I am writing an article on epilepsy and need to know of the social effects from having this disorder?

I want others to understand how someone with epilepsy feels. Is there any shame associated with this disorder? If so, why?
Have you felt more intimidated by social situations because of your epilepsy? How?
I will use your words in quotes but not your name, of course. Thanks so much

Written By Soniamiller

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Kelsey March 22, 2009, 11:36 pm

    My best friend was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 22. Since being diagnosed, she has pretty much become a recluse. First of all, a diagnosis of epilepsy is scary for anyone. Fear of the unknown caused her to be withdrawn socially (because she had a lot on her mind). She couldn't drive anymore, which took away her independence which contributed to the deep depression she fell in to. In her case, her parents were so worried about her that every time she went to see them they made a big deal about EVERYTHING pertaining to her life. They had ideas of what she should and shouldn't be doing, and basically began to treat her like a little kid again which eventually led to her not talking to them or visiting them as much as she used to. She lost her job, which took away the rest of the social interaction she had. Among our group of friends, a lot of people kind of stopped hanging around her because they were scared she would seize. And the remaining friends she has always want to know how she is. The focus has become her epilepsy and not her. No one ever just wants to sit and talk about the things they used to with her, and it's kind of sad. All she does now is sit in her house and watch tv. It's pretty sad. This is why there are support groups for people who are suffering with epilepsy. I have always encouraged her to go to one of these support groups, but she still maintains that she can handle this on her own. I think if you go to The Epilepsy Foundation's website you can find info about support groups, and they might even have a board where you can ask this question and get more answers. I hope my experience with my friend helped to show you how some people can be affected socially once they are diagnosed with epilepsy.