How do you go about this with work?

When do you share your epilepsy with your work? At a job interview? How do you go about it with your coworkers and explain what it is with your manager?


Re: How do you go about this with work?

This a tough call. Peoples' work place and job discription is different. I'm a teacher. I told the teachers I work with about my epilepsy,my students and other staff. I use an emergency plan if I have a siezure at work. I made an emergency plan for the rest of the classrooms.

Unfortunately I had a seizure at school and scared the heck out of the principal and am on adminstrative leave from the district. Two neurologist have said I'm capable of working with accomedations. One is my neurologist and the other is from the district.

 I also have an attorney because I don't want to be discriminated. 

This is not over and I recieved a letter from the district saying I still work for the district. I just don't know if I'll have my old job back.

People have rights to work and there  is information on this site.

Good luck in solving this question.



Re: How do you go about this with work?

Hai Everyone, My name is Linyu. i dont have a courage talk to my colleague about the sicknees because i am afraid the another person cant accept it

Re: How do you go about this with work?

I agree that this is a hard call and one a person has to consider carefully.  In one of my previous jobs, my employer had no problem with my epilepsy and was very accomodating.  I have complex partial seizures and my seizures don't last long.  However, sometimes I would require a few minutes to "come back around" after the episode.    

While you are employed and if you have been discriminated against due to your epilepsy, absolutely do not hesitate, one iota, to be in contact with the ADA and/or the EEOC.  You are protected under Title I of the ADA and there is no charge for the EEOC to investigate the complaint.  Never fear that you will lose your job (after all you may end up losing it - so if you file a complaint you may save it). 

I once learned an acronym:  FEAR  Face Everthing And Realize - so realize you are empowered by the strength of many who have knowledge in matters of living with epilepsy.  I have lived with my epilepsy all of my life.    

Re: How do you go about this with work?


Any other advice on family relationship, sense of self-worth,

i don't feel i know what i want to make me happy. i want the others around me to be happy

My husband wants me to accept I may not teach again because sometimes I don't even remember I had a seizure. If an adult is in the class with me I could take their word and move on with the day.  I have 3-6 seizures amonth.

Re: How do you go about this with work?

I'm a teacher also and your story is something I relate to and worry about as well.  I have told a few people that I work with, including the school nurse, but not my principal, since I'm new at the site and I didn't feel that it was necessary.  Good luck with everything.

Re: How do you go about this with work?

Hi My name is carrie,  I am 27 years old and have suffered with epilepsy since the age of 12.  I have always found that talking honestly and openly with your colleagues will help them to understand epilepsy more.  As i have quite a few episodes whroughout the day the only way i come out of a fit is people shouting my name out loud.  So i do get very embarrassed at times when the whole office is shouting me but they do understand.  Hope you find times easier soon.xx

Re: How do you go about this with work?

That's a hard one. For years I never said anything and the moment I did, it was used against me and epilepsy had nothing to do with it. For years afterwards I swore never to say anything as I was not having seizures and until 2006, I had not had a seizure in 12 years. After the seizure occurred, I did some soul searching. I had put down that I did not experience seizures or blackouts on my job application and the seizure occurred 3 months after I started. It happened out of work, so I could have carried on and said nothing. I determined that I had shown my worth and if they didn't like me being there because I had epilepsy, they weren't worth my time. I came clean the following Monday and my boss was really cool. I even offered to tell everyone so that in the unlikely event I had a seizure, they would all know what was happening (and not be freaked out) and also how to respond if I had one - who to call (not the ambulance etc).

I moved from NZ to the US last year and started work as a temp and if I remember rightly, I did put down that I had epilepsy but it was fully controlled. I was hired on full time and wrote it down on my application to make them aware of what is wrong IF something were to occur. I don't go on about it at work, but a few people are aware I have it. I'm not secretive about it and it feels like a huge weight has lifted not having to keep this to myself. It also means that if I were to have a seizure, I wouldn't lose my job over it - because I haven't hid the fact.

I, personally would not discuss epilepsy at a job interview, unless my seizures were frequent. If you have a few seizures a year, if you can get away with it, don't mention it on an application, but yes, mention it in the interview if they bring it up. If they ask why you didn't put it on the application (if there was a question or room for it), tell them you would rather discuss it in person than it be on a form - since epilepsy is probably one of the most misunderstood conditions out there.This is a true crisis of conscience. Do you open yourself up to the potential for discrimination, when the discrimination may be absent, or do you say nothing and hope for the best. If you work in an office sitting on a chair at a computer, it should not be an issue on the grounds of health and safety.

I've since come to the conclusion that if people don't like my work ethic, they're not worth my time. But the issue is of course, getting your foot in the door to prove YOU are worth it. 

I think the deciding factor for you would probably be: How likely is it do you think you might have a seizure on the job? That should dictate your answer and in fairness to potential co-workers, allow them to understand you have a condition and how they can deal with it if it were to arise. I mean, how would you cope if someone you worked with had a heart condition and they had a heart attack at work next to you (would it be better if you knew they had it or better if you didn't?) Knowing the issue helps people figure out how to be prepared for a situation if it should arise. No one wants to be responsible for a nasty accident and no employer wants to put you in a position that could put either of you at risk, financially or phsyically. 

Re: How do you go about this with work?

Hi. I have lived with epilepsy (controlled) for 18 years. I would not bring it up on an interview but once employed you may want to let one or two people know, as well as write down your meds and emergency contact. My pharmacist gave me phenytoin instead of Dilantin and I had a tonic clonic seizure at work two weeks ago, complete with urinatig I wish I had let someone know. Also, most people don't know proper first aid for seizures and still believe in sticking something in your mouth etc. so it is beneficial to you to give someone proper instruction.

 As for approaching your manager, I would recommend being direct. I explained to my manager what had happened and thanked him for helping me. People can be more understanding than you think. I used to be so scared of letting anyone know, friends included. I think my paranoia was from projecting my own negative self image

 Good luck!


Re: How do you go about this with work?

Sealion 50111

I never brought it up with applying for work.  If things happen they do...simple as that.