Valentine’s Day is February 14th – What You Should Know If You’re Dating Someone with Epilepsy
Today is February 14th and it is Valentine’s Day, which means that it is an excellent time to talk about the impact that epilepsy has on dating and relationships. To view our blog post from last year on dating and epilepsy, please click here. To find out how to be an effective partner to someone with epilepsy, check out our tips below:
Tip 1 – Help them remember medications: People with epilepsy may use treatments, such as medication and may have specific times they need to take their medication. You can do things like reminding them to take their medications, asking them if they have packed their medications when going on vacation, etc. You can also do the same with any other treatment options they may be utilizing, such as CBD, the ketogenic diet, etc.
Tip 2 – Help them keep track of appointments: People with epilepsy have regular appointments with doctors to ensure that everything is going well with their epilepsy. You can help them keep track of their appointments by using a calendar, reminders, etc. to ensure that an appointment is not missed.
Tip 3 – Be seizure aware: Knowing what type of seizures your partner typically experiences is important as well as knowing what to do in the event of a seizure. Check out our resource on Seizure Types and First Aid here for more information on the signs and symptoms of the different types of seizures and what to do in the event of each seizure type.
Tip 4 – Know the warning signs: Some people with epilepsy may experience an aura, which is somewhat of a “warning” as it is something that happens right before a seizure occurs, such as a funny taste in their mouth. If your partner has auras, it’s important for you to make note of what aura your partner experiences, so if they feel one coming on, you are ready to help them when the seizure starts.
Tip 5 – Help them avoid triggers: Seizures can be triggered by a number of factors, so you can help your partner avoid anything that may trigger their seizures. For example, if your partner has photosensitive epilepsy and their seizures are triggered by flashing lights, you may choose to avoid going to places with strobe lighting. Some other common triggers can include late nights, lack of sleep, missed medication and alcohol and drug use, among others.
Tip 6 – Help them stay safe: All of us live with risks in everyday life and for some people with epilepsy, there can be more of a risk of injury than with other people with epilepsy, due to a number of factors, including seizure type, frequency characteristics, etc. It is important to ensure that you are helping your partner stay safe by knowing what to do in the event of a seizure and following some other easy steps for safety at home, at work and while at activities. Check out our resource on Seizures and Your Safety here for more information.
Tip 7 – Listen to our Podcast: The BC Epilepsy Society’s Voice Epilepsy™ podcast goes over a variety of topics related to epilepsy. In our first episode, host Kim Davidson – CEO & Executive Director of the BC Epilepsy Society and Founder of the I AM A VOICE for Epilepsy Awareness™ campaign – discusses men and epilepsy and provides information on dating and relationships. Listen to the podcast here and stay tuned for new episodes coming soon!
Tip 8 – Be supportive: For some people with epilepsy, it can uncomfortable for them to disclose their condition to their partners due to fear and anxiety about being rejected. It is important to show your partner with epilepsy that you will be there for them with both physical support and emotional support. Don’t forget to ask questions to ensure that you will be able to help and support them through any challenges that their epilepsy may pose.
Tip 9 – Get Support: If you or your partner require additional support, please check out BC Epilepsy Society support groups, including the BCES Men’s Circle for people living with epilepsy who identify as men, the BCES Women’s Circle for people living with epilepsy who identify as women and the BCES YA Circle for people living with epilepsy aged 18-24. Please click here for more information on our support groups.
Dating someone with epilepsy is being accepting of the whole person. We hope that our tips will help you. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!