Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Uncontrolled seizures and their effect on your life may at times feel overwhelming or lead to depression. It's important not to let epilepsy hold you back. You can still live an active, full life. To help cope:

  • Educate yourself and your friends and family about epilepsy so that they understand the condition.
  • Try to ignore negative reactions from people. It helps to learn about epilepsy so that you know the facts as opposed to misconceptions about the disease. And try to keep your sense of humor.
  • Live as independently as possible. Continue to work, if possible. If you can't drive because of your seizures, investigate public transportation options near you. If you aren't allowed to drive, you may want to consider moving to a city with good public transportation options.
  • Find a doctor you like and with whom you feel comfortable.
  • Try not to constantly worry about having a seizure.
  • Find an epilepsy support group to meet people who understand what you're going through.

If your seizures are so severe that you can't work outside your home, there are still ways to feel productive and connected to people. You may consider working from home, through working on a computer.

Let people you work and live with know the correct way to handle a seizure in case they are with you when you have one. You may offer them suggestions, such as:

  • Carefully roll the person onto one side.
  • Place something soft under his or her head.
  • Loosen tight neckwear.
  • Don't try to put your fingers or anything else in the person's mouth. No one has ever "swallowed" his or her tongue during a seizure — it's physically impossible.
  • Don't try to restrain someone having a seizure.
  • If the person is moving, clear away dangerous objects.
  • Stay with the person until medical personnel arrive.
  • Observe the person closely so that you can provide details on what happened.
  • Time the seizures.
  • Be calm during the seizures.
May. 31, 2013