Overcoming the overwhelms of epilepsy

I know epilepsy cannot be cured (I have it myself) but I also know therapy can help you cope with its consequences, even if it's not specifically focused on the condition. Epilepsy is not a psychological condition, however, the anxiety epilepsy causes can place those with it more at risk of developing mental disorders.


Hence, I wish to offer a non-drug treatment to help with seizure control. I believe counselling may help reduce the depression and anxiety which worsens the condition as counselling helps make life more manageable. I’m asking you; do you have the nerve to expect more from life when medication is not the full answer?

I can offer personal understanding and concern to help improve your life if you are living with this problem. Having experienced a complete U-turn in life myself when I developed Epilepsy my choice was: to enter a state of depression from epilepsy or face the challenge of the inconceivable.

I know:

  • For one person in 100, the hassle of epilepsy can hold you back, it can interfere with living to the full although it is possible to overlook this irritant and carry on.
  • We who live with this irritant are entitled to live just as fully as the fortunate beings without it (you may hold a nagging belief that such a statement is totally untrue). 

Do you allow worries, warnings and ‘what ifs’ to deter possible adventure, set goals, or plain get on with our relationships and work?

Does it prevent you from going out alone, making new acquaintances, making progress in business, learning, or developing skills?

Such distressing thoughts can only produce fearful and anxiety-provoking results.

What worries and consequences might epilepsy be causing you?

Will physical exertion increase physical stress until ‘bing’ my brain pops again? - 'I better play safe and give up exercise', you might think.    

Who knows, maybe just thinking about epilepsy will induce a seizure (possibly as the tube approaches, then what?) - 'I better not take risks and always remember ‘never travel alone’.               

Doctors advise drinking alcohol can impact you and trigger a seizure. Does this mean I need to renounce my favourite tipple? How can I even enjoy my social life?  

An even worse worry is, does the ‘equal employment act’ really guarantee equality for those with epilepsy? - 'Oh help, work is becoming impossible'.   

Sadly, we can’t be sure our friends are all as broad-minded as they believe. Is this why friendship is a struggle for me? 

Carers want to wrap me up to show their love and affection, so how can I simply let go and live?    

Life’s worries are too overwhelming to overcome. 'Now I feel a real failure'.

The list of worries goes on and on...

I fully believe life is to be lived and epilepsy can be worked around. Do you need to look at the above issues anew?

For every setback epilepsy presents, I believe in not giving up, life may change in moving forward however, the flip side may surprise you with rewards.

Who out there decided to smile in the face of their worries and in their carrying on found overcoming them had an overwhelming advantage? Just some famous epileptics are:

  • Prince, the legendary singer used the emotions of his experience to add feeling to his lyrics.
  • Roosevelt lived with the condition and carried on becoming the 26th American president.
  • Charles Dickens whose quote lifts my spirit “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another”.
  • Not to mention Julius Caesar and Alexander The Great among many others.

When I could no longer follow my conservative career (teaching) I retrained to assist society in another way (counsel) so my life happily goes on.

You don’t need to be a genius to suffer from it.

So, what worries might epilepsy be causing you? 

Having to accept occasional seizures is unfair, allowing their resulting side effects can limit your life and add to the suffering.  What side effects might be yours?

Possible side-effects are many and the risks of epileptic consequences are long.

If your epilepsy is causing you a struggle, I’m here to help. With the benefit of a mental re-spin, we can create new perspectives to change the life-limiting impact of epileptic worries to motivating beliefs instead, such as:

  • If I just deepen my self-confidence almost anything is possible.                         
  • Find some new sport, it will release stress and assist in relaxation!
  • Change brings a new outlook and new life.
  • Remember, true friends always accept you.

We can play safe and never face those worries or we can speak about it out aloud and come up with an answer. The decision is yours and I’m here to help. I aim to give worries and their potential consequences a mental re-spin and find healthier perspectives to live with.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1
Written by Mary Mcilroy, BACP Accredited (Anxiety specialist). Bupa listed 30060387
Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1

I am a registered counsellor with the BACP covering: London Bridge/The City of London and Muswell Hill/London N10. Although I help people mainly with issues of Anxiety, Epilepsy & Panic Attacks, I cover many other areas. Throughout your session with me, you will be listened to with empathy while you feel and see change happen as anxiety melts away.

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