If seizures can be completely controlled, and if the person can achieve a high level of confidence and self-esteem, then epilepsy should present no real obstacles to a full life. However, having seizures for the first time, and being told that the diagnosis is “epilepsy” (about which there may be many misconceptions in the individual’s mind) can be very upsetting.

Careful counseling and health education can do much to alleviate anxiety for the individual and the family.

If the person continues to have seizures, then there may be difficulties in many aspects of daily living. But even in this situation, good psychological health can help minimize physical problems which only occur from time to time. Individuals should be helped not to blame everything on their epilepsy, and there should be an emphasis on abilities rather than the extent of the disability.

Merely labeling people as “epileptics” on the basis of a medical diagnosis of epilepsy ignores the rest of their attributes and characteristics both good and bad and should be avoided.

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