How to Tell Friends And Family About Epilepsy

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Sure, you may want privacy and freedom to be who you are without being labelled and not sure if you want to tell others about your epilepsy.

But you will find during your life there will be times when telling someone is the best choice so they know how to help if you do have a seizure.

People may not fully understand what epilepsy is, but they are usually understanding. Just keep the conversation straightforward and pretty casual, not great chunks of detail. Sometimes people may be surprised when they first find out that you have epilepsy. This should not throw you off. Like any news people receive, it can sometimes take a little while for people to adjust to learning that someone in their family or social circle has a health condition. They will ask if they want to know more. Try to be relaxed like it’s easy to talk about (even if it’s not) as it makes it a bit easier and more comfortable for both of you to talk about it.

Sometimes people do not know how to react when they first learn that someone they know has epilepsy. There is a variety of reactions that different people may have. Some people may want to ask further questions to get a better understanding of what epilepsy is and how it affects you, and also whether they can help out if you do experience a seizure. Other people may be worried about whether they themselves can cope if you were to have a seizure in their presence. In such instances, ask if they have any specific questions. Letting people know how they can help may ease their worry – but keep it simple (and not too detailed). Similarly, some people may try to change the topic because it makes them feel uncomfortable. In such instances, keep the conversation casual. Reassure them that you’re just like everyone else, except you have seizures – sometimes.

People react differently but if you feel annoyed, hurt or disappointed about the way they react or respond, just be upfront and tell them how you feel. It might take some pressure off them as well.

Hear Dr Maria Kangas, Clinical Psychologist talk about strategies for telling others about your epilepsy.

Click on the video.


Telling Others