Youth transitioning for teens.
As you get older, you will have more and more opportunities to take care of yourself. This can be anything from working with your school counselor to choose your class schedule to finding your way around with transportation options. As a teen living with epilepsy, others may not always be there to take care of you. Transitioning to adulthood is a part of that process. This information is here to help.
Learn more about epilepsy.
A seizure is a brief, excessive discharge of electrical activity in the brain that can change the way you move, what you sense (see, hear, feel, and/or smell), how you act, and how aware you are of things around you. Usually, someone is diagnosed with epilepsy after they have had one or more unexplained seizures. The brain controls everything, so different parts of the brain control what you do. It controls how you walk, how you remember things, how you make decisions, and how you sense things. It controls everything!
Sometimes, people have seizures in only one part of their brain, so they might smell something that isn’t there, give a blank look, or flutter an eyelid. Other people have seizures in their whole brain, so they can lose consciousness, flex all of their muscles at once, shake, or get really tired.
- 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime
- 3.4 million people in the US have epilepsy
- 470,000 children and teens are living with epilepsy in the US
- There are more than 20 different kinds of seizures
- Epilepsy is not contagious
- Epilepsy is not a mental illness
- A person cannot swallow his/her tongue when they have a seizure
Women and Epilepsy
Seizures may occur more frequently during your menstrual cycle if your seizures begin in your parietal lobe. Because of this, women with epilepsy are more likely to have conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and irregular bleeding. It is important to talk to your neurologist, especially if you plan on taking hormonal contraception as there may be medication interactions.
Men and Epilepsy
men with epilepsy have low levels of testosterone. This can be related to side effects such as low energy, competitive drive, and mood among others.
Many teens start to see an adult doctor when they turn 18. There are lots of ways you can get ready to start seeing a doctor on your own. Signing in for your appointment, asking your doctor what kind of seizures you have, keeping track of when you have seizures so you can tell the doctor at your appointment, are all part of it. Check out these links for more information.
Good and Bad Doctor Visits
These videos are examples of conversations between a teen and their doctor. One video is an example of how teens should be included in their medical decisions. The other video shows adults, including a doctor, not involving a teen in her medical decisions. Ask questions and speak up! Make sure you understand.
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Texas Workforce Commission Youth Resources