Growing up whilst living with epilepsy

Holly was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was just seven years old and has been living with epilepsy for 14 years. Here Holly shares her experiences of living with the condition.

I was first diagnosed with absence epilepsy, which made me feel confused as I didn’t understand what it was.

I had my first seizure when I was 14, which happened outside when I was saying goodbye to my mum at the front door.

My mum explained it as if I was walking drunk up the path. I then dropped to the floor with no warning and hit my head off the pavement.

My mum rang the ambulance as she hadn’t dealt with a seizure before.

It lasted around three minutes, and when I came around from it I was confused and didn’t know what had happened.

My head was also sore! I have only ever had absences and tonic-clonic seizures, which affect my everyday life.



The absences affect conversation, my mood, meeting new people. My education suffered as I could not concentrate properly, along with being unable to pursue my hairdressing career.

I struggle to be accepted for jobs. Also, as a person, as some people cannot be bothered to deal with the hassle of my absences and tonic-clonic seizures.

I also cannot drive as I have to be absence and seizure-free for a year, which has not happened yet. In my experience, epilepsy is much more than ‘just a seizure’.

It affects everyday life, and I have experienced a lot of injuries, like hitting my face off things, falling downstairs and breaking my nose, losing a tooth, having stitches in multiple places, and many more injuries.

I would say to anyone that has recently been diagnosed, to take advice, listen carefully, and also research epilepsy.

Try to stay positive, as much as you can, and take care in everything you do, as everybody’s epilepsy is different.

If you would like to share your experiences of living with epilepsy, please email David Coates our Communications Officer at or call 0141 427 4911.