Young people reveal concerns about epilepsy

To mark National Epilepsy Week (May 14 to 20 ), Epilepsy Ireland announced results of a survey conducted among young people aged 16 to 21 on their experience of living with the condition.

The results showed that 65 per cent of respondents have concerns about lifestyle issues such as drinking alcohol, socialising, sport and travel; some 56 per cent of respondents were worried about employment; a significant 64 per cent said they were concerned about anxiety issues; and 56 per cent said they have confidence and self-esteem worries.

When asked what two words best sum up your epilepsy, “angry” and “annoyed” were the most common words given. A total of 71 per cent felt that they are able to explain their epilepsy to others.

Peter Murphy, CEO of Epilepsy Ireland, said: “The results of our survey shed new light on the experiences of the condition among young people. The teenage years can be a difficult time with exams, social pressures and transitioning into adulthood. With an epilepsy diagnosis on top of all that, you can feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.

“The survey has shown that young people often feel like the condition is a heavy burden, resulting in feelings of anger and frustration. If anyone is feeling like this, it is important you find someone to talk to, whether it’s friends or family or engaging with the services of Epilepsy Ireland or your healthcare team.”

Epilepsy Ireland also offers a range of services, including one-to-one services, a dedicated Transitional Nurse helpline (01 4554133 ) and our new How2Tell app, which addresses the major concern of disclosing epilepsy.

Epilepsy Ireland has released a new booklet to mark National Epilepsy Week entitled ‘Moving Forward’, a guide for young people with the condition. It addresses the key challenges for young people with epilepsy identified in the survey, and aims to support teenagers as they make the often difficult move from paediatric to adult care.

For more information see www.epilepsy.ie

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