Finding a New Normal: Living With Epilepsy | MyEpilepsyTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyEpilepsyTeam
Powered By

Finding a New Normal: Living With Epilepsy

Posted on June 1, 2017

Receiving an epilepsy diagnosis can inspire both relief and dread. It can be a relief to have a name for the misery that's become part of life. On the other hand, a diagnosis of epilepsy can be upsetting because it labels us with a problem for which there is no clear cure. Diagnosis is like suddenly falling off a cliff. Abruptly, the life we had before diagnosis vanishes. It’s the beginning of a new life path managing epilepsy.

Stages of Grief
If diagnosis is like falling off a cliff, then grappling with this new reality is like going through the stages of grief. The concept of the five stages of grief was introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969. The stages represent difficult feelings experienced during hardships and traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, a breakup, or confronting an addiction. Grief is experienced by people who find themselves living with chronic conditions, too.

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages rarely happen in order, and many people revisit some or all of the stages over and over after diagnosis.

Anger sets in when we acknowledge what we’ve lost – suddenly there are new realities because of epilepsy: missing after-work cocktails or family dinners, worrying about medication schedules, running to endless doctor’s appointments, and losing friends because they don’t understand why we have to cancel plans suddenly. Some days begin with bargaining and trying to live perfectly in hopes that it goes away. The frustration and disappointment in the chronic nature of epilepsy can lead to depression and sadness.




Relief (The New Normal)
An official diagnosis can be the catalyst we need to move us past denial. Relief slowly begins to creep in when this new normal is shared with others. Social support, from friends and family and from fellow members on MyEpilepsyTeam, helps you slowly climb the staircase of grief into a more predictable plateau – the “new normal.” Forging social support from others with epilepsy can bring perspective and validation. Walking through life with epilepsy isn’t easy or what we asked for, but it makes all the difference to walk this new path with others who understand. Have you found your new normal?

Posted on June 1, 2017
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

We'd love to hear from you! Please share your name and email to post and read comments.

You'll also get the latest articles directly to your inbox.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent Articles

MyHealthTeam does not provide health services, and if you need help, we’d strongly encourage you ...

Crisis Resources

MyHealthTeam does not provide health services, and if you need help, we’d strongly encourage you ...
For millions of people with epilepsy, navigating daily life means balancing seizure control with ...

Alcohol Consumption and Keppra: What Are the Effects?

For millions of people with epilepsy, navigating daily life means balancing seizure control with ...
“In a couple of days, I’ll feel the adrenaline rush of roller coasters!” a MyEpilepsyTeam member ...

Riding Roller Coasters With Epilepsy: Is It Safe?

“In a couple of days, I’ll feel the adrenaline rush of roller coasters!” a MyEpilepsyTeam member ...
Several antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) commonly cause weight gain or weight loss, but levetiracetam (...

Keppra and Weight Change: Is It a Side Effect?

Several antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) commonly cause weight gain or weight loss, but levetiracetam (...
Several members of MyEpilepsyTeam have mentioned skydiving is among their “bucket list” items. Bu...

Can You Go Skydiving With Epilepsy?

Several members of MyEpilepsyTeam have mentioned skydiving is among their “bucket list” items. Bu...
How many hours per day do you and your loved ones spend looking at computer monitors, tablets, an...

Can Too Much Screen Time Cause Seizures?

How many hours per day do you and your loved ones spend looking at computer monitors, tablets, an...
MyEpilepsyTeam My epilepsy Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close