Epilepsy and Wellbeing
Wellbeing relates to both your physical and mental health, and how you feel and function. Living with epilepsy can have an impact on your wellbeing, taking a toll on everything from your mood to your sleeping routine.
It’s particularly important for those with epilepsy to work towards a healthier mind and body. Looking after your wellbeing can help to reduce seizures and improve your attitude towards them.
Maintain a Healthy Routine
The best way to improve your wellbeing is to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes making small changes to your diet, routine and everyday activities.
- Eat well: A balanced diet can improve your overall health and self-image. Some people with epilepsy find that they are more likely to have a seizure if they skip meals. Therefore, it’s important to stick to an eating plan and never go hungry.
- Stay fit: Many people with epilepsy find that stress can increase the likelihood of a seizure. Exercising can reduce stress and lift your mood while keeping you healthier.
- Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a depressant that can impact on both your physical and mental health. Excessive drinking can increase the risk of a seizure and even reduce the effectiveness of anti-epileptic drugs.
- Sleep tight: Good quality sleep is important for those with epilepsy, as disturbed sleeping patterns can trigger seizures. There are plenty of things you can try to help you sleep well. These include keeping regular sleeping hours and taking time to wind down.
Manage Your Seizures
Taking control of your condition can help reduce worry and improve how you feel. Anti-epileptic drugs can put you in control, allowing you to reduce the risk of a seizure if taken correctly. For some people, medication may take longer to take effect, or it may not work at all.
It’s worth keeping a diary to note down when you have a seizure, when changes are made to your medication and any side effects experienced.
Keeping a record of your seizures can help you identify your triggers. Be sure to include information about what you were doing and how you felt before the onset of the seizure. This will help you identify any patterns, which could mean preventing them from happening again in future. Common triggers are lack of sleep, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, skipping meals and missing doses of medication.
Take Your Medication
The most important thing you can do to keep your seizures under control is to take your medication as prescribed. This means you should ensure you always have a supply of medicine to hand. If you miss a dose, this can increase your risk of experiencing a seizure.
Be prepared for an emergency and ask your nurse or GP for advice on what you should do if you forget to take your medicine. Never make changes to your medication without consulting your doctor first and continue to follow your prescription even if you feel well.
There are many handy ways to remind yourself to take your medicine on time. Set an alarm on your smartphone, or download a medication reminder app. Also, try using a pill organiser to make sure you don’t miss any doses.
Many people with epilepsy wear medical ID jewellery so that medical professionals can provide the correct treatment in the event of a seizure. This jewellery can be engraved with your vital information and features the universally recognisable medical symbol. Not only do they provide valuable peace of mind, but they can also mean you receive quicker treatment.
Improve Your General Wellbeing
As well as taking steps to reduce the risk of seizures, you should complete activities that make you feel happier. Feeling content can reduce the impact of epilepsy on your everyday life – why not give the following methods a try?
- Build connections: Keep in frequent contact with your loved ones, and try to meet new people in your community. Building new connections can help make you feel fulfilled and enrich your life.
- Relax: Find an activity you enjoy that helps you to relax, including exercise, yoga and medication.
- Keep learning: Set yourself a challenge by learning something new. Or, try taking on a new challenge at work.
- Be kind: A small act of kindness can do wonders for lifting your mood. Help someone out or volunteer your time.
- Try therapy: If you feel anxious or depressed, talking therapies like counselling, psychotherapy or group therapy can help reduce your negative feelings.
By making some positive changes in your life, you can improve your wellbeing and health. In turn, this can help reduce the risk of seizures for those with epilepsy.
The information in our blog articles is for personal use only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans. We are not medical health practitioners or mental health providers. If you’re worried about a potential medical condition, contact your GP or call an ambulance in an emergency situation.