Being diagnosed with epilepsy is challenging and can make you feel isolated and alone. The unpredictability of seizures imposes severe restrictions on lifestyle and can inhibit patients’ social interactions. The treatment of seizure disorders is aimed at preventing seizures. For many patients, the side effects of treatment have an impact as great as the impact of the seizures themselves. Side effects from medication plague patients with epilepsy on a daily basis. The most important medication side effects are changes in cognitive function. Keep track of the patterns in your seizures, the side effects of your medication, any shifts in mood and other symptoms. This is helpful for you and your doctor to identify triggers and refine your treatment plan.
Epilepsy can create tremendous social issues for patients. Seizures can be scary and leave you feeling vulnerable, making social interactions complicated and difficult to navigate. An estimated 50 million people worldwide live with epilepsy. Tap into this large community through one of the many support groups in your area. Sharing your story while hearing others is a way to connect and feel understood while trading coping strategies. As with any life experience, it takes time and familiarity before you learn to effectively manage the conditions surrounding your unique case.
Talk to Your Friends and Family
Most people feel reassured if their friends and family know to be calm and responsible if anything did happen. Explain to those around you what to do if a seizure happens while in your company.
- Explain your epilepsy by comparing it to something else the child has experienced, like an allergy attack from eating peanut butter.
- Make sure they know not to grab you during a seizure or to put anything in your mouth, clear the area around you and keep your head safe.
- Teach them to call out for help, or train them in the basics of seizure first aid.
- Staying with you and seeing you home safely after a seizure while making sure your family is notified that a seizure has occurred.
Finding ways to make epilepsy a part of your life will help you to make the most out of your social life. The key to achieving a fuller life is taking care of yourself, taking control of your epilepsy, planning ahead and making the most of what help and support is available to you.
For more information on how to help treat your seizure disorder or for any other inquiries, please call us at (631) 364-9119.
North Suffolk Neurology is a full-service Neurology, Headache Medicine, and Sleep Medicine practice consisting of dedicated, experienced staff committed to helping our patients and their families maintain and improve their health.