If someone you know is living with epilepsy, it can be difficult to know how to best support them. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. It can be unpredictable, and the person living with it may need your help and understanding more than ever. In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know in order to support someone with epilepsy. We will cover everything from common myths about epilepsy to tips for managing seizures. We hope that this information will help you become a better supporter for the person in your life who is living with epilepsy!
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes recurrent seizures. Seizures are episodes of abnormal brain activity that can cause a variety of symptoms, including loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, and convulsions. Epilepsy can be caused by many things, including head injuries, stroke, brain tumours, and genetic factors. It is important to remember that seizures can be unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person.
Common myths about epilepsy?
There are many myths about epilepsy that can make it difficult for people to understand the condition. Some common myths include:
Epilepsy is contagious:
This is not true! Epilepsy cannot be caught like a cold or the flu.
People with epilepsy are dangerous:
Epilepsy does not make a person more likely to be violent. In fact, people with epilepsy are more likely to be injured during a seizure than they are to injure someone else.
All seizures are the same:
As we mentioned before, seizures can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may have very mild seizures that do not cause any noticeable symptoms, while others may have more severe seizures that can be disabling.
People with epilepsy are always sleepy:
While some people with epilepsy may experience fatigue, this is not true for everyone.
What triggers epilepsy the most?
There are many things that can trigger a seizure, and it is different for everyone. Some common triggers include lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, and flashing lights. Someone with epilepsy will tend to know their triggers as they work with a doctor to identify triggers and learn how to avoid them.
How can you support people with epilepsy?
The best way to support someone with epilepsy is to be understanding and patient. Many people with epilepsy live normal, healthy lives, but the condition can be unpredictable. Be sure to educate yourself about the condition so that you can be prepared for anything.
If the person in your life has a seizure, stay calm and follow their instructions. Seizures usually last a few minutes and do not require medical attention unless they are prolonged or repeated.
What should you not say to someone with epilepsy?
There are many things that you should not say to someone with epilepsy. Some common things to avoid include:
– “It’s all in your head.” Epilepsy is a real condition that can be caused by many factors, including genetics and brain injury. It is not something that the person can control.
– “You’re going to outgrow this.” While some children with epilepsy do eventually outgrow the condition, this is not true for everyone. Epilepsy is a lifelong condition that requires management and understanding.
– “Are you sure you’re not just stressed?” Stress can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, but it is not the only factor. Seizures can happen even when a person is feeling relaxed and happy.
Tips for helping someone having a seizure:
If you see someone having a seizure, there are some things you can do to help.
- First, stay calm and do not try to stop the seizure.
- Second, clear the area around the person so that they will not hurt themselves.
- Third, put something soft under their head and turn them on their side so that they can breathe easily.
- Finally, do not give the person anything to eat or drink until the seizure is over and they are fully awake.
Find out more about how to support someone with epilepsy with CBAT:
If you would like to learn more about supporting someone with epilepsy, check out CBAT. We have many resources available for both people with epilepsy and their supporters. Thank you for reading about how you can support someone with epilepsy!