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Epilepsy and Seizures

Special Concerns for TeenagersEpilepsy And Your Family

Parents can be overprotective. They may worry about your safety if you take part in various school activities. They may ask you the same questions again and again: Did you take your medication? How do you feel? Are you having any unusual symptoms? Remember that your parents mean well and care about you. They wish for you to be seizure-free, and they want only what is best for you. They also worry about your future.

Good communication with your parents can help them worry less about you. Ask them to help you try to make your high school years more enjoyable by working with your school to allow you to participate in school activities and get any extra help you need. They can also help you plan for college or a career.

Occasionally epilepsy—or the medication used to treat it—may cause behavior problems in teenagers. It is important for these teens to work with their parents, their doctors, and other concerned adults to resolve any behavior problems. If the problems include mood changes, feelings of isolation and low self-esteem, or depression, a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional may be able to help.

If you feel that epilepsy is creating emotional or behavioral problems for you, sharing your concerns with family, teachers, school guidance counselors, and school nurses can help you to solve these problems. Support from these people and others can be very valuable. The people you speak with may be able to help you find others with epilepsy who share your concerns and problems. The Epilepsy Foundation of America (EFA) offers a wealth of information such as books, videos, and pamphlets. This organization and others like it can help answer your questions, provide services, and organize support groups to help you. The EFA even sponsors an Internet chat room for teens. Check the back of this book for organizations and Web sites that can get you started.

Your siblings can also be a source of support. Remember to talk to your brothers or sisters about your epilepsy. Encourage them to ask questions about the condition and to share their feelings about having a brother or sister with epilepsy. Everyone will gain support and understanding.

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Science EncyclopediaEpilepsyEpilepsy and Seizures - Special Concerns for Teenagers - Epilepsy And Driving, Activities And Classes, Epilepsy And Your Family, Concerns About The Future