Self-image or self-esteem, as we have often said, is an important ingredient of success in later life. How does your child’s self-image change after a seizure? The answer to this may depend on his self-image before the seizure. The change, if any, will depend on the type of seizure and its immediate effects on him, on his developmental age, and on what, if anything, follows the seizure. Most important, self-image and self-esteem will depend on how your child and the seizure are treated by you, by your friends and family, and by your doctor.
The response of family and friends is perhaps the principal determinant of the eventual outcome for the young child and the principal factor under your control for children of all ages.
Accurate and honest information appears an important ingredient of any child’s self-perception, best documented for adolescents. In many studies, adolescents who were the least well-informed were the ones with the poorest psycho-social adjustment. Their adjustment did not correlate either with their seizure control or with their neurological normalcy. Adolescents who were most normal, who had no neurological abnormality, and whose seizures were under control often were most negative about their social adjustment because they were fearful about “being discovered.” Those individuals who had a seizure in public were better able to adapt than those who still feared being “discovered.” Children with epilepsy also had lower self-esteem, higher levels of anxiety, and feelings of less control than children with other health-related conditions.
Most of these problems can be prevented if your child is included in discussions of his epilepsy and its treatment.
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 2:13 pm and is filed under Epilepsy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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