Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi Sam, i'm a bit worried. I've just been told I may have Episepsy. Im scared it may effect my school. I struggle paying attention and have "episodes" where i feel like i have passed out and have no memory of it. Of course as i am now getting into the serious part of school it's effecting my grades. So I am stressed. The school is doing it's best but can't actually do anything but sit and wait till my further examination. The thing is i'm struggling to get through a day. So i told my friends. Although some of them are supportive some are saying i'm a "drama Queen" and that it's made up. I assure you i wish it was at times. I hate it. But hearing them joke and moan at me is stressing me out more. I'm stuck!!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter.

It sounds like you’re having a tough time at the moment. You’ve told me that you might have epilepsy and that it’s having a real effect on your school work and on your friendships. School can be really stressful even without the added worry of your health affecting your grades. I’m pleased to hear that your school is doing its best to help. If you carry on feeling stressed about your grades, maybe you could talk to a trusted teacher or school mentor. Schools often have extra support available for students with health conditions.

Finding out you may have a health condition like epilepsy can be a real shock. It can take time to get used to the impact that it might have on different areas of your life. It can be really helpful to talk about your feelings and ask for some support.

In your letter you have mentioned telling your friends about possibly having epilepsy. I am glad that some of your friends are being supportive, but it sounds very unfair that some are calling you a drama queen. Sometimes when people don’t really understand a situation, or aren’t sure what to say, they can react unkindly or make jokes without thinking about how this could hurt someone’s feelings. Perhaps you could try to explain how your condition affects you so they can understand better and support you?

If certain friends keep being unhelpful or dismissive even after they’ve had some more time to think things through, then you might decide that they are not worth having around you at the moment. You deserve to be taken seriously when you are sharing your feelings with your friends. You and your friends could take a look at the friendships page for more information and advice.

You could also take a look at the Young Epilepsy website, which has a section specifically aimed at teenagers who want to know more about epilepsy. I’ve also found this message board thread that you might find useful, there are a few young people talking about how epilepsy affects them. Sometimes, knowing you are not alone can really help you cope.

You might also like to think about talking to one the ChildLine counsellors. You can do this by calling for free on 0800 1111 or logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email.

Remember that you are not alone and ChildLine is here for you.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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