Epilepsy Support Welcom Banner

What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a recognised medical condition, it is not an illness. There are different ways of treating Epilepsy but unfortunately no miracle cures.

When people have an Epileptic seizure, it is caused by an electrical storm in your brain that causes it to short circuit temporally.

Seizures used to known as 'fits' and were often classified by 'grand mal' and 'petite mal'. Medical science has moved on and so has the terms used. Nowadays doctors know more about Epilepsy and have identified many different sorts of seizures and use different terms to describe them now. So the old terms 'grand mal' and 'petite mal' are now redundant.

It depends on which part of your brain that is affected as to which type of Epileptic seizures you may have.

Try to think 'I have Epilepsy' rather than 'I am Epileptic'. Your seizures are described as 'Epileptic' not you and there is a lot more to your life than your seizures (even if it does not feel so at times!).

What do you feel about Epilepsy?
When we or a loved one are first diagnosed with Epilepsy it can come as a tremendous shock.

You may experience a variety of emotions: disbelief, anger, depression, resentment, worry and denial. Many other people have felt exactly like you do now.

It takes time to come to terms with both the understanding of your form of Epilepsy and the impact Epilepsy makes on your life.

It does not change the person that they are, they will still be as normal or as regular person as they were before they had Epilepsy.

Friends and families can really support and help an individual to come to terms with their Epilepsy but again it takes time there are no quick fixes.

Why me?
Everybody has a seizure threshold which if reached, can trigger a seizure. Anyone can have a 'one off' seizure this does not mean that they have Epilepsy. If an individual has 2 or 3+ seizures doctors are able to diagnose that a person has Epilepsy.

Epilepsy can be first diagnosed in people from babies till old age, both boys and girls.

What caused me to have Epilepsy?
For many people there is no obvious cause for their Epilepsy.

Sometimes there are other members in the family that have Epilepsy too, which may have meant that you were more likely to have Epilepsy (but just because you have Epilepsy it does not necessarily mean that you will pass it onto your children).
There may have been complications when you were born.
You may have suffered an injury to your head.
People who have suffered from severe infections of the brain such as Meningitis or Encephalitis.
Strokes as they stop the brain from its blood supply and starve it from oxygen.
Tumours are an uncommon cause of Epilepsy, when initial diagnosis is made doctors will inform you that this is a possible cause of your Epilepsy and will go onto to do appropriate tests.
Whether the doctor is able to identify a possible cause for your Epilepsy or not, the most important thing is that you get the right treatment for your type of Epilepsy.

How will Epilepsy change my life?
Once you have been diagnosed with Epilepsy, your neurologist or doctor that specialises in Epilepsy will recommend that you begin a form of treatment. This treatment should be regularly monitored under the direction of a consultant that understands Epilepsy, to enable you to gain the highest level of seizure control as possible.

Epilepsy may affect certain aspects of your life how ever Epilepsy will not stop or limit how you live your life unless you choose to let it.

Do not let you or those that care about you become slaves to the Epilepsy. It may limit certain aspects of your freedom and independence but with common sense precautions these should be kept to a minimum.

If having Epilepsy affect the way that people treat you in a negative way, it is not you with the problem it is them.

If you are honest about your medical condition, you can and will challenge other people to re-assess their opinions.

How do I find out more?
From each page you will find links to other pages on this web site. These are based on different areas of support people with Epilepsy may need.

You can also find out more about Epilepsy by clicking on links to other web sites that may be useful to you.