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Dealing with reactions

people having lunch and talking.

When telling someone about your epilepsy, the person may react in different ways. The majority of people will be interested, understanding and concerned with your well-being. Some may not know how to handle it. On occasions you may receive a negative reaction. Here are some responses you can use, dependent on a person's reaction:

  • If the person is interested and asks questions, continue the conversation about your epilepsy. 
  • If the person is quiet and doesn't ask questions, leave it and wait until they are ready to talk about it.
  • If the person is shocked or panics, reassure them and allow time to process the information.
  • If the person is mis-informed about epilepsy, you can give them the correct information.
  • If the person reacts in a negative way, don't let it distress you. This is the other person's problem, not yours and you can walk away from that person.

I brought it to my work colleagues as well, and if anything it was more simpler, if anything there was interest, and there was support from them. People were quite quite happy about that as I recall now, quite quite easy, and quite quite happy about that.

The reaction was 'okay, that's good, thanks for letting us know' ...And there wasn't much discussion around it.

When I tell people, they would change but unknowingly. They might be a bit more cautious like, 'oh are you sure you can do that' and I'm like 'don't question me'. Or they might kind of distance themselves without knowing it.

They were shocked because like most people don't really understand what epilepsy involves... they may have heard of grand mal or petit mal seizure, but trying to explain what complex partial seizure... they had never heard of it before that.

I just write them off, they obviously can't handle something that's just part of life. I just say right do not spend time with them. If they're going to have that issue, definitely not.

One of them [supervisor at work] didn't react too well to it, so I reported it.

As we mentioned at the start of this section, as long as you are comfortable with your epilepsy, the vast majority of people will also become comfortable with it and give you the support to get on with living your life.

Watch the Video: Dealing with Reactions