Epilepsy In Teens – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Does your teen suffer from seizures? Are you worried that epilepsy can dent his confidence in these critical years? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post on epilepsy in teens is a good idea!

Adolescence, which marks the passage from childhood to adulthood, can be overwhelming for both the parents and the teen in question. The issues of heightened self-consciousness, rebellion and independence mark this phase. In such a situation, suffering from a health condition can prove to be intimidating and emotionally disturbing for your teen.

Epilepsy, which is a nervous system disorder, can be hard on both- the teen and the parents. Want to know how you can deal with teenage epilepsy better? Read on!

What Causes Epilepsy in Teens?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system that causes the sudden loss of consciousness and seizures. It may result in involuntary movements of the limbs such as jerking or thrashing, etc. In general, epileptic seizures occur due to disruption of the electrical activity of the brain due to overactive electrical discharges that cause a temporary communication problem between the nerves.

Medical research has yet to ascertain the exact cause of epilepsy. However, there are certain risk factors that could put your teen at a higher risk of suffering from this condition, some of which include the following:

  • Brain tumors.
  • Lead poisoning/ alcohol poisoning.
  • Stroke.
  • Inadequate supply of oxygen to the infant’s brain during childbirth.
  • Brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis.
  • Injury to the brain during a car/bike accident.
  • Infections or other illnesses that may have affected the baby’s brain during pregnancy (1).

[ Read: Down Syndrome In Teens ]

Common Symptoms of Epilepsy In Teenagers:

The symptoms associated with epilepsy may differ depending upon the type of seizures. In case of generalized seizures, you may note the following symptoms in your teen:

  • Crying out or making some sound, followed by stiffening of the body for some seconds and rhythmic movements.
  • His eyes may remain open normally.
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence.
  • Confusion after regaining consciousness.

In case of partial seizures, the following symptoms are usually noted.

  • Feeling full in the stomach.
  • Repetitive movements such as smacking the lips, picking at one’s clothes, etc.
  • Rhythmic or jerky movements of a particular body part.
  • Confusion and daze.

While these symptoms may also be a part of other health conditions, it is best to get a doctor’s advice for the correct diagnosis.

[ Read: Asthma In Teens ]

Tips To Help Your Teen Manage Epilepsy:

Adolescence is already a tough time for both the parent and the child, and teenagers with epilepsy needs extra care and attention during this crucial period.

Following some simple tips can help you establish a healthy relationship with your teen and help you both manage and deal with the condition better.

  • Discussion is an important part of healthy parenting. Make sure you are there for your teen, and discuss issues that concern him. Address issues such as family, dating, drugs, driving, and medications. Both of you should actively participate in such discussions.
  • Offer support to your teen when he needs it the most. It is crucial to avoid letting your teen feel ‘damaged’ and vulnerable, and instead, treat him as you would if he were not suffering from epilepsy.
  • Encourage your teen to talk to you about his fears and concerns, and help him deal with it.
  • Seek help from support groups or counselors, and encourage your teen to learn from other people’s experiences (2).

[ Read: Kidney Stones In Teens ]

We hope this article helped you understand how you could help teens with epilepsy cope with it better.

Did these tips prove helpful? Let us know in the comments box below.

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