I’m back with another round of Realistic Fiction for young adults! November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy affects about 2 million people in the United States and is characterized as recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Of the 2 million, about 326,000 youth under the age of 18 have epilepsy and around 200,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Teens with epilepsy have seizures that start in the brain. The brain uses electrical signals to pass messages between brain cells. If these signals are disrupted, this can lead to a seizure. For some teens, it will be a temporary problem, easily controlled with medication and outgrown after a few years. For others, it may be a lifelong challenge affecting many areas of their lives.
Epilepsy is usually diagnosed when a teen has more than one seizure. The types of seizures can vary. Seizures can affect their feelings, cognizance, and even their movement. Sometimes there is an aggregation or accumulation of seizures that may cause disorientation, unusual feelings, repeating movements, or they may even black out and suffer brief moments of unconsciousness.