Living with Epilepsy

Epilepsy Information 2012

Living with Epilepsy: Challenges and Guidelines

Epilepsy is defined as a chronic neurological condition that is characterized by recurrent seizures. This condition affects the life of a person in many different ways. Living with epilepsy can be hard, but it’s not impossible to have a normal life despite having the neurological condition.

Challenges Related to Living with Epilepsy

Since epilepsy is a chronic condition, it greatly influences the patient’s way of life in various facets such as in his or her relationships with other people, leisure activities, school life, and employment matters. The challenge of living with epilepsy varies among men, women, adolescents, children and seniors. The patient’s age greatly determines the kind of management that he or she needs.

Living with Epilepsy: How to Manage the Condition

Living with epilepsy is possible as long as the patient and his/her support persons know how to manage it properly. The core aspects of epilepsy management are focused on: learning how the condition affects one’s life, determining what are the responsibilities concomitant with having the disease condition and finding support or resources. Safety is the number one priority in managing epilepsy.

The following points enumerate some guidelines important in managing epilepsy:

§ The long-term goal for the treatment of epilepsy is to halt the seizure episodes or control them while keeping the patient safe and making him/her live a normal life. Generally, this goal can be achieved through medications and medical procedures, but ample knowledge regarding the condition can also help in achieving the said goal. Observing safety, knowing how to avoid seizures and being prepared when an episode happens are elements that one should know while living with epilepsy.
§ Compliance to medications is very essential in managing epilepsy. Patients should take their anti-epileptic drugs as prescribed. Failure to follow the set treatment regimen can result to frequent seizure episodes and therefore it leads to a disrupted daily living.
§ Adherence to the ketogenic diet. Epileptic individuals follow a high-fat, low-carb diet that may somehow decrease the occurrence of seizures. This kind of diet is prescribed by a doctor and should be monitored by a dietitian or a nurse. Strictly following this prescribed diet is helpful in managing epilepsy.
§ Seizure Preparedness. Since seizures can occur anytime and anywhere, there are certain guidelines during seizure emergencies that the patient’s family members, health care providers or primary care giver should be oriented of. While living with epilepsy, the patient and everyone involved in his or her care should know what to do whenever a surprise seizure attack occurs. This is a very important component in ensuring the patient’s safety.
§ Support. Support persons and resources are vital aspects in epilepsy management. Without the needed care, love and support, it’s difficult for epileptics to live a normal life.

Indeed, living with epilepsy is a hard and tumultuous one. The patient, his or her family and friends should adopt certain adjustments and guidelines. However, with proper guidance and assistance from health care providers, it’s possible for an epileptic person to be living with epilepsy and have a normal life with family and friends.