You’ve Just Been Diagnosed With Epilepsy. Now What? | MyEpilepsyTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyEpilepsyTeam
Powered By

You’ve Just Been Diagnosed With Epilepsy. Now What?

Posted on October 3, 2019

We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have epilepsy, you might be stunned, scared, or even relieved to have a diagnosis that explains your seizures. No matter what you’re feeling, you’re not alone. On MyEpilepsyTeam, there are thousands of others who have been in your shoes.

You can’t figure out everything about epilepsy at once, and you don’t need to. Taking small steps to adjust to your new reality can be empowering in a time of major change. According to the American Psychological Association, active coping strategies like getting organized and making a plan for managing your health can improve mental and emotional well-being.

Create Space for Epilepsy
It’s normal to feel out of control when you first learn you have epilepsy. You may have a pile of pamphlets crowding your kitchen table and a head full of questions that you forget the moment you set foot in a doctor’s office. You can begin to tame the chaos by implementing very simple organizational techniques that will help you create space for this new aspect of your life.

Put Everything in One Place
Storing all of your printed doctor’s visit summaries, pamphlets about epilepsy, and other resources in a designated spot can help create some order and help you find information when you need it. You don’t need a fancy filing system - a kitchen drawer, an old binder, or simply an orderly stack on your bedside table can make a big difference. In addition to helping you keep track of important papers, there is evidence that controlling clutter is associated with better moods.

Remember Your Questions
Keep a list of questions about epilepsy for your healthcare provider in a dedicated notebook or on your smartphone. Jot down your questions as you think of them and bring your list to your appointments so you can remember your questions and write down the answers.

Manage Your Appointments
If you already rely on a digital calendar or paper planner to manage work and family obligations, stick with that method for managing your new doctor’s visits. If keeping a calendar is new to you, consider using what you’ve already got at home, such as a grocery list notepad or a piece of paper and a magnet on the fridge. You can also ask your doctor’s office about phone call or text message reminders that can help you keep on top of appointments.

Track Your Medications
Using an old-fashioned pill organizer is a great way to keep track of oral medications. You can also use a paper medication tracker. If you’re comfortable using a smartphone, consider downloading a medication tracking app.

Reach Out for Support
It can feel overwhelming to reach out after receiving an epilepsy diagnosis, but you don’t have to face your diagnosis alone. Support from loved ones, your medical team, and other people with epilepsy is crucial as you embark on treatment and adjust to your new normal. There are a few basic steps you can take to start building your network of support.

Epilepsy Communities
You may not be ready to talk about your diagnosis with your loved ones right away. You may also not have time or be comfortable joining an in-person support group. That’s ok. Connecting with members on MyEpilepsyTeam can be a first step towards finding support. Your community on MyEpilepsyTeam can provide an ongoing emotional boost whenever you feel worried or overwhelmed about life with epilepsy or want to celebrate a victory.

Healthcare Providers
Many hospitals and medical practices offer resources that extend beyond your medical appointments. These may include chaplaincy services, health education classes, patient liaisons or nurse navigators, on-site support groups, and referrals to other services.

Friends and Family
Sharing your epilepsy diagnosis with friends and family can be hard. They may be afraid and struggle to react in a helpful way. Try to remember that everyone is doing their best with difficult news. If you’re able, let your loved ones know how they can be most helpful to you during this time, whether that’s helping with household chores or offering a listening ear.

Learn More About Epilepsy
You might not have known much about epilepsy before your diagnosis, but now you probably want to learn more. Your healthcare provider is a great resource for information, but you may also want to do your own research. Remember to be cautious of what you read online, especially if someone is offering a quick fix or selling a cure. You can always reach out to your healthcare provider or patient liaison if you have questions about something you’ve read.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

You never have to feel alone when you’re living with epilepsy. Members on MyEpilepsyTeam are always available to answer questions and offer encouragement when things get rough.

Here are some conversations from MyEpilepsyTeam members about facing a new diagnosis:

If you have a pressing question, you can go straight to the Q+A section.
You can also read more about how to get started on MyEpilepsyTeam.

For the newly diagnosed, what information are you seeking?
For the epilepsy veterans, what do you wish you knew when you were first diagnosed?
Share in the comments below or directly on MyEpilepsyTeam.

Posted on October 3, 2019
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.

Related Articles

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 ...
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 (...
“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 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...
For people with epilepsy and their loved ones, staying on schedule with medication is key for pre...

How Do You Adjust Your Medication Time During a Time Change?

For people with epilepsy and their loved ones, staying on schedule with medication is key for pre...
Welcome to MyEpilepsyTeam — the place to connect with others living with epilepsy. This video wi...

Getting Started on MyEpilepsyTeam (VIDEO)

Welcome to MyEpilepsyTeam — the place to connect with others living with epilepsy. This video wi...

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 ...
Have you ever wondered about the difference between Epidiolex, the first cannabidiol-based prescr...

CBD Oils vs. Epidiolex: How Are They Different?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between Epidiolex, the first cannabidiol-based prescr...
Sticking to your medication schedule is an essential step in controlling your epilepsy. But in so...

What Should You Do if You Vomit Your Seizure Medication?

Sticking to your medication schedule is an essential step in controlling your epilepsy. But in so...
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...
For people with epilepsy, any illness — including ear infections — may raise the risk of seizure....

Can Ear Infections Cause Seizures?

For people with epilepsy, any illness — including ear infections — may raise the risk of seizure....
When you hear some people talking about turmeric, it sounds like there’s nothing this spice can’t...

Turmeric and Epilepsy: Can It Help With Seizures?

When you hear some people talking about turmeric, it sounds like there’s nothing this spice can’t...
MyEpilepsyTeam My epilepsy Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close