Mental Health and Epilepsy

mental health and Epilepsy

Your mental health and Epilepsy can have a relationship. Things such as depression are very common in people diagnosed with epilepsy.

But my name is John, and I am a certified peer recovery specialist and have dealt with epilepsy for the last 34 years of my life.

There are many possible causes of depression because of epilepsy but the most common are.

  1. The part dealing with moods has been damaged, which can also be the cause of your epilepsy.
  2. Hormone levels of low estrogen can be a trigger to depression and can affect the frequency of your seizures.
  3. Anti-seizure medicine such as phenobarbital can also affect mood and make the risk of depression more common.

Remember depression is treatable with epilepsy or not. I authored an article at this link that explains exercising and mental health. The article explains how exercising affects depression and anxiety.

Epilepsy and Cognitive Disorders

affects of epilepsy and cognitive disorders are things such as

  1. memory problems are important problems if your seizures come from the temporal lobe of your brain.
  2. Dementia has been diagnosed in some people, related to poorly controlled epilepsy. (Remember with epilepsy poorly controlled epilepsy can also mean epilepsy that is not uncontrol because of a reason not related to your behavior or care. I am a great example of that.)
  3. Medication can also affect memory.

Epilepsy and Anxiety

Causes of anxiety when dealing with epilepsy are

  1. Anxiety can be caused just because of being diagnosed with epilepsy.
  2. Anxiety can also be caused because of your fear of having more seizures.
  3. Symptoms of seizures
  4. Side effects of some anti-seizure medicine
  5. Social isolation, or rejection due to epilepsy (My school years and young adulthood is a great example of that.)
  6. Epilepsy can also be caused because of the development of anxiety.

Remember this can still all be dealt with having epilepsy or not. Plus, a simple wellness tool to deal with anxiety can be exercising.

Epilepsy and Behavioral issues

Here are a few things that can cause seizures.

  1. Areas in the brain that deal with emotional control and behavior don’t work properly because of epilepsy.
  2. Anti-seizure medicine affects behavior in people with epilepsy.

Now let’s go over key behavior or personal issues people have with epilepsy and things I can relate to 100%.

  1. Restricting activities (most sports for me and the ability to drive at the age of 16)
  2. Maintaining a regular sleep cycle schedule.
  3. Limited use of alcohol (I gave up on the use of alcohol around the age of 24 because of the restrictions the doctor talked about, and my behavioral problems caused by alcohol.)
  4. Not being able to drive legally. (This affected my schedule of all activities because of how rural my state is and how small the community I lived in is)
  5. Thought of independence in life. The key thing here is things can change because of medicine, treatment, or procedures. (I never thought I would drive because of epilepsy or have a job but here I am 13 years in remission with a license, having a job, and being self-employed.)

Remember Mental health and epilepsy can be related but all mental health problems can be dealt with if you have epilepsy or not.

(This article is an informational and personal experience article only. If you have any symptoms or questions related to your health, talk to your neurologist, nurse, or local doctor first.)

John is a person who has been diagnosed with epilepsy since the age of 8. John has been a certified peer recovery specialist in the state of Iowa since 2019. John also has training in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). John is an advocate for epilepsy and mental health. John’s blog is to help fellow people like John diagnosed with epilepsy and mental on their road to recovery. John loves art, comics (Marvel especially), and the UI Hawkeyes. John lives in a small town with his 2 furry brothers Louie and Mario. (Dogs)

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