Adolescence is usually a time of taking more risks, exploring, resisting and experimenting.
Whether you’re a parent of a child with epilepsy, or a young person with epilepsy; at some point, concerns about the seizure related risks may arise.
A common issue that comes up during this time is parties and alcohol. Alcohol and seizures don’t mix well so it is wise to be informed about some risks related to alcohol and seizures.
People with epilepsy find that alcohol, particularly in large amounts can trigger seizures
Some reasons why alcohol (and drugs) can cause seizures.
- They affect the antiepileptic medication levels in the bloodstream
- They go hand in hand with late nights and sleep deprivation
- Stimulant drugs are known to cause seizures
- Withdrawal seizures may happen when alcohol levels drop
- People often forget to take medications they party hard
Knowing about these risks can help plan for the night ahead so alcohol intake doesn’t get out of control. It’s important to think seriously before making any decisions about taking drugs or binge drinking.
Remember if you have good seizure control, then an unexpected seizure can change your life dramatically – for example; losing your driving license, which can have other effects such as losing your job and independence. It may seem like a fun thing to do at the time, but the consequences might not be worth it.
For some suggestions about this topic and how you can manage it, read more about Alcohol, Drugs and Epilepsy
Dr Andrew Bleasel discusses Alcohol and Epilepsy (video)
My parents are driving me crazy!
Although it may feel like they are being over-protective, they are probably just worried about your safety.
Try talking to them about this. Talk to them and explain that you do not want epilepsy to stop you from doing the things you enjoy, because this leaves you feeling left out with your friends.
Your parents are more likely to let you do things if they feel you understand the importance of taking care of yourself.
For more comprehensive information
Is a resource developed by young people to share their experiences and questions to help you make informed choices. Click here to access eQuip.
Messages from young people with epilepsy (video)
For more information on transitioning from paediatric to adult health services