A long-term follow-up of 58 young adults, aged 18-27 years, with persisting absence epilepsies since childhood or early adolescence, was performed to assess psychosocial outcome and the patients' own concept of their epilepsy. They were well adjusted in the areas of family status and employment, but had more unqualified jobs as compared with a reference group. They were also inclined to lead very regular lives in a way that led to social isolation. At least one of the following factors was considered by 74% of the group to have been affected by their epilepsy: schooling, occupation, routines of daily life, relations with friends, leisure time activities, and housing, this was independent of whether or not they had achieved seizure control. In treating absence epilepsies, it is important that one considers psychosocial aspects, even if a medically satisfying result with seizure control is obtained.