I’m 18 years old and a sophomore in college [I went to school early] I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 11 years old. I have partial epilepsy so basically I pass out, and until last month I had never had a full convulsion. so last month I had a seizure in class and I shook and my eyes rolled back, when my friend told me this I was not only upset that I was going to have to change treatment, but I was embarrassed. I don't know what to do, I still feel completely weird in that class and I think that the people in the class probably think I’m the strangest person ever. What should I do to get rid of this feeling? Are my classmates worried about me, or are they thinking I’m some strange girl?
TeenHealthFX would like to give a little background on epilepsy to our readers who may not be familiar with the disorder. A seizure has to do with abnormal functioning of the neurological processes in our brain. As we go through each day, everything we do, say, think, and feel is first initiated by our brain through the activity of tiny “machines” called neurons. These neurons send signals to different parts of the brain and body to allow us to function. Sometimes, there is an excessive firing of neurons that is more than what is usually expected, and depending on the location of the overwhelmed neuron in the brain, our body will have different responses which we call a seizure, and it can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes.
Seizures can be classified in various ways. The brain is composed of two hemispheres, and if the seizure activity is restricted to one hemisphere, it is called a partial seizure, while a generalized seizure involves both hemispheres. If consciousness is maintained during the seizure, it is called a simple seizure as opposed to a complex seizure in which one loses consciousness. Seizures can be further classified as to the specific types of motor reactions they cause. It is estimated that 1% of children in the
Though seizures can occur at unexpected times, many people who have epileptic seizures live fully functional and normal lifestyles. Over the past seven years, you have dealt with having epilepsy and you have learned so much about how it works and what it does to your body. For many others who do not have that experience or knowledge, epilepsy, and even seizures in general, is not a familiar topic. When you had a seizure in your class, many of the students were probably shocked and did not know how to react. It is only natural that they would be confused and concerned to see one of their classmates experience something that they had never before witnessed. In the same light, it is understandable that you would feel embarrassed or afraid as to what people might be thinking about you. Your classmates were most likely just concerned about your safety and well being and there is no need for you to feel embarrassed. Having epilepsy does not make you strange.
TeenHealthFX urges you to talk to someone at school to help you adjust with the situation just to make sure your participation, education, and grades do not get affected. There are always counselors available on campus who are very well acquainted with the college society and who will be able to help you establish more of a comfort level with yourself. In addition, do not hesitate from using this opportunity as a way to talk to some of your peers in the class if you feel they are approachable. It would also give them the opportunity to know more about you as a person.
We admire your ambition and strength and wish you continued success in your future. TeenHealthFX encourages you and others to visit the Epilepsy Foundation website where you can find more information and resources as well as forums for people in similar situations as yourself