Dating a person with epilepsy

Supporting someone with epilepsy may include giving them lifts, prompting them to take medication, or sharing activities to help them keep safe.

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Supporting someone in this way can bring you closer together, but some people with epilepsy may feel this affects their independence. It may help to think that everyone needs support with something, whether they have a long-term condition or not. It can also be important to make time to focus on your relationship separately from giving and receiving support. A new relationship can be both exciting and daunting for anyone.

If you have epilepsy, you may wonder how to tell a new partner about epilepsy and how they might react. The way other people have reacted in the past might also affect how you tell new people.

13 Things You Should Know If You're Dating Someone Who Has Epilepsy

Seizures can disrupt plans and activities, and for some people, having epilepsy affects their confidence. However, some people find new relationships or interests through changes they make to their lifestyle because of epilepsy. New experiences could also strengthen an existing relationship through gaining confidence, sharing new things, and discovering what is important to you and to your partner.

Some people find that talking about epilepsy brings them closer to their partners. But sometimes one person in a relationship wants to talk about epilepsy and the other does not. For some people, epilepsy may feel like an unwanted intruder that has changed how things used to be. Being honest about your feelings may take courage, but your partner may be relieved to be able to share how they feel too.

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Some people use humour to help to deal with, or avoid, difficult feelings. Others may want to keep a balance between talking about epilepsy and other important things as well. Our confidential helpline is for anyone who wants to talk about epilepsy. Some couples may chose to seek professional support for their relationship in the form of couples counselling. Whether or not you are sexually active, sexual issues can be important at any time of life.

Many people with epilepsy do not have specific issues with sex that are caused by their epilepsy. For some people however, epilepsy may have an effect on their sex life.

13 Things You Should Know If You're Dating Someone Who Has Epilepsy

There are many possible reasons why sexual desire or arousal are reduced at times, and this is common in both men and women. Viewing problems with sex as a personal failing or weakness may put more pressure on you, and stop you seeking help for the problem. The most commonly reported problems for men are a reduced interest in sex, and getting and keeping an erection.


Women with epilepsy report a low interest in sex, difficulties in being able to orgasm, or painful sex due to vaginal dryness or vaginal spasms. These problems can all have more than one cause, but physical causes may include the following:. If you notice a problem with sex before you start taking medication, the problem may be linked to having epilepsy and how you feel about it, or to something unrelated to epilepsy, rather than to your medication.

In general, we are more likely to want and have sex when we feel well and relaxed. The physical and emotional impact of seizures may affect your interest in sex, including needing time to recover after a seizure, dealing with any injuries, or feeling tired, fragile, upset or anxious.

Relationships and epilepsy

Some people may fear having a seizure during sex, especially if their seizures are triggered by physical activity, excitement or fast breathing. However, for most people, having a seizure during sex is no more likely than having one at any other time. Talking to your partner about what to do if you have a seizure during sex may help you both to manage this fear. Your GP can help you look at whether any sexual problems are caused by how you feel, or by medical reasons such as epilepsy or medication.

Know what to do if they have a tonic-clonic seizure - Put something under their head. Learn what they need after a seizure- after a seizure, you need to turn them on their side and ease their head back to help them breathe. Do not give them anything to drink and do not leave them on their own. Know what aftercare they require - your partner could be very tired after they have had a seizure and need to sleep.

Know what works best for them so you can support them and make sure you keep an eye on them in case they have another seizure. The time of day - be aware if your partner tends to have seizures at a particular time of day. Do they happen at night? Generally in the afternoons? This will fall into what you know to be normal so you can make sure you are most alert at these times and act quickly if they have a seizure at a particular point in the day.

Relationships and sex

Know what their warning signs are - do they experience an aura, such as having a strange taste in their mouth or funny feeling in their stomach? Everyone who has epilepsy will experience different warning signs. If your partner tells you what their symptoms of a normal seizure are and they start to experience them you need to know what to do next.

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  • Be alcohol aware - some people with epilepsy find alcohol can make their seizures worse, so try to encourage activities to do with your partner which don't involve alcohol. Never let them swim alone- If you're on holiday and there's a pool at your resort, stay close by while they're in the water.

    Safety in the home is also an important issue to think about and you should take steps to minimise the risk of burns or scalds, or drowning while taking a bath. Theme park safety - some people with epilepsy have concerns about safety on rides.