Most people with epilepsy lead outwardly normal lives helped by modern therapies, and some may go months or years between seizures. However, epilepsy can and does affect daily life for people with epilepsy, their families, and their friends. People with severe seizures that resist treatment have, on average, a shorter life expectancy and an increased risk of cognitive impairment, particularly if the seizures developed in early childhood. These impairments may be related to the underlying conditions or to epilepsy treatment.
Behavior and emotions
Sometimes these problems are caused by embarrassment or frustration associated with epilepsy. Other problems may result from bullying, teasing, or avoidance in school and other social settings, which lead low self-esteem, depression and suicide. In children, these problems can be minimized if parents encourage a positive outlook and independence, do not reward negative behavior with unusual amounts of attention. Families must learn to accept and live with the seizures without blaming or resenting the affected person. Counseling services can help families cope with epilepsy in a positive manner.
Driving and activities
it is preferred at least 1 year after the last seizure before driving, according the most regulations in the developed counties. Also people with epilepsy should not participate in sports such as skydiving or motor racing where a moment’s inattention could lead to injury. Other activities, such as swimming and sailing, should be done only with precautions and/or supervision. However, jogging, football, and many other sports are reasonably safe for a person with epilepsy. It is important to take steps to avoid potential sportsrelated problems such as dehydration and hypoglycemia.
Education and employment
only about 50 percent of people with epilepsy finish high school, few finish college, and about 25 percent of working-age people with epilepsy are unemployed, because they find it difficult to face the misunderstandings and social pressures they encounter in public situations. Antiepileptic drugs also may cause side effects that interfere with concentration and memory.