Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Uncontrolled seizures and their effect on your life may at times feel overwhelming or lead to depression. It's important not to let epilepsy constrain you. You can still live an active, social life. To help cope:
- Educate yourself and your friends and family about epilepsy so that they understand the condition.
- Try to ignore negative reactions from people. It helps to learn about epilepsy so that you know the facts as opposed to misconceptions about the disease. And try to keep your sense of humor.
- Live as independently as possible. This means continuing to work, if possible. If you can't drive because of your seizures, investigate public transportation options near you.
- Find a doctor you like and with whom you feel comfortable.
- Try not to constantly worry about having a seizure.
If your seizures are so severe that you can't work outside your home, there are still ways to feel productive and connected to people. These include:
- Work from home by developing a special skill, like computer programming.
- Develop or participate in hobbies, and connect over the Internet with other people who are interested in the same things.
- Work to develop friends and have contact with other people.
- Become a volunteer. Sometimes helping others is the best way to help yourself.
Let people you work and live with know the correct way to handle a seizure in case they're with you when you have one. This includes:
- Gently roll the person onto one side.
- Put something soft under his or her head.
- Loosen tight neckwear.
- Don't try to put your fingers or anything else in the person's mouth. No one has ever "swallowed" his or her tongue during a seizure — it's physically impossible.
- Don't try to restrain someone having a seizure.
- Don't attempt to rouse the person by shouting at or shaking him or her.
- If the person is moving, clear away dangerous objects.
- Stay with the person until medical personnel arrive.
- Observe the person closely so that you can provide details on what happened.
- Time the seizures with your watch.
- Keep calm and reassure others nearby.
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