What does self-management mean? Do I take care of my seizures by myself?

Self-management in epilepsy means the sum total of steps needed to manage seizures and the effects on your daily life. It doesn’t mean you manage epilepsy by yourself. Seizure management needs teamwork between members of your health care team, your family and you. Consider the roles of everyone involved…

  • The doctor and health care team brings the medical help to diagnose and treat seizures.
  • You (and your family) bring your voices and experiences – information you have helps the medical team make the right diagnosis, recommend tests or treatments, and refer you to other providers or resources that may help you.
  • You must live with the seizures, today and every day. How epilepsy affects you and your family will influence what recommendations your doctor makes and what choices you make.
  • Together, you must decide what your goals are and make a plan on how to reach these goals.
  • Then you and your family must get the information, learn the 'how to' skills, and find the right resources and supports to make it all work for you.

How do I know if I'm a 'good manager' of my epilepsy?

Being a good manager can be affected by a number of things such as:

  • How confident you feel in your ability to manage seizures,
  • How satisified you are with your care and team,
  • Your ability to talk with your health care team,
  • Support from family and friends,
  • Your mood,
  • Feeling ‘in control’ and working together to set realistic goals and plans.

Why is epilepsy self-management important?

Self-management stresses critical self-management concepts that www.epilepsy.com is built on – information, community and empowerment. Epilepsy.com strives to put these concepts into action – empowering people to be ‘in charge’, take action, and help develop better therapies for people with epilepsy.

Right now, too many people live with uncontrolled seizures and side effects. Seizures can disrupt a person’s daily life in so many ways. While most seizures are not dangerous, sometimes emergency situations occur that can cause serious harm. While treatment can help many people, it often takes too long to find the right one and then learn how to take it properly.

How can self-management skills help me? 

Some exampls of how learning self-management skills and resources may help you:

  • Talk to your health care team and others more easily
  • Keep track of treatments used to manage your seizures.
  • Develop an individualized plan for seizure first aid.
  • Know when to intervene to prevent seizure emergencies.
  • Teach other people how to respond to your seizures appropriately.
  • Stay safe. 
  • Modify my lifestyle and environment to lessen seizure triggers. 
  • Have a healthy lifestyle.
  • Recognize and manage other conditions associated with epilepsy more easily. 
  • Recognize how epilepsy is affecting my life and what I can do to address these. 

Now let’s get started!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014