Adolescence, epilepsy and physician Volume 21, issue 2, avril-mai-juin 2009

Centre de Toul-Ar-C’hoat, route de Crozon, 29150 Chateaulin, France

Passing through adolescence for a young with epilepsy is a risky period but it is also the occasion for personality change. The child builds up his internal world integrating self and surroundings experiences. Depending from the age of first seizure, epilepsy disrupts more or less this process. Epilepsy modifies parents and social interactions. Adolescence is a complex process with hormonal and neurological changes. New specific behaviours appear like taking risks or improving many relationships. Through these new behaviours adolescents develop identity feeling. Epilepsy will generate opposition, passiveness and behavioural disorder. Sometimes more serious trouble will be observed like psychosis. Reaction differ according two situations: a child with epilepsy becoming adolescent or an adolescent starting the disease. The physicians’ function is not only to cure the disease but also to take into account all surroundings factors (social, family, school) to facilitate the harmonious development of the identity feeling.