As you get older, you will have more and more opportunities to take care of yourself. This can be anything from brushing your teeth without being reminded, to working with your school counselor to choose your class schedule. Along with more responsibility, you might notice you have lots of new questions about other parts of your life.
Teens living with epilepsy have to learn some extra things to take care of themselves and may have questions unique to living with epilepsy. We are here to help!
We have included tips for teens living with epilepsy on this page – everything from information about epilepsy, seizure first aid, to getting ready to see an adult neurologist.
Learn More About Epilepsy
A seizure is a brief, excessive discharge of electrical activity in the brain that can change the way your 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 seizure.
The brain controls everything you experience. Different parts of the brain control different parts of what you do. It controls how you walk, how you remember things, how you make decisions, how you sense things – it controls everything!
Sometimes people have seizures in only one part of their brain, so they might smell a funny smell, they might zone out for a bit, they might flutter their eyes. Other people have seizures in their whole brain, so they can lose consciousness, flex all of their muscles at once, shake, 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 form of mental illness
A person cannot swallow his/her tongue when they have a seizure
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, like 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, and more. Check out some of the links below to see what you can do to get ready.
Good and Bad Doctor Visits
These videos are examples of conversations between a teen and their doctor. Pay attention, one video is an example of how teens should be included in their medical decisions. The other video shows a teen not being included in their medical decisions. Ask questions and speak up! You can do it!
Thinking about your future should include plans for your career. Check out some of these resources to help you think about jobs you might be interested in. Some of these resources can also help you figure out how much money you will need to make to do all of the things you want to do. The Texas Workforce Commission and other organizations have programs to help teens living with epilepsy navigate their employment future, see links below.
Texas Workforce Commission Youth Resources Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services serves youth and students with disabilities to help prepare for post-secondary education and employment opportunities. Services are eligibility and need based.