Mental wellbeing

    Many people with epilepsy have emotional struggles and find it difficult to cope sometimes. And so do many people without epilepsy. Looking after your mental health will benefit your overall wellbeing.

    Ups and down are part of everyday life. Everyone experiences happiness and sadness and a whole range of things in between. Most people would say they prefer to be happy than sad, but negative emotions have a purpose. They are often telling you that something isn’t right and can act as a prompt to change something.

    Negative emotions can become a problem if they go on for a long time or you find it difficult to handle them.

    Word cloud: stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, grief, worries, low confidence, fear, anger, guilt, low self-esteem


    Have you ever wondered why some people are able to cope with whatever life throws at them, while others find it more difficult? Experts think that some people have more resilience than others. Resilience is your capacity to deal with challenges and bounce back from setbacks. If you are finding it hard to cope you are not alone. Next we are going to share some ideas to grow your resilience.


    Here’s a short animation about resilience by AXA PPP healthcare

    Increasing your resilience

    It is possible to grow your resilience by trying some of the things below:

    2 friends walking in the park

    Do something

    Over the next week, try one of the ways above as a step to help you cope with struggles.


    Although some people find their epilepsy limits what they can do, others say it’s had a positive impact that they didn’t expect

    How did it feel to read the above? Did it feel overwhelming or that you might never be able to do these things on your own? Then self-help might not be enough for you.

    When to get additional help

    It’s quite common for people with epilepsy to have low mood, depression or anxiety. You are not alone and you can get help.

    If self-help ways for coping with struggles are not enough, you may benefit from some additional help. The NHS has a mood self-assessment quiz which is based on the questions that a GP would ask you to find out how you’re feeling. It can identify if you would benefit from additional help in coping with stress, anxiety or depression.

    Talking therapies

    Some people find talking therapies such as counselling helps them deal with stress, depression and anxiety. Talking therapies can take place face-to-face, individually or in a group, over the phone or by email. Your doctor may offer you talking therapies through the NHS. In some areas of England you can refer yourself without seeing your GP. This is offered through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). Visit the NHS website to find your nearest IAPT service. Alternatively, you can pay privately to see a therapist or counsellor. The Counselling Directory and British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy have details of counsellors in the UK.

    If you’re under 18

    Mental health services for children and young people are different than for adults. Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is the NHS service that provides support to people aged under 18. Most CAMHS have a website to find out how to access their service. Young Minds has a guide to CAMHS 

    If you need urgent help call NHS 111 or the Samaritans 116 123

    Stories by you

    Watch Derrick’s video about mental wellbeing and what he does to look after himself.

    Read about the struggle Tayybiah had with accepting her epilepsy and what helped her to overcome epilepsy

    Read about the challenges that Aaron faced and the changes that helped him

    Group of people sat in a circle holding hands

    More info about specific conditions

    These pages have more information about specific mental health conditions and things that can help.

    Info about confidence and self-esteem on The Epilepsy Space


    Info about stress on The Epilepsy Space


    Info about anxiety on The Epilepsy Space


    Info about low mood and depression on The Epilepsy Space


    Get support

    As well as NHS services you might find there are groups and local organisations that provide support where you live.

    Find Epilepsy Action support near you

    Support near you

    The Epilepsy Action Helpline offers advice and information about all things epilepsy

    Epilepsy Action Helpline

    Young Minds has info about looking after your mental health and getting support

    Young Minds

    The Mix offers 24/7 crisis support across the UK for people aged under 25

    The Mix
    Updated 12 May 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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