- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Manage Epilepsy
You already know how important it is to take your medicine as directed and to tell your doctor about any seizures or side effects that you're experiencing. But, there's a lot more that you can do to reduce the risk of seizures and to be successful in whatever you want to do.
First off, consider keeping a journal of your seizures, so that you can keep track of your seizures. It may help you and your doctor figure out what you can do to minimize how many seizures you're having. You'll want to write down the day, time, place, what you were doing, who you were with, what you were feeling, and anything else that you can think of. You may start to notice that the seizures are only happening when you feel stressed, which means you could find means to reduce your stress levels and potentially reduce your seizures.
Another thing that you may want to consider is excersing more and playing sports. There haven't been any studies, to date, that show sports and exercising can caues seizures. It's actually though that sports and exercise can reduce stress and improve health and well-being, so you're less likely to have any seizures.
You may want to consider participating in basketball, football, swimming, track, tennis, hockey, or soccer, which are well controlled and supervised sports. Check with your doctor, but you can probably also participate in sports with additional care that involve heights, such as gymnastics, harnessed rock climbing, and horseback riding.
You do not want to participate in hang gliding, scuba diving, free rock climbing, or boxing. These are not recommended if you have epilepsy.
When managing your epilepsy, you want to make sure that you pay attention to any and all warning signs and triggers. Sometimes people with epilepsy have feelings that let them know they're going to have a seizure. Your muscles may feel tingly, you may smell something strange, or you may feel 'spacey.'
When you notice these signs, you may be able to piece together situations or circumstances that may trigger your seizures. This is where your journal will help you. You may find that stress or lack of sleep is what is causing your seizure activity, or it may be certain lighting or patterns of lights. Each person has different triggers and signs, so in order to best manage your epilepsy, you'll want to figure out yours.
It's also a good idea that you tell your family, friends, and coworkers about your condition. You want them to be behind you, and you want them to help keep watch. But, you don't want to feel babied, either, or looked at like there's something wrong with you. They won't look at it that way; they'll want to help you, and by having other people looking after you, it's really a good thing.
It'll be your decision as to when you tell anyone, but it may be a good idea to make sure that friends, family, neighbors, your boss, and coworkers. Anyone that you may have direct contact with on a regular, and near daily basis, is someone that you may want to tell.
You'll want to educate them what to do if you may have a seizure because many people don't do anything or just don't know what to do. Seizures can be shocking to people who have never seen them and who aren't prepared. It's a good idea to describe to them what you're seizures look like because not everyone has the same type of seizure.
By educating those around you, they'll be better prepared to help you if you have a seizure. You can get their support with the decisions that you make.
Don't be scared to tell anyone. You want all the help that you can get when managing epilepsy. In some cases, it really is a group effort to keep you seizure-free and safe when you do have a seizure.
Managing your epilepsy is a process that you won't be able to fully manage over night. With proper medication and a medication schedule that you c an keep, you'll already be one step ahead. Don't let your epilepsy hinder your life.