Our Chief Executive, Lesslie Young looks at dealing with a diagnosis of epilepsy during the COVID19 lockdown.
The way someone responds to being told they, or a member of their family has epilepsy will be unique.
Some will find it easier than others and for some it may come as quite a shock. Hearing the news of a potentially life changing diagnosis can be difficult at any time.
To be given the diagnosis of epilepsy during lockdown might be especially difficult. For many people they can continue their lives as before once they start taking their prescribed anti-epileptic drugs.
Inevitably however, there will be a period of adjustment for all. Naturally, during that period most people turn to their family and friends for support.
Support essential to help them to cope with the diagnosis and to come to terms with the potential impact the condition may have on all their lives. This is not always possible during lockdown and many people have found themselves without their usual support systems. Many are dealing with their diagnosis on their own, in isolation.
Being diagnosed with epilepsy during COVID19
For many people recently diagnosed with epilepsy they are keen to get on with their lives. They start taking their prescribed medication, tell their friends and family, speak to their employer, and put in place any adjustments that may be needed.
However, for those diagnosed during COVID19 much, if not all this is put on hold. New routines and new ways of living with epilepsy will have to wait whilst we are already living with new routines and adaptations to our lives.
In the past few weeks, we have received several enquiries from people and parents of children who have recently been diagnosed with epilepsy.
This, of course, is not unusual. Many people have questions they felt unable to or forgot to ask their specialist. Meanwhile, many would just like to speak to someone impartial for emotional support.
As a parent of a child, now a young adult, with epilepsy I know how a diagnosis of epilepsy can impact you, your child and your family. Equally, I know the value of different types of support at different times.
Epilepsy Scotland’s Helpline
I am delighted our Helpline has been able to stay open as normal during the COVID pandemic to provide that essential support for anyone at any stage of their epilepsy journey. We are here to answer questions, provide information and signpost you to relevant publications that might help. We are here to listen.
You can speak to someone in confidence on our freephone Helpline 0808 800 2200. We can give you emotional support to help you cope with a new diagnosis.
Our trained staff will be happy to answer questions you may have about your epilepsy and give you practical guidance on many aspects of living with epilepsy. Our publications have lots of useful information on epilepsy.
Epilepsy cannot be put on hold during this pandemic. We are here today, will be here when life looks more like what we are used to, thanks to the generosity and support of our donors.
Without our amazing supporters taking part in our online events, virtual challenges and donating to our appeals the situation would be different. Thank you and stay safe.