How to: Navigate life changes with epilepsy



10/28/20222 min read

Going through changes is difficult for anyone, but having a health condition, like epilepsy, can make changes feel even larger than they are. I have been in college for three months, and I am still adjusting to this new experience, but so far I have some general and more specific tips to share with you all.

General changes:

1)Give yourself grace- Change is difficult. It is important to remember that you deserve time to process and recharge from the new experiences and challenges you are facing.

2) Uphold your self-care- With big changes, there might come a schedule change or less time for yourself. But it is important to keep a solid sleep schedule, shower, and eat properly. All of these things benefit your mental health. Getting enough sleep and eating properly can also prevent many from having seizures.

3)Journal and break situations down- Write about the feelings you are having and new experiences you face. If there are a lot of things happening, separate them out by priority to lower the stress of how much needs to get done.

College-specific changes:

1)Living with someone else- If you are a resident on or near campus, you're likely going to live with a roommate. Does this person know what to do if you have a seizure? Are they prepared to help you? Do you have a guide for them somewhere accessible in case they panic when you need them to help? All of these are important things to consider in making sure you will be safe in a new living situation.

2)Set study times- set a specific time that you will go to bed. Such as, if you don't know it by 10 pm, the night before an exam, you probably won't know it for the exam. Sleep is SUPER important, especially in college.

3)Work with the accessibility office and professors- You do not have to disclose your epilepsy to anyone if you don't wish, but it can help to advocate for yourself so that you have the proper accommodations for you!

4) If you're medicated, TAKE YOUR MEDS!- you can set an alarm if you need it, but a lot of change can suck you into a memory black hole where you totally forget about taking your meds. Get yourself a pill box, set an alarm, and do whatever you need to do to make sure you take them.

This is really brief because change is different for everyone. Every person will handle every situation in their own way, but these few tips might be able to help you on the way to get there. Change is hard, but it will one day be routine.

Keep fighting!