This section of the young people’s page is designed for those who are in secondary school and above. There is more information if you are 16 + on the post-16 students page.
Syncope and Study
Having a medical condition can make you feel as though you are different to everyone else. You may feel isolated, alone and vulnerable to bullies or nasty comments.
It is understandable that you may feel self-conscious about informing too many people about your syncope. However, in the long term, you may find that being open about your condition will not only help everyone else to understand, but might make you feel more comfortable and less self-conscious about having an episode in their company. If others fully understand, they will be less scared of your blackouts and of course if you are open, honest and positive, bullies have less to attack.
It is important that you enjoy your learning experience and that you are able to participate in all activities- both in the classroom and beyond. There is no reason why you should miss out on anything and this is why it is important that everyone understands your condition so that they can help you if you do blackout, rather than trying to stop you from joining in just in case you do!
Everyone has the right to a full educational experience and that includes you!
Who to tell
It is important that you decide for yourself who you want to inform, because, after all it’s you that has to go to school/college every day. You must feel comfortable with your choice. Having said that, all teachers and staff should definitely be informed; firstly so that they know how to help you if you have blackout wherever you are on-site and secondly so that they do not mistake symptoms such as tiredness- which often follows a syncopal episode- for you having had a late night!
Friends can also be a fantastic source of help and support, so even if you don’t want all your peers to learn about your condition, give your friends a lesson so that they can help you out if necessary!
What to tell them
Explaining to someone else about a medical condition is a difficult thing to do. Syncope and reflex anoxic seizures are very complicated conditions for people who don’t know anything about them to understand. You could tell people to look at this website- there are teaching resources and information which will help to explain a lot about the condition in general.
It is very important that you and your parents hold a meeting with the headteacher, to explain everything to them about what you need and to make sure that all teachers and staff know, just in case you need their help at some stage!