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Ugh - I've got a whole bundle of issues here...

My 18 yr old son was diagnosed with epilepsy last year. He SEEMS to have taken this in his stride - not stressed too much etc. We've had a couple of incidences where he has forgotten to take his medication which causes problems.

Latest one being last week - let me start at the begining...

He came home obviously upset - wouldnt talk etc. Finally I got out of him that one of his 'best friends' has a 'stuffed liver' and only has 6 mths to live. He's VERY upset about this. I was a bit dubious - he's a real softy and seems to attract young girls with confidence issues - self harmers and the like ('cry wolf' scenarios). But - he has assured me that this is a genuine 'six months to live' because the girls mother phoned him - requesting that he help make her last 6 mths 'happy'.

So - I sympathise with him but also caution him not to take too much onto his own shoulders - I haven't had to deal with the loss of anyone under similar circumstances so admit to not knowing what to say/how to act etc.

The following day he comes home from work - obviously still very upset. I coax him into showering and eating - then he goes out for a walk and returns half an hour later. To cut a long story short - he was acting very unusual and we thought he'd maybe taken something illicit (VERY unlike him) - 6 hrs in A&E - the end result was that his medication levels were incredibly low - no illicit substances. Assume it was low meds, overtiredness and stress that made him go a bit 'haywire'.

Now - the issue I have (all issues about privacy etc aside) I was checking his mobile phone only to find he had been texting his friends with whopping big stories about having been in hospital for 2 days / near death / brain clot / medication overdose etc etc. Husband and I queried him over this - he claimed no knowledge of the texts (he's never been to crash-hot at admitting when he's in the wrong) and could not offer any explanation as to why he told them such porkies.

I hesitate to ask - is this 'normal' behaviour? Should I be worried? Should I be seeking professional help here? I'm really quite stumped - he's a good, kind-hearted, well behaved kid - but what on earth leads them to coming up with such dramatic attention-seeking codswollop???

He's not terribly mature (obviously) and we pointed out the dangers in 'crying wolf' etc but I can't help but wonder if we should be addressing this more thoroughly - or just sit back and see how things go?

Any suggestions advice greatfully received thankyou!!


It seems to me that your son is a typical teenager, but let me add a caveat to that. Your son is a typical teenager who has a serious medical condition that requires constant care. The difficulty of dealing with this epilepsy is probably compounding with his poor friend's diagnosis and he's probably acting out, wanting to get some attention and pity himself. He's lying about his time in the ER just for some sympathy, I would imagine. I think that it might be a good idea to find him a therapist, as it sounds like he's going through a tough time but needs to open up to someone, and you may not be his best option right now. I wish you luck.


Well, I think that this is not a typical teen story since we are talking about very aggressive behavior, to him and his environment as well. Self-injurious behavior is one of the most devastating behaviors and if you ask me, it should be examined, because this is not one of those things that you ask yourself - how to deal with teenagers, that is more than this. My nephew was like this, he had these moments of the head-banging, hand-biting, and excessive self-rubbing and scratching. There are many possible reasons why a person may engage in self-injurious behavior, but I think that this is something that you should not leave like this, believing that this will go away on itself, that this will be treated just like this. I think that he needs to speak with someone who is an expert. I do believe that this is a seeking the attention, but you really want to leave it? It can be worse...



i agree with healthnfitnessguy in some aspects.


this is typical attention seeking behaviour. he is looking for sympathy as he may see that his friend is receiving sympathy as they have 6 months to live. I suggest monitoring his medication intake as hopefully he doesn't take it too far as in stops taking medication to induce epileptic seizures for sympathy. keep an eye on him if it gets to the point where he is doing physical harm for attention then it is time to seek a counsellor. 


find a group a website or some information on epilepsy to show he's not alone, also that he reads up on information on how to properly care for himself.