Chat and Community Forums Closed

Due to the popularity of social media, we have seen decreasing engagement on our forums and chat. Please know we want to keep talking to you about epilepsy, seizures, and what you need. We want to stay connected with you.

Community Forum

Epilepsy and Memory Loss: College Struggle


Hi, I'm new to this site, and soo happy I found it! I was beginning to think there was no one for me to talk to. Anyway, I'm a 4th year student in college, and have been struggling with classes. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 16, but had seizures before that when I was little. I'm on medication AEDs (Keppra), but recently- I first started noticing it last year- I noticed that my memory isn't what it used to be. And it's reflecting in my grades and overall performance in school. What used to be A's and B's my Freshman and Sophmore year, are now Cs (if I'm lucky) or worse. I've mentioned to my family and Doctor that I think it's because of my epilepsy or the Keppra, but no one seems to be listening or believe me. I was hoping that if there was anyone out there, maybe if you're taking the same medication or experiencing the same problems, you could help me out and give me any advice? I'm the only one in my family- on either side- with epilepsy, and whenever I try to talk about it with friends or professors they react like I have some kind of infectious disease or talk down to me like I'm stupid, so obviously they're no help. It's just getting really frustrating; constantly studying and passing up on fun opportunities so that I can stay in and study extra hours, only for none of the info to remain in my memory. I typically wake from a seizure in a state of confusion and distress and I almost never have any memory of anything prior to the episode, or sometimes even what happened for the rest of that day when I wake up the next morning, but until last year, it never really had effect on my schoolwork. Now, I can barely remember anything learned in lecture, and if I do have a seizure- which I will say is rare because of my medication- it's like my memory is wiped clean entirely. I just had to hand in a quiz yesterday that was left blank because I had a seizure Saturday and I couldn't remember any of the things on the test, even though I spent all week studying to make sure that I wouldn't go blank. It's really upsetting and I'd really appreciate some help. Even if it's just commenting that you're having the same problem, we can find answers together! I just don't want to have to face this alone! Again, a response is greatly appreciated.


I am still on phenobarbital.

I am still on phenobarbital. I know Depakote has a zombie effect. I'm not willing to experiment with new medications, although my doctors recommend otherwise. I don't rely on remembering the teachers in class. 1) I study and take notes while doing so, 2) do the questions in the book, 3) I ask the teachers for study guides and example tests and then work them until I feel confident, 4) test yourself "out loud", trying to come up with the answers, and 5) use disability services but don't rely on it (don't use it as a crutch).  If you've come this far, you can do it!

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline