Coping With Diagnosis

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Firstly, if you have just been diagnosed with epilepsy, you might feel many things.

Some people feel vulnerable, confused, and worried about their health and the future. Others feel sad or disappointed. For some, the situation seems unfair, causing them to feel irritable or angry at themselves and those closest to them.

Everyone’s reaction is different, but they’re all completely normal.

There’s no time limit on adjusting to having epilepsy. In fact, most people will find that emotions surface sometimes, depending on what’s happening in their life, especially when experiencing any setbacks or having a bad day. Even if your seizures are controlled, it’s natural to feel sad or worried from time to time.

Recognising and being aware of these emotions as they surface can help you manage these feelings. Getting upset or sad about your epilepsy can sometimes make you feel worse as you may find that you put more energy into struggling with these feelings. This can then distract you from doing things that you enjoy doing including spending time with your friends and family. Continuing to engage in activities that give you pleasure or meaning on days that you feel worried, upset or sad can help you deal with these feelings.

Although you have epilepsy, this health condition should not define who you are and what goals you would like to achieve. Everyone has specific interests, hobbies and goals that they may want to achieve. Continuing to take part in your hobbies and striving towards achieving your goals, will help you manage any upsetting feelings you have about your epilepsy.

Many young adults dealing with chronic conditions join online communities so they can talk to people the same age dealing with the same things. You may be interested in Starbright World – a global online community of young people with chronic health conditions.

 

Click the play button to hear Eddie’s experience.

“When I was sixteen, classes started going really fast. Not because the teachers were fascinating, but because I couldn’t seem to pay attention. I couldn’t make myself pay attention, the harder I tried, the worse it got. I would find myself at the front of the classroom and not know what I was doing there, somebody in the class would let me know that I was in the middle of a speech.”