Thanks for taking our course on epilepsy. You may already know something about epilepsy and you can test your knowledge below. If you don’t know very much about this condition than we’re really glad you stopped by. Learning more will help those affected by epilepsy and the entire community.


 1 EXPLAINING EPILEPSY
 2 TYPES OF SEIZURES
 3 FIRST AID

 4 TREATMENTS
 5 SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT
 6 DIAGNOSING EPILEPSY



  HOW DOES EPILEPSY AFFECT ONE'S LIFE?  

Because epilepsy varies so widely from person to person, the affect that it has on an individual's body and life can range from mild and relatively minor to extremely serious and debilitating.

  WHAT IS THE PUBLIC'S ATTITUDE TO EPILEPSY?  

Epilepsy is still not often talked about in public. Lack of understanding of epilepsy among the general public means that many seizures are still unrecognized and mishandled. The public's misconceptions and fears about epilepsy promote misunderstanding and prejudice against people with seizures. This stigma can be very difficult to people living with epilepsy. Even when someone has infrequent seizures that are not debilitating they can still endure emotional stress at the thought of public’s reactions including colleagues, friends, classmates, and even neighbours. A greater understanding is needed!

  WHAT IMPACT CAN EPILEPSY HAVE ON SOCIAL RELATIONS?  

The very unpredictability of seizures, in terms of their nature, timing, severity and the situations in which they can occur can cause social difficulties. Discrimination or rejection may also be a problem for a person with seizures. In addition, family and friends can tend to be overprotective or impose unnecessary restrictions that can lead to isolation and social problems. Dating, sexuality, marriage and starting a family may be experienced as being more difficult. Fearing a negative response, many try to keep their epilepsy a secret from others. People with “active” epilepsy cannot drive, which can also affect their ability to be socially active and independent.

  WHAT IMPACT CAN EPILEPSY HAVE ON EMPLOYMENT?  

Getting and keeping a job can be more difficult for the person with epilepsy. Employers often have misconceptions and apprehensions about this disorder. The question of when to disclose your epilepsy to an employer can cause a person a great deal of anxiety. Of those who do find employment, many have jobs below their qualifications and experience. This happens all too frequently, despite the fact that Ontario laws entitle all people to equal treatment by an employer and freedom from discrimination because of disability. Specialized educational material and employment assistance aimed at workers as well as employers is available from the Epilepsy Toronto Employment Consultants.

  WHAT PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT CAN EPILEPSY HAVE?  

Just as the effects that epilepsy has on a person's body and their life vary widely, so do its effects on feelings. Certainly, feelings of uncertainty and being out of control are common. Society's lack of understanding of epilepsy is a burden that is strongly felt. Psychological problems, if they develop, usually come from how others react to the person with epilepsy, or how the person with epilepsy anticipates others will react, rather than from the epilepsy itself. Lowered self-esteem and self-confidence often accompany epilepsy. Feelings of anger, frustration, embarrassment and vulnerability may develop. Increased levels of anxiety and depression are also more common.

  WHAT EFFECTS CAN EPILEPSY HAVE ON THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THE PERSON WITH EPILEPSY?  

Friends and family will vary in how they react to a loved one with epilepsy. When the diagnosis is first made, it is normal for them to go through feelings of fear, grief, loss, guilt, anger, and frustration. Family and friends often find it difficult to deal with the uncertainty of seizures as well as with the prejudice and ignorance of others. They may become overprotective or restrictive of their relative or friend's activities. If the person with epilepsy is a child, their siblings may feel left out, afraid, or be made to feel overly responsible for the safety of their brother or sister.

If the person with epilepsy is an adult child living at home, issues of independence and concerns about the future may arise which affect family dynamics. Parents who have epilepsy may have concerns about how their children will cope with their seizures. Maintaining friendships can be difficult, as the disorder may challenge ongoing social activities by its very nature. Family counselling from Epilepsy Toronto can help with these problems.

  WHAT CAN A PERSON WITH EPILEPSY DO TO COPE BETTER?  

People who learn about their epilepsy and have support usually are better able to manage their seizures, cope emotionally, and advocate for themselves. Taking an on-line course like this can be an important first step in educating oneself about epilepsy.

Becoming a member of Epilepsy Toronto, talking to an Epilepsy Toronto counsellor or joining an epilepsy support group are excellent sources of both information and support. Some people use a medical professional or a psychologist for psychological support. Building a support network-a chain of interconnected persons who help give strength as well as supply necessities --is important. Taking an active role in managing your own epilepsy is another important part of coping successfully.


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 4 TREATMENTS
 6 DIAGNOSING EPILEPSY