Epilepsy Affects the Whole Family (Video)

What children with epilepsy go through can be very dramatic. Many have other health problems stemming from the epilepsy. Some children’s brains are so damaged that they can no longer talk, no longer walk, and many regress from where they were developmentally when the seizures began. It is not always practical for children with siblings who have epilepsy to play with them.

Medications can sometimes help, but can also be damaging. Some children experience relief from their medications one day and then feel very sick the next day from the same medications. These medications can also cause dizziness and sluggishness. School can be difficult for children with epilepsy due to a more difficult time paying attention and the sleepiness from the medications. Seizures can destroy the full potential of a child.

Siblings of Epileptic Children Suffer in Other Ways

Many children who live in a family that has an epileptic child can experience many different emotions. They may be frightened at what they see happening to their sibling, feel helpless in knowing how to help, and even be angry. Parents with an epileptic child typically need to spend more time with that child, taking away from the other children. Some children feel embarrassed at what their epileptic sibling may do in front of their friends, such as displaying uncontrolled behavior or what they deem embarrassing speech.

While these feeling are all valid, understandable emotions for any child to have, it does take a toll on a family. Families can find they have less happy days and more days just getting by. Parents who work may use most or all of their vacation days tending to their child with epilepsy who is sick or needs to be hospitalized. Many families who have a child with epilepsy could undoubtedly benefit from a helping hand.

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