Social concerns of foreclosures | Epilepsy Foundation
One of the biggest concerns of people with epilepsy and their families is how it affects daily life. Do they need to restrict their activity. If so, how? Other concerns may arise, such as how seizures may affect family life, other relationships, school, work or play.
Dealing with epilepsy is different for everyone. People with well-controlled seizures may have different problems or concerns than people with poorly controlled seizures. Additionally, having a lot of seizures and taking seizure medication can affect the way people think, feel, and their ability to cope with the effects of their epilepsy. The experiences and concerns will also be different whether you are a young person, a parent, an adult with seizures, or an elderly person. Gender also plays a role in how we perceive epilepsy, how we deal with it, and what issues we may face.
While there is no magic formula for living with epilepsy, think about these questions. They will help you think through your needs and where to start.
- How does epilepsy affect you and your family?
- Do you know your rights and responsibilities in managing your health?
- Do you know how to deal with discrimination?
- Do you know how to balance the need to stay safe and live life the way you want?
- Do you know how to find the support and resources you may need?
- Are you talking about living with epilepsy? If not, would it help to hear others talk about it? How about talking with others, right here on epilepsy.com, at talkaboutit.org, or in person with people from your local Epilepsy Foundation?
What will life be like with epilepsy?
Living well is a realistic goal for many people with epilepsy. But life with epilepsy is not smooth. In fact, it’s like taking a trip with a lot of peaks and valleys. There are times when things are going well. You feel great and everything you do seems to be working. Life is going well. Then something happens. Maybe the seizures got worse, or you ran into different issues in your life. The way you dealt with problems in the past may not be working so well now. Maybe it’s time to reach out and learn something new. You might need a new way of looking at life with epilepsy, a new way of coping, or a new way to get help.
What kind of community support can help me?
Being diagnosed with epilepsy can be overwhelming and make you feel isolated and alone. Or you are the parent or partner of a person with epilepsy and you are hearing about seizures for the first time. You feel the only one.
The good news is, you are not alone! Chances are, a community of people in your area is going through the same challenges as you.
- Look for support groups.
- Ask your doctor or other healthcare professionals for help.
- Find a local epilepsy foundation.
- Check with the nearest epilepsy center. Maybe they have a support group, educational sessions, or can put you in touch with other families.
- However, you may be shy or not yet ready to speak in person. You have found your way here and now you can talk to people online! Use the comments below or try the forums and chat in the Login section.
No matter where you are, one of the most important things in helping you live with epilepsy is finding a support network – a community of people you can talk to, share the good times and the bad. Get help when you need it and give help when you can too.
Talking about it can help in other ways as well. Every time someone with epilepsy or a family member shares their story, they are teaching others about epilepsy. One person or one fact at a time.
How does epilepsy affect family life?
Epilepsy can strain families in many ways. Everyone is there together. Yet they experience it differently. The person having seizures will feel one way, but a parent or spouse may feel quite different. Maybe a family member feels helpless when watching the seizures because they can’t stop them. Maybe they are angry that this is happening to their loved one and that their life has changed. They may be afraid and try to protect their family member who is having seizures. But the person having seizures may feel overprotected and want a little space and independence. They may fear being a burden on their families and withdraw.
- The first step is to realize that people will react differently. When reactions are not addressed or discussed, relationships between family members can be strained.
- Everyone in the family should understand what epilepsy is, how it is treated, and what to expect. (The level of understanding will depend on the age and ability of each person, of course.)
- Families can be a great source of support for someone with epilepsy, but it can take work. Encourage everyone in your family to learn as much as possible. Then you can share your feelings, fears, and hopes.
How does epilepsy affect school?
Most people with epilepsy can participate fully in school. Sometimes seizures or side effects from anti-epileptic drugs can interfere with schoolwork. Some children and adults may be at risk for learning difficulties because of the way seizures affect the brain or other neurological problems. Antiepileptic drugs can make students tired, make it difficult for them to pay attention, or make the student more forgetful. It can be difficult to stay focused during the school day or to do homework at night. Or maybe the nocturnal seizures cause problems at school during the day. Some students may find that they are falling behind.
If problems arise at school, don’t wait.
- Talk to your doctor and let him know how you (or your child) are feeling and what problems you or your child may be having.
- Tell the teachers what’s going on. Ask for help, like extra time, tutoring, or whatever it takes.
- If the problems persist and simple changes don’t help, ask your doctor for a referral to an epilepsy specialist. Improving seizure control or changing medications to reduce side effects can help with school problems. Detailed testing can detect learning issues so you can get the right kind of help.
- Talk to the school counselor and see if other help can be put in place.
- Know your rights! Every student should get the help they need to get the most out of school.
- Involve the school nurse. Make sure she knows what to do if a seizure occurs at school. School nurses can also help teachers understand seizures and how they affect you.
- And don’t forget that social life at school is important. If you or your child is having trouble making friends, getting along with others, or feeling intimidated, tell someone! Don’t let epilepsy get in your way!
Will epilepsy affect my ability to work?
Seizures can make it harder to find a job or do certain types of work. If you can’t drive because of a seizure, getting to work can be a challenge. This is one of the biggest problems for so many people! If your job depends on your ability to drive, suddenly you may not be able to keep that job. Others may need counseling or job training to learn new job skills or find jobs where crises won’t be a problem.
In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits denying someone a job because of a health problem if they can perform the essential duties of that job. People who feel discriminated against because they have epilepsy should consider seeing a lawyer who understands disability laws.
A few tips
- Find out about epilepsy and jobs before you apply for a job or if you start having problems at work.
- Talk to your doctor or nurse if seizures occur at work or cause problems. You may need to review your treatment plan to gain better seizure control. Or look at the possible triggers for seizures in the workplace or in other areas of your life.
- Talk to someone at your local Epilepsy Foundation for one-on-one help and find a professional counselor. Learn about the laws that protect you in the workplace.
- Find out what and when to tell your employer about foreclosures. In some situations, you may not need to disclose anything. Still, people with uncontrolled seizures will want someone to know about it.
- Make a plan for what people should do if you have a seizure at work.
- Find out if simple workplace accommodations may be needed.
- If you have problems with an employer or others in the workplace, talk to the protection and advocacy staff at your national human rights commission, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), or a social worker specializing in employment issues. Call our 24/7 Epilepsy and Seizure Helpline at 1-800-332-1000 for referrals.