Epilepsy and bullying | Epilepsy in children | Living with epilepsy | About epilepsy

Epilepsy and bullying

Being bullied is a painful and upsetting experience for any child or adult. It can cause huge anxiety and loss of confidence.

Feelings of loneliness, isolation, worthlessness and helplessness can result in a child becoming ill, anxious, depressed and, on occasions, suicidal.

Examples of bullying include:

  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Teasing
  • Racist or sexist name calling and jokes
  • Whispering in front of someone
  • Telling nasty stories about someone
  • Locking someone in or out of rooms
  • Sending nasty notes or text messages
  • Stealing or hiding belongings
  • Writing things on walls about people
  • Ignoring people or not letting them take part in games

It counts as bullying if your child is made unhappy by it and the bullies won’t stop.

All schools in the UK have a duty to make sure your child is safe. If they do not take reasonable action when they know a child is being bullied, they are failing in their duty of care. Schools are also legally required to have an anti-bullying policy which should make it clear how to report episodes of bullying.

Tell tale signs your child may be a victim of bullying

Many children are reluctant to tell an adult they are being bullied because they fear it will make the situation worse. Sometimes there will be clues, but not always:

  • Your child may become reluctant to go to school
  • Your child’s performance level at school may drop
  • Your child may become unusually moody, withdrawn or aggressive
  • Your child may get home from school later than usual because of taking a different route home to avoid the bullies
  • Money may go missing from the house to pay off bullies
  • Your child may give monosyllabic answers when you ask them about school, but your child may behave differently from usual when you ask
  • Your child may have injuries that cannot be explained or may become more modest, refusing to get undressed in front of you

Talking to your child

Explain to your child that if they are deliberately being made unhappy by other people’s actions, they are being bullied. Try to persuade them that nothing will change unless they are prepared to talk about it.

If the bullying is happening at school, reassure them it's the teacher’s job to stop it. Make sure you praise your child for speaking up, and explain they're not grassing or telling tales, but are being brave.

Tell your child that by telling you what has happened to them, something can be done about it and they are helping to prevent other children from experiencing the same.


Our dedicated Helpline can provide information and support for children and young people living with epilepsy and bullying. For a private, confidential chat, please call us on 01342 831342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Helpline: 01342 831342 (Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm)
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More than one in five people with epilepsy have learning or intellectual disabilities.

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