Support groups for epilepsy may provide help and information for people who have the condition. These groups are available online and in person.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes reoccurring seizures. It is a chronic condition, meaning it is long term. Having a long-term condition can result in a person developing issues with their mental health.

Information from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) notes that depression is common in people who have epilepsy.

Support groups provide a space for people to talk with their peers and share help and information. This may help a person with a chronic illness alongside psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety.

This article discusses finding support groups for people with epilepsy and how to choose the right group.

People sitting in a support groupShare on Pinterest
MoMo Productions/Getty Images

Support groups for epilepsy connect people with the condition. This allows a person to share their experiences and issues with their peers.

A study from 2019 states that group work can benefit people with chronic illnesses. Researchers noted that group work could provide:

  • improved outcomes
  • patient support
  • reduced medical costs

Additionally, researchers found that groups with a healthcare professional in attendance had improvements in:

  • pain
  • psychological symptoms
  • self-belief
  • self-care
  • quality of life

Targeted Self-Management for Epilepsy and Mental Illness (TIME)

TIME is a behavioral program designed for people who have epilepsy. Participants meet in groups of 8–10 alongside a nurse and a peer educator. A peer educator is a person who has epilepsy and who is successfully managing their condition and depression.

TIME involves 12 weekly sessions of 60–90 minutes, where participants discuss subjects such as:

  • facts versus myths about epilepsy and mental health
  • forming an action plan for coping with symptoms
  • setting goals
  • stress management
  • how to talk with healthcare professionals

Following these sessions, a person will receive phone calls from the nurse to offer support and self-care.

Research from 2018 found that Community-TIME (C-TIME) — a community-targeted form of TIME — significantly reduced depression severity in people with epilepsy.

Certain people who have epilepsy may be unable to attend in-person support groups. They may prefer to connect with a support group online.

Various sites offer online support for people who have epilepsy, such as:

A person may also be able to find online support groups in their state via the Epilepsy Foundation.

There are many support groups for people with epilepsy in the United States. The Epilepsy Foundation has a tool that allows a person to locate local support groups.

The Epilepsy Foundation also lists virtual and in-person support groups and events in various states.

Additionally, the Epilepsy Alliance America lists organizations that provide support groups in several states.

A person may choose a support group based on their age, location, or type of epilepsy they have. People with family members who have epilepsy may also want to find a support group.

A healthcare professional may be able to help a person find a suitable support group.

The Epilepsy Foundation offers a 24-7 Helpline that provides support and information for people who have epilepsy. They can also help a person find support or help in their area. The organization also provides an online toolkit for people seeking help or information about epilepsy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a list of resources for anyone wanting to learn more about epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological health condition. A person who has epilepsy may find it beneficial to become part of a support group.

Support groups allow people to discuss their experiences and provide information to their peers. Studies indicate that group work can help reduce depression in people who have epilepsy.

There are many resources a person can use to find the right support group for them. If they have difficulty finding a local support group, they can speak with a doctor about available options.