Chapter

Social and psychosocial aspects of epilepsy

Simon Shorvon

in Epilepsy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199560042
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199560042.003.00042

Series: Oxford Neurology Library

Social and psychosocial aspects of epilepsy

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• The psychosocial consequences of epilepsy and the permanent state of ‘being epileptic’ are often more problematic than the seizures themselves. • Many psychosocial effects are dependent on societal, cultural, or personal factors and are amenable to improvement by counselling, psychotherapy, or support. • The large Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG) survey showed the extent to which different areas of concern were related to age and the severity of the epilepsy. In adults, common issues of concern are the driving ban, work, social life, psychological factors, impairment of memory, and loss of confidence. In children, common issues were school and education, psychological factors, social life, sports, the need to take tablets, sleep, supervision, play, and difficulties with learning. • The lack of predictability of seizures is a major cause of loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, and undermines the confidence of people with epilepsy. • The tendency for ‘overprotection’ and ‘overdependency’ should be avoided. • Issues that commonly arise in a clinical setting relate to: death, friendships and relationships, reproductive issues, parenting, safety, employment, leisure, accidental injury, and schooling. • Information provision, counselling, and psychotherapy can be very helpful in resolving these issues. • The treating physician has a duty to convey the driving regulations to the patient where relevant.

Chapter.  4611 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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