Living with Epilepsy: Moving Forward and Thriving

Though nearly 1% of the UK population currently lives with epilepsy, not much is spoken about it, and other neurological conditions, in public discussion, leading to a disconnect between the realities of living with epilepsy and the misconceptions the public holds. This can make it quite overwhelming when facing the prospect of living with epilepsy within your own life.

It is understandable that when facing the prospect of life with epilepsy fear and worry may be a bit overwhelming. Certainly, as not much is said or commonly known about the condition among those who do not have epilepsy, a first reaction towards worry and anxiety is all but natural, though as you may soon find, a bit unwarranted.

As the nearly half a million of people living with the condition within the UK can attest to, life with epilepsy does not have to be completely life altering.

So let us explore how you too, can live a life unhampered by epilepsy and thrive within your own existence.

Moving forward and beginning to understand your unique experience…

The first aspect of beginning to thrive despite living with epilepsy is by simply taking account of your own unique experiences. By gaining better understanding of the unique way epilepsy plays a role within your life you can take more informed steps to living a more complete and full life.

For many this starts with beginning to understand and identify your unique triggers and sensitivities.

As life with the condition is as unique as the person who lives with it, beginning to identify your own triggers begins with erasing the most common misconception held surrounding epilepsy, that being that blinking lights and rapid flashing causes symptoms to present themselves.
Contrary to popular opinion, cases of individuals experiencing epilepsy induced seizures brought on by photosensitivity is rather uncommon. Of the 1% of the population in the UK that lives with epilepsy, only 3% experiences symptoms affected by photosensitivity, making it quite a rare occurrence, though one that is very much possible.

Instead, triggers for epilepsy induced seizures are more often than not simply things like…

  • Time of the day…
  • Not getting enough sleep the night before…
  • Not eating well or drops in blood sugar levels…
  • Stress…
  • Caffeine…
  • Alcohol…
  • Or even certain noises or experiences.

So taking into account that your own unique triggers could be from a wide variety of causes and situations, it is paramount that you learn to listen to your own body and experiences to better understand what may bring about your own symptoms. Simply by identifying your triggers, you begin to lessen the worry and hold that that initial moment of learning you live with epilepsy and begin to move forward thriving.

Though it is important to note, that while identifying your triggers can help you reduce the amount of exposure you may have towards particular situations, it is in no way the only option you have in moving forward in a better direction and thrive.

Finding and Beginning Treatment…

While understanding your own unique experiences with life and epilepsy is important in moving forward positively, finding treatment is paramount in moving forward with minimal symptoms, if any at all.

As medication and treatments for epilepsy have vastly improved over the years, the need to live a life burdened by symptoms has drastically lessened, in fact many of the people who live with epilepsy rarely experience symptoms once proper treatment has begun. So by beginning to work with your doctor to find what works best for you, you take the second step in moving your life forward and thriving with a neurological condition.

If you are like the vast majority of those living with epilepsy in the UK, once you begin treatment, life can continue on as though it did before, just perhaps with a better understanding of what it means to live with a neurological condition. Though it is important to note, that while medication does help a majority of people live lives symptom free, it only continues to be effective as long as it is taken regularly and as intended.

Taking ownership and moving forward…

It is important to remember when beginning to adjust to life with epilepsy that despite the worry and fear that you may quite understandably experience, life with epilepsy, like life in general, is simply what you make of it and beginning to accept the unique challenges you experience as a person will help you move forward towards a more fulfilling existence.

If you or someone you know is interested in connecting with other living with epilepsy and would like to learn more please visit Epilepsy Action’s site for a list of resources for people living with epilepsy as well as a listing of upcoming events.