MODULE 3: Epilepsy Support and Non-medication Management 29 How Can I Talk to My Family About Epilepsy? Epilepsy affects not only you, but also your family members as well. They need to know how to help you when you have a seizure. All members of your family should know what to do, and what not to do, when you have a seizure. You can create a seizure action plan and talk about it with your family. You can also practice what to do when a seizure happens, the way you might have a fire drill. Your family members might also be able to help you manage your epilepsy by helping you make sure you take your medicine and assisting with lifestyle management. Talk to your family about what it’s like for you when you have a seizure. Ask them what questions they have.11 The Epilepsy Foundation website has more information about talking to your family (http:// www.epilepsy.com/article/2014/12/epilepsy-and-family).11 How Can I Talk to My Friends About Epilepsy? Even though you might feel nervous talking about your epilepsy, or feel like you want to hide your epilepsy, it’s important to tell your friends. If you have a seizure, your friends will need to know what to do to help you. Also, your friends will probably want to support you. Pick a time and place when you’re comfortable and won’t be interrupted. You might want to use a conversation starter, such as “Did I ever tell you why I take medicine every day? It’s because I have epilepsy and the medicine helps prevent seizures.”12 The Epilepsy Foundation website has other conversation starters that might be helpful (http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/age-groups/ youth/talking-about-epilepsy/talking-friends-and-family).12 What About Dating? Dating is hard for anyone, and it can be doubly hard to decide when to tell someone you are in a relationship with that you have epilepsy. If your seizures are well controlled, you may want to wait until you feel comfortable with the other person before talking about your epilepsy. If your seizures are not well controlled, you might want to talk about your epilepsy sooner rather than later.13 Either way, if you are spending a lot of time with someone, you probably want to talk about your epilepsy so they know what is happening if you have a seizure and what they can do to help keep you safe.12 The Epilepsy Foundation website has more information about dating (http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/age-groups/youth/dating).13 You could also talk to other people with epilepsy about how they handle dating situations. Psychologists and social workers might be able to provide tips about how to talk to people you are dating about your epilepsy. Your Friends, Family Members, and Other Caregivers