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Wellbeing

Having epilepsy can have a huge impact on a person's wellbeing including their mood, sleep and relationships. 

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Ways you can improve your wellbeing

In this section we look at ways you can improve your wellbeing such as exercise, diet and having a support network. Looking after your wellbeing can help you to reduce seizures and function better in your daily life.

Sleep and epilepsy

Having a good night's sleep helps our brains to recover from the day's events, so that we can function well the next day. For some people with epilepsy a lack of sleep can make seizures more likely to happen, for others having seizures at night can make them feel tired during the day.

Relationships and sex

Many people with epilepsy have fulfilling relationships with a partner. However, epilepsy may affect relationships for some people, and problems with sex are common for both men and women with epilepsy. There are various ways to manage these problems and find support.

Mood and epilepsy

Epilepsy affects everyone differently. Some people with epilepsy may find that problems with their mood can affect their epilepsy and how it is managed. How you feel may be different and your view of epilepsy may also change over time.

Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious at times. When you are frightened or feel threatened, your heart beats faster, your muscles tense and your body prepares you to ‘fight’ the threat, or to run away from it – ‘flight’.

Depression

We all feel low and depressed sometimes, without it being a medical problem. Depression becomes a problem when the unhappy feelings don’t go away and it affects our daily life: eating, sleeping or being able to get out of bed.

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Memory

Memory can be one of the key issues that affects people with epilepsy. This can be for many reasons, including the type of seizures they have, the effects of medication, the effects of epilepsy on concentration or mood, lack of sleep, age, or the effects of epilepsy surgery.

Safety and risk

Keeping safe is important for everyone, whether or not you have epilepsy. If your seizures are controlled by treatment, your safety may not be affected. But if you continue to have seizures, safety may be an issue.

Keeping safe at home

If your seizures are controlled by treatment, your safety may not be affected. But if you continue to have seizures, safety may be an issue. Some safety issues may not be relevant to you or you may have your own ideas about what would make situations safer for you. Here are some suggestions to help you think about your safety at home.

Risk assessment

You can ask your local social services for a 'needs assessment', which looks at your safety at home. Needs assessments are often carried out by an occupational therapist (OT). They will visit you at home to see what help, support or safety equipment you might need because of your epilepsy.

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Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

For many people, epilepsy is a condition which can be well-managed and has little or no impact on their life. For others, ongoing seizures mean that epilepsy has a long-term impact on them and their ability to have a ‘normal life’. Like some other medical conditions, epilepsy can be a cause of death in some individuals, although this is not common.

Seizure alert dogs

The organisation Support Dogs trains dogs to support owners with specific needs including epilepsy. Seizure alert dogs are specially trained to warn their owner before a seizure starts, so they can get help or move to somewhere safe.