Living with epilepsy

A diagnosis of epilepsy can change your life in many ways. It’s important to learn about your condition and medication(s), proactively manage your treatment, and maintain an open dialogue about your condition with your health care team, friends, and family. Remember – your health care team and loved ones are there to empower and support you as you continue your journey with epilepsy.

  • Letting friends and family know

    An open, honest, matter-of-fact approach usually works best. Explain that epilepsy is a medical condition, which, in most cases, can be controlled with epilepsy medication. Let them know that the everyday lives of people with epilepsy aren’t necessarily different from theirs. As you spend time with your loved ones, they’ll come to understand this even better.

  • Safety tips

    Every home has at least two main areas that can invite harm – the kitchen and bathroom. During or after some seizures, people can become confused and risk injury. There are several things you can do to decrease the chance of accidents.

  • Caregiver tips

    If you provide care for a loved one with epilepsy, especially a child, you know that accurate information and the right treatment plan are important for living life with epilepsy on your own terms.

  • Epilepsy and driving

    Having epilepsy doesn’t automatically mean that you aren’t legally allowed to drive.
    You may be able to continue driving non-commercial vehicles if:

    • Your seizures are controlled by medication AND
    • Your medication doesn’t cause you to feel drowsy or impair your co-ordination, and you’ve been seizure free for 6 months.

  • Epilepsy and school

    Epilepsy can affect people at any age. When you are dealing with epilepsy while in school, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges you might face.

  • Epilepsy and work

    Epilepsy can affect people at any age. When you are dealing with epilepsy in the workplace, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges you might face.

  • Epilepsy and discrimination

    As an individual with epilepsy, it’s important to know your rights and to defend them if you feel they are being violated. Unfortunately, on a day-to-day basis, people with epilepsy do face discrimination in Canada and worldwide.

  • Medical alert devices

    For some types of epilepsy, seizure alert devices can be helpful in alerting your caregiver that you are having a seizure. This can be especially useful for parents of young children with epilepsy. However, there are no alert devices currently available that are able to prevent or lessen the impact of seizures.

  • Epilepsy support groups

    Epilepsy support is everywhere; you just have to know where to find it. Today, there is a rich epilepsy community available to you that’s ready to share ideas, facts, epilepsy information, and advice. Epilepsy support can come from a number of sources, including other people who are living with epilepsy, neurologists, and many others, such as your school nurse and other health care providers.

  • Becoming an advocate

    Becoming a self-advocate can help you to feel empowered, self-confident and independent. By speaking up for yourself and standing up for what you believe in, you can find a feeling of control when you practice self-advocacy. Whether it be in the doctor’s office, at work, at school, or in the community, it can be empowering to stand up for your rights and make choices that benefit your own life, as well as others with epilepsy.