Pediatric epilepsy is a condition that not only profoundly impacts the child but the rest of the family members, too. As well as the physical and neurological attributes of epilepsy, it also represents a complicated combination of psychological and emotional consequences, especially for children.
Epilepsy exacts a high psychological cost from children and their families
Emotional, behavioral and relationship difficulties are common in children with epilepsy. These difficulties constitute a significant burden to epileptic children and their families, and comprehensive, ongoing mental health services are needed for these patients and families, writes Dr. Maja Ilic, a specialist in Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology with Westchester Health Pediatrics, in her recent blog.
Because of the enormous stress associated with this condition, for both the pediatric patient and his/her family, significant counseling resources—including psychiatrists, social workers, child life therapists and other counselors—are very helpful.
Children with epilepsy are at highest risk for other physical and psychological conditions
Continued epileptic seizures are associated with significant deficits in academic performance, IQ, quality of life, psychopathology and family functioning. Children with epilepsy are also more likely to have hearing/vision problems, asthma and headaches, as well as the following:
- comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or condition)
- disruptive behavioral disorders (such as ADHD)
- learning disorders (speech and language, attention, memory, and cognitive processes dysfunction)
- internalizing disorders (anxiety, depression)
To read Dr. Ilic’s blog in full, click here.