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Adolescent, Epilepsy, Seizures, Epilepsy interventions





Epilepsy is the most common serious neurologic condition affecting adolescents, coinciding with a time of dramatic change in growth, hormones, psychology, and social situations. Adolescents with epilepsy are sensitive to peer norms and beliefs and may limit disclosure of their chronic illness to feel less different or stigmatized. They may also explore the world of alcohol and recreational drugs, like others in their peer group, as well as experiment with their own medications. The goal of treatment should be maintenance of a normal lifestyle with complete seizure control, minimal adverse effects, and achievement of normal adolescent milestones. Adolescents with epilepsy have an increased incidence of depression because of the combination of the unpredictable nature of epilepsy, a perceived lack of control, uncontrollable adverse events, and negative perceptions of themselves. The purpose of this article is to summarize the physical, developmental, emotional, and cognitive effects of epilepsy on adolescents. By increasing the awareness of healthcare providers, interventions designed to prevent further negative consequences can be considered for adolescents with epilepsy.