Yesterday our Volunteer Coordinator Scott Coyne ran a 3hr session on anxiety and panic, with an epilepsy focus…here he shares some thoughts on the session…

We know that living with epilepsy means that you are more likely to experience both panic and anxiety, so we felt it important to develop a bespoke session that looked more closely at this.

The session aimed to highlight the many ways in which  anxiety and panic can effect individuals, so we looked at all aspects including the physical, psychological and the emotional. Indeed to get a proper handle on tacking anxiety and panic, you really have to be able to spot the signs.

We also took the opportunity to look at some real epilepsy specific situations, and how anxiety and sense of panic can manifest itself in those situations, how it effect’s the body physically, and the resulting thoughts and feelings that accompany that and crucially – how to identify ways to break the ‘cycle of anxiety’.

We also considered how to confront our anxieties and to consider how that might have a really significant and positive impact on how we see ourselves…and that in turn can lead to other positives developing.

Being exposed to a high level of anxiety on a regular basis actually changes the way that you behave and also the way that you think, so it’s really important when living to epilepsy to be aware of the range of things that make you anxious….so the group named their anxieties.

Panic and Anxiety

As ever the group were frank and supportive of one another. It was a really positive and cathartic session, which led to them leaving with new knowledge and a clear sense that they can tackle their own anxieties successfully.

Peer Mentor Steven Connelly who sat in on the session had this to say…

We certainly all have worries and concerns about things in our daily life and this is perfectly normal.

Unfortunately for some people this worry is more than that and can become overwhelming, especially when living with epilepsy.

There are specific stresses associated with the condition. These can include money worries and the uncertainty of being employed again, taking medication on a regular basis, memory problems, worrying about an individuals future, the uncertainty when and where a seizure might occur and because of that individuals are just so reluctant to step outside their front door, losing a drivers license after many years driving and the dependency on others.

The effects of this stress, anxiety and panic can trigger seizures.

Everyone could relate to each other and understand each other’s issues and anxieties.