Seizures & Epilepsy

Sports, Leisure & Activities

January 9, 2020
Epilepsy & Sports

Leisure time is spent with hobbies, projects around the house, or travel. When you have epilepsy, before you engage in these activities, here are things you have to consider:

  • The type and frequency of seizures you have, and how an unexpected seizure might impact your safety or the safety of those around you
  • Avoiding activities that may trigger seizures (for example, video games or nightclubs if your types of seizures are triggered by flashing lights)
  • Minimizing or avoiding high risk sports and recreational activities

Sports and Recreational Activity
Physical activity and recreation are important for maintaining quality of life. Participation in appropriate team and individual sports should be encouraged. Some doctor orders are to be physically active, but also safe and manageable.

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Seizures & Epilepsy

Epilepsy & Your Job

December 13, 2019
Epilepsy & Work

Adults with epilepsy might worry about their ability to find and keep a job. But having epilepsy does not mean you are unable to work. In fact, most jobs are suitable for people with well-controlled epilepsy.

Some people with epilepsy are not able to work due to their seizures or related medical conditions. These people can consider applying for disability benefits after a doctor has evaluated their medical status and has formally notified the appropriate agencies. The criteria for disability are complex, and should be discussed with your doctor.

A number of factors can affect your ability to find a job and perform it successfully. These include:

  • Your seizure type (focal or generalized onset) and level of seizure control
  • How your epilepsy or your medicines affect your thinking and memory
  • Depression, anxiety, or social isolation you may experience because of your epilepsy
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Seizures & Epilepsy

Family Planning & Epilepsy

November 22, 2019
Epilepsy & Pregnancy

Family planning and sexuality is an important aspect of adult life that can be impacted by epilepsy or by the medicine used to treat epilepsy.

Certain medicines used to treat epilepsy can also affect hormone levels involved in sexual response and/or the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

The signs of sexual dysfunction differ between men and women.

  • Some men with epilepsy experience loss of sex drive, while about half experience erectile dysfunction
  • Most women with epilepsy have normal sexual desire, but some may have markedly decreased sexual drive

For sexually active adults, sexual dysfunction can include:

  • Diminished desire and willingness to have sex
  • Diminished sexual arousal

Feeling sad or depressed, vulnerable, scared, angry, helpless, or under pressure can also have a negative impact on sexuality. Express any sexual concerns you have to your doctor and any time you experience side effects from your medicines.

Family Planning + Epilepsy

To help ensure you have a healthy baby, plan carefully with the help of a neurologist to be sure you receive appropriate care before becoming pregnant. Your gynecologist/obstetrician and neurologist should both review your medicine regimen before you try to become pregnant.

Epilepsy & Pregnancy

Epilepsy does not prevent women from becoming pregnant. More than 95% of women with epilepsy who want to have children will have a full-term pregnancy and a healthy child.

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Brain Health

Stress & Anxiety

November 20, 2019
Stress & Anxiety with Epilepsy

Seizures can something be predicted, but most of the times , they can’t. When you have epilepsy, you start to notice types of triggers that can cause your seizure. My seizure triggers are sleep deprivation , stress and diet. My mom always tells me “don’t stress”. But it is easier said than done. 🙁

Is Stress or Anxiety is a Seizure Trigger, What Should I Do?

Here are a number of things you could do to lessen the chance of a seizure. 

  • First, look at how stress is affecting you and how you are coping with it. Is there a way to lessen its impact on you? Are there ways to manage stress better? 
    • Yoga
    • Meditation
    • Cardio
  • Are you having sleep problems? Difficulty sleeping is a common symptom of stress and mood problems. Since sleep deprivation is a common seizure trigger, it’s important to pay attention to sleep at these times. 
    • Ask your doctor about Melatonin. It may interact with the medications you are taking.
  • Are you eating normally? Eating habits often get disrupted when people are feeling stressed. Some people eat more, others don’t eat or have poor eating habits. Some people find they have more seizures when not eating well or going long periods without eating. Maybe you are drinking too much coffee or caffeinated beverages? This can worsen seizures by disrupting your sleep.
    • The Ketogenic diet works for many people either with seizures, people who want to lose weight or just feeling better mentally.
  • Is alcohol or using ‘recreational’ drugs a problem? Sometimes substance use or abuse is a problem when people have mood problems or are feeling stressed. Not a good idea if you have seizures.

Stress & The Holidays
Holidays are a busy time of the year. The stress and potential loss of sleep during this time can be a seizure trigger for some. If you are concerned about increased seizure activity around the holidays, consider:

  • Managing your time and activities during the day (shopping, cooking, parties)
  • Limited alcohol consumption
  • Increasing exercise time to help relieve stress

Every time you feel stress coming on, just take a deep breadth and asay a positive affirmation 🙂

Epilepsy Advocates

Managing Your Social Life

November 18, 2019

Social interactions are important contributing factors to your quality of life. Some people with epilepsy experience challenges with social interaction for reasons such as:

  • Certain cultural beliefs and stigmas that may make it challenging to find social support
  • Side effects from some medications may cause some people to feel uncomfortable in public settings

In a recent online general survey of adults in the US, more than half of those responding felt that people with epilepsy can do anything without it can do and are able to cope with everyday.

Most adults with epilepsy say that their condition has no impact on their social relationships.

In the same survey, when asked to consider social interactions with a person with epilepsy:

  • Almost half said they would date a person with epilepsy
  • More than 60% said they are comfortable being around or working with a person with epilepsy
  • More than 80% said they would not be embarrassed to have a family member with epilepsy

These answers are encouraging, but they also show that there is a need for better understanding of how epilepsy may affect you, your social life and your daily activities.

 Social Support Networks

  • Family is the most important social support network for both children and adults with epilepsy
  • The family’s positive attitude can help encourage positive perceptions of epilepsy
  • Community networks can help people with epilepsy and their family members find information about the condition and learn about coping strategies. These resources can help you interact with others who also experience epilepsy and are willing to share their story.

 You can find organizations that provide epilepsy information from:

  • Support groups
  • Social media (There are A LOT of Epilepsy Facebook groups – I’m joined many of them)
  • Online videos
  • Informal epilepsy-related social events
  • Conversations with your doctor

The Social Life of Children with Epilepsy

Children with epilepsy may have lower social skill levels. This can affect them in their adult years, too. Work with your child’s doctor to encourage participation in social activities.

Young children with epilepsy might be excluded from parties, play dates, and sleepovers due to parental fears and concerns. Information for the parents hosting these activities may help alleviate their concerns.

The Social Life of Adolescents with Epilepsy

Epilepsy can affect an adolescent’s ability to meet social goals such as:

  • Obtaining a driver’s license
  • Forming relationships with peers and siblings
  • Participating in recreation and leisure activities
  •  Keeping up with schoolwork
  • Seeking employment and maintaining job

Managing your social life is do-able for people living with epilepsy. You face challenges but there are techniques you can learn to really increase your quality of life 🙂