Managing Epilepsy

Epilepsy can get in the way of life, mostly when seizures keep happening. Sometimes, seizures make it hard to work, go to school, drive, and take part in social activities. When seizures are not controlled, it increases the risk of:

  • Injury.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • In some cases, death.

Sometimes even epilepsy treatment can cause problems such as feeling tired.

What people with epilepsy can do

Self-management is what you do to take care of yourself. You can learn how to manage your epilepsy and have an active and full life.

Successful self-management requires an active partnership between a person with epilepsy, the person’s healthcare provider, and family and friends.

What parents or caregivers can do

  • Talk with your child’s heath care provider to make sure your child’s seizures are controlled as much as possible.
  • Find ways to help teens live well with epilepsy with CDC’s You are Not Alone toolkit for parents.
  • Learn more about treatment options for your child with epilepsy, including clinical trials.

The Epilepsy FoundationExternal also has helpful self-management resources for people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Learn more on our Find Support page.

What can I do to keep my seizures in check?

Begin with these tips:

  • Take your medicine as prescribed.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider when you have questions.
  • Recognize seizure triggers (such as stress).
  • Keep a record of your seizures.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise safely.
  • Lower stress.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family members.

Find more self-management strategies on our Managing Epilepsy Well Checklist.

Epilepsy can be hard to manage and may interfere with daily life. Find free resources to help you or someone you love manage living with epilepsy on our Find Support page.

What health care professionals can do

Health care providers can encourage their patients to participate in self-management programs. Provider support of patient self-management is a key component of effective chronic illness care. A patient is much more likely to participate in proven, free or low-cost, convenient programs with a recommendation from a health care provider.

Health care professionals can train providers in self-management support. The HHS Education and Training Curriculum on Multiple Chronic Conditions websiteExternal offers resource for educators across the educational continuum to equip healthcare professionals and paraprofessionals with tools and knowledge on caring for persons living with multiple chronic conditions (PLWMCC) across settings. The Self-Management Support training moduleExternal outlines self-management and self-management support strategies to use to empower PLWMCC.

Managing Epilepsy Well Network

The Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network is a group of academic Prevention Research Centers that conduct studies related to epilepsy self-management. Read about MEW Network projects and how they are improving health and quality of life through their research, programs, and tools.