult to keep up her confidence and self-esteem when she was first diagnosed. She was concerned that she might be rejected or made fun of.”

Neve tried her best to help Coleen, but she was disappointed by the lack of assistance. Many people, including parents whose children have epilepsy, don’t know their legal rights and safeguards regarding the condition, according to a Harris Interactive survey done last year, which revealed that half of the adults with epilepsy and those who have the condition don’t. It’s acceptable to acknowledge having epilepsy and to be aware of your legal rights, says Coleen

Coleen is succeeding in her career and feeling wonderful thanks to a support system that includes her husband, mother, and cousin Neve. She and Neve, however, have compassion for the 200,000 families that face new epilepsy or seizure diagnoses every year. They assisted at the beginning of a nationwide initiative called the “Bill of Rights for People Living with Epilepsy” last year as a result of their concern.

According to Neve, the goal of this campaign is to enhance public understanding of epilepsy while also educating and empowering those who have been affected by it. The Bill of Rights was written by medical professionals and individuals with epilepsy to offer recommendations for managing epilepsy at home, at work, and in the healthcare system.

The Campbells’ journey there began at home. In the 1950s, my mother was given an epilepsy diagnosis, Coleen reveals. “Despite significant advancements in the field, few people are comfortable talking about this disease. I’ve seen how epilepsy may affect various people because my mother has it. Despite never being able to control her seizures, my mother has led a good life and produced a loving family.”

Neve and Coleen are working to raise awareness of epilepsy and seizures, which impact 2.7 million Americans. When Neve’s younger brother Damian was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by repetitive involuntary movements and vocalisations known as tics, she had previously used her fame to raise awareness and money for another neurological condition.

Neve advises those who have relatives who suffer from epilepsy or other illnesses to learn as much as they can about their loved one’s diagnosis. “I’ve always made an effort to give Coleen a positive environment. She is just Coleen to me—my cousin and best friend—and I want to be there for her in the same way that she has always been for me.”

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