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of everyone affected by epilepsy

How can I take control of my epilepsy?

Epilepsy and you

Here are a few things you can do to help you manage your epilepsy. They might help you to have fewer seizures. Or they might help you to feel more confident about living with epilepsy.

Take your medicine regularly

It’s important to take your epilepsy medicine regularly, as prescribed by your doctor. Missing a dose can increase your risk of having a seizure.

Find out more about treatment with epilepsy medicine.

Attend your treatment reviews

UK guidelines say you should have a regular review of your epilepsy treatment at least once a year. Usually this will be with your GP, but it could be with your specialist. If your doctor doesn’t invite you for a review, you can ask for one.

"I've been blessed with a brilliant neurologist, who has found the right balance of medications to get my seizures under control."

Know your triggers

You might find that certain things make you more likely to have seizures. These are often called triggers. Common triggers include stress, not sleeping well and drinking too much alcohol. A very small number of people have seizures triggered by lights that flash or flicker. Avoiding your triggers can help you to have fewer seizures. However, not everyone is able to identify a trigger for their seizures.

Find out more about common seizure triggers.

Alcohol and recreational drugs
Some people with epilepsy drink alcohol and some people don’t. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to drink alcohol. But bear in mind that for some people, alcohol can make seizures more likely. Find out more about epilepsy and alcohol.

Recreational drugs include illegal drugs and ‘legal highs’. There is no control over what goes into these drugs. They can be dangerous and they can trigger seizures.

Keep a seizure diary

Keeping a seizure diary can help you and your doctors see if there is a pattern to your seizures. It can also help you to find out if anything triggers your seizures.

Download a seizure diary.

Read our tips to help with memory problems

Many people with epilepsy have problems with their memory. Seizures can affect memory. And some epilepsy medicines can affect memory. You can get more information about epilepsy and memory, including tips for coping with memory problems on our memory webpages.

Talk to people

Finding out you have epilepsy can be a lot to come to terms with, but talking to friends and family can help. You might also want to talk to other people with epilepsy. This could be at an Epilepsy Action coffee and chat group. Or you could join our free online community, forum4e.

"Don't let it rule or ruin your life – hard to do at first, as I know only too well. But talking it through with family and friends can and will help you to come to terms with it."

Look after your emotional wellbeing

Living with epilepsy can have a big impact on your emotions. This is particularly true if you have just been diagnosed. You might feel stressed, sad, angry, lonely or anxious. Depression is also common in people with epilepsy. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be depressed, as depression can be treated.

Find out more about epilepsy and wellbeing.

Code: 
B145.02
Event Date: 
Wednesday 15 June 2016 - 09:24

Epilepsy Action would like to Naomi Baxter and Wendy Burton, Epilepsy Specialist Nurses, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, for their contribution to this information.

Naomi Baxter and Wendy Burton have no conflict of interest to declare.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated June 2016
    To be reviewed June 2019

Comments: read the 3 comments or add yours

Comments

I have been diagnosed with complex partial seizures recently but not allowed to drive for six months at it took that long to get a diagnosis.I have trouble sleeping,feel tired most of the time,frustrated,anxious, moody and at times paranoid.Its causing a lot of stress in my family life and I wonder if my marriage will or can survive it.The worst part, apart from feeling exhausted is the feeling of isolation and loss of independence. I can't even cycle alone now and have to rely on my wife for all journeys, and living in village, all trips require transport.Its a very difficult time and easy to sink into feelings of hopelessness, being told it could be worse doesn't help. I don't agree depression can be treated successfully, medication has never been effective for me in the past when I took it.Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my self on this site.
Robert.

Submitted by Robert Fox on

Hi Robert

It certainly sounds like things are feeling tough for you right now. When you are diagnosed with epilepsy it is very understandable that this will feel difficult and take some time for you to come to terms with.

I hope you’ve found our information for people who are newly diagnosed useful.

Although there are some difficult restrictions to deal with now, there is every hope that, with the right level of the right epilepsy medicine, you will become seizure free. And then a lot of these restriction go.

My guess is that because you live in a village public transport will be limited, but I do want to check you know about the free bus pass and the Disabled Persons Railcard just in case either of these things would be useful for you?

Have you had a chance to look at the various types of support we offer? Some people find it particularly helpful to talk to other people in a similar situation. So you might want to check out if there is a coffee and chat group near you. Or you may prefer our online community forum4e.

Depression can be difficult to treat. And certainly some people find that medicines for this aren’t helpful. But there are a range of other things that may help. You could have a look at our wellbeing information for some of these.

Do feel free to get in touch is we can be of any more help. Our Epilepsy Helpline Freephone number is 0808 800 5050

Regards

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

Thank you Cherry for your very comprehensive reply.The information was most useful and I will look into the areas you have suggested.
Best wishes
Robert

Submitted by Robert Fox on