Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyEpilepsyTeam

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

Posted on October 03, 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.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

Many people worry about their ability to continue driving after receiving an epilepsy diagnosis....

Driving and Epilepsy

Many people worry about their ability to continue driving after receiving an epilepsy diagnosis....
People with epilepsy may be eligible for additional doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19...

Are People With Epilepsy Eligible for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots?

People with epilepsy may be eligible for additional doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19...
If you’re living with epilepsy, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your...

Epilepsy Awareness: How To Get Involved

If you’re living with epilepsy, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your...
Some people living with epilepsy have adopted the ketogenic diet to control their seizures. The...

Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy

Some people living with epilepsy have adopted the ketogenic diet to control their seizures. The...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine...

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters and Additional Doses for People With Epilepsy: Current Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine...
Many people with epilepsy find that their quality of life and sense of well-being improves when...

Service Animals and Epilepsy

Many people with epilepsy find that their quality of life and sense of well-being improves when...

Recent articles

Generalized seizures are a type of epilepsy that affects up to 40 percent of people with...

What Are Generalized Seizures?

Generalized seizures are a type of epilepsy that affects up to 40 percent of people with...
Metabolism is the chemical reaction in the body’s cells that changes food into energy. It’s a...

What Are Metabolic Disorders, and How Can They Cause Epilepsy?

Metabolism is the chemical reaction in the body’s cells that changes food into energy. It’s a...
Abdominal epilepsy is a very rare type of temporal lobe epilepsy. This form of epilepsy is most...

What You May Not Know About Abdominal Epilepsy

Abdominal epilepsy is a very rare type of temporal lobe epilepsy. This form of epilepsy is most...
Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which bones lose density, becoming weak and brittle. This...

Bone Density and Epilepsy: Are Antiepileptic Drugs a Risk for Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which bones lose density, becoming weak and brittle. This...
A person can use seizure rescue treatments in addition to their regular antiepileptic drugs...

Stopping Seizures: Your Rescue Treatment Options

A person can use seizure rescue treatments in addition to their regular antiepileptic drugs...
People use seizure rescue medications — a form of seizure rescue treatment — for seizures that...

Why You Need a Seizure Rescue Treatment on Hand

People use seizure rescue medications — a form of seizure rescue treatment — for seizures that...
MyEpilepsyTeam My epilepsy Team

Thank you for signing up.

close