Long term health conditions

Charlotte - Interview 10

Female
Age at interview: 18
Age at diagnosis: 13

Brief outline: Charlotte was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 13. She sees her consultant every three months and feels well supported by her. Her main problems are the frequency, till recently, with which seizures have occurred and the fact that her memory has been affected by the frequent incidence of her 'absence' seizures. Until three months ago Charlotte was having seizures twice a month and sometimes, even as frequently as once a week.

Background: Charlotte is a full-time student doing an Art Foundation course & is planning to go to university after its completion. She lives at home with her mother & younger brother but will move out when she goes to university. Ethnic background' White British.

Audio & video

Charlotte was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 13. Over the years she has tried several drugs. She sees her consultant every three months and feels well supported by her. Her main problems are the frequency, until recently, with which seizures have occurred and the fact that her memory has been affected by the frequent incidence of her 'absence' seizures. Until three months ago she was having seizures twice a month and sometimes, even as frequently as once a week. 

Her memory problems have affected her educational choices. She gave up her A-level Spanish because she couldn't remember anything and was getting depressed to see how her fellow students were progressing and not her. She said that from being an A grade student she had become a C grade. Despite her difficulties she completed her A-levels in Art and she is currently doing an Art Foundation course and plans to go to university.

The frequent episodes of seizures have affected family life. Charlotte says that her mother is anxious about her and she in turn, feels limited by her mother's protective attitude wants a more independent life. Her freedom of movement is also restricted by the fact that she lives in a rural area with no public transport and has to rely on her mother for lifts everywhere. 

She has a supportive group of friends that understand her condition and they know what to do in case of her having a fit. One of her friends attended a course to find out more about epilepsy. In turn, another friend has developed ME and has sought her support and advice. In the past she has had bad experiences with some kids at school who did not believe her when she explained about here condition, and thought she was just trying to get attention. 

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