21-07-2015 | Social anxiety ‘higher in epilepsy patients and their families’

Adults with epilepsy are more likely to experience social anxiety, with this impact also felt by their close family members, according to a new study.

Carried out by Baskent University in Turkey, the research looked at anxiety, depression and social fear and avoidance levels in 48 adult patients with epilepsy and 48 first-degree cohabiting family members, compared to 43 controls.

Utilising the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, it was shown that patients and their relatives had higher levels of depression, anxiety and avoidance compared with healthy subjects.

Results published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences indicated that the mothers of patients with epilepsy had the highest level of depression and anxiety, underlining the serious impact the condition can have on the families of those affected.

In the UK, epilepsy is estimated to affect more than 500,000 people, meaning almost one in every 100 people has the condition. Reducing its impact can be achieved through healthier living, with better sleep habits, a balanced diet and an avoidance of excess drinking all known to be helpful.

Posted by Epilepsy Research