Ways to help your mental and emotional health

Living with epilepsy can have an impact on your everyday life. It not only affects your body, but it can also affect your mood and how you feel about yourself.

There’s help and support available if you are struggling with your mental health.

Female student having a meeting with a tutor/counseller

Not all psychological therapies are suitable for everyone, so talk to your family doctor about which one might work best for you.

Here are some examples of psychological therapies, but many others are also available.



Counselling allows you to talk about your problems and feelings in a confidential environment. A trained counsellor listens to you and can help you deal with your negative thoughts and feelings.

Counselling can take place face-to-face, individually or in a group, over the phone or by email.

Your family doctor may offer you some counselling through the NHS. Alternatively, you can pay privately to see a counsellor. The Counselling Directory has details of counsellors in the UK.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help you to manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It helps you to understand the links between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. This can help you to manage your problems in a more positive way.

CBT is usually provided by a trained therapist but psychiatric nurses and social workers may also be able to do this. CBT is also available through online courses.  Your family doctor may be able to arrange for you to do a CBT course through the NHS, or you can pay privately to do one.


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Mindfulness-based therapies

Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. It involves being aware of your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, and calmly accepting them.

Mindfulness-based therapies include Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). They can include techniques such as meditation, breathing and yoga.

Research suggests mindfulness-based therapy may be helpful for people with depression. However, there have been some reports of people having negative effects from practising mindfulness. A good mindfulness teacher should be able to advise you on any potential risks, and help you decide if it’s right for you.

Mindfulness-based therapy can take place in classes with other people. There are also online courses available. Your family doctor may be able to arrange for you to do a mindfulness course through the NHS, or you can pay privately to do one.

The British Association for Mindfulness-Based Approaches has an online search tool to find a mindfulness teacher near you.


In some areas of England you can refer yourself for talking therapy without seeing your GP. This is offered through an NHS programme called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). Visit the NHS website to find your nearest IAPT service.

Published: August 2019
Last modified: September 2023
To be reviewed: August 2023
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