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Old 09-27-2007, 06:41 PM   #1
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Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

I am facing this issue for as long as I remember. Well since epilepsy came into my life.

Beside despression, have you or are you facing other kind of mental ilnesses or double diagnosy associated to epilepsy?

It would take too much time and space to explain how i feel and what i am going through so I am phrasing it this way. Partial to complete amnesia, paranoid periods, fears, agitation, panic, confusion, psichosy, suicidal, trapped, sense of persecution to name a few are a daily ordeal to face.

I am not asking for advice as I already gone for psichiatric consultation and awaiting my apointment. I just want to know if psichiatric illness are common either single or double diagnosy are present is some of you and if they can be resolved with the help of psichiatry alone or better a combination (team work) of the psi and the neuro taking care of me. I would like to have some clues on this before seeing the psi so to ask the neuro his availibility to team work with the psi before seeing him.

Before replying perhaps to better know what i deal with daily, reading the other two posts would be convenient.

Wishing you a peaceful night

 
Old 09-30-2007, 07:47 AM   #2
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

I've had a lot of the symptoms you describe... no suicidal thoughts though. Never had any of them before my first GM seizure. My Neuro did say (only when asked) that seizures and the meds can cause permanent brain cell loss (damage)... similar to drinking too much alcohol. That explains alot. The thing that bothered me is that I had to push for that answer. My PCP Family Dr. agreed with the Neuro as well. They both agree that the seizures do much more damage than the meds... and I agree with that.
As for advice... keep a record of everything, including what you eat, what you're doing, what happens to you... and when. There are a lot of things that can trigger seizure activity. Take this info to your doctors.
Also, ask about taking Ativan. It helps me with the panic and confusion. I only take 1/2mg in the morning, and 1/2mg as needed when the panic hits me. BUT, what works well on me, might not work well on others. ALSO, if you are prescribed an anti-depressant, read the info about not taking if you have seizures.

Last edited by IMNRVUS; 09-30-2007 at 07:55 AM.

 
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:53 AM   #3
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Hello Everyone

I am 64 years old. I have had epilepsy since I was 6 years old.

Mental Illness, I have not had any. I am sorry you do. I have epilepsy but not mental illness. I suppose a person can have both toghther. Look it up on the Internet.

They might be 2 separate illnesses.

Love Ruth

 
Old 10-02-2007, 07:13 PM   #4
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Question Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMNRVUS View Post
I've had a lot of the symptoms you describe... no suicidal thoughts though. Never had any of them before my first GM seizure. My Neuro did say (only when asked) that seizures and the meds can cause permanent brain cell loss (damage)... similar to drinking too much alcohol. That explains alot. The thing that bothered me is that I had to push for that answer. My PCP Family Dr. agreed with the Neuro as well. They both agree that the seizures do much more damage than the meds... and I agree with that.
As for advice... keep a record of everything, including what you eat, what you're doing, what happens to you... and when. There are a lot of things that can trigger seizure activity. Take this info to your doctors.
Also, ask about taking Ativan. It helps me with the panic and confusion. I only take 1/2mg in the morning, and 1/2mg as needed when the panic hits me. BUT, what works well on me, might not work well on others. ALSO, if you are prescribed an anti-depressant, read the info about not taking if you have seizures.

I thank you and Ruth for taking time to enlight me a little on this issue.

I suffer from GM yet a while back my family doctor decided that since I had been stabled for many months I could get off all medication (anti-seizure, anti depressive, and this not in a reducing mode but rather quickly). It has been difficult but made it yet never really recovered from the mental issue which today understand was not over with but a relapse has hit me back few months ago but still no medication was give and now found a psi that has accepted to take up my case. Returning on the epilepsy issue I have been passing out, absenses since spring yet my family doctor kept on saying it was due to low blood pressure (true but not the cause as today confirmed) and last week was found unconcious in my car with the cell opened so that means that i was to call out for help or something as I do not use the cell phone hating the device in itself. I was brought to the hospital as I was not coming around and crisis were one after the ohter for hours. Today I have seen a new neurologist that has confirmed that stopping the medication was in itself a mistake and that certain damages were irreversible and worsen other neuro patologies I am affected.

Unfortunately as pointed out and on this only now after a battle against silence from specialists to inform me (the patient) of some issues such as mental health problems and epilepsy.

Seems to be a rather sick circle as the dog running after its own tail.

Today he has cleared an old question. Can a physical illness lead to mental illness or is it a mental health issue leading to physical illness. His answer has confirmed what I have always believed. The concept of the dog trying to catch its own tail. Vicious circle from which it is harly possible to come out of but as he has put it, the speed of the run can be slowed down.

I keep diaries since my first major depression which is also helping for the Neuro yet find it very difficult sharing it with him as I reveal myself and feel exposed but cant do nothing about it. Some triggers I have been able to identify and do whatever possible to avoid them. I have read on the net about the cells damage. Doesn't help mental issues but as usual no one cares to inform us of those things. Never will I understand that concept of theirs keeping us uninformed of what concerns us in the first place.

I find it difficult to find specialist that have at heart to inform themselves first before prescribing medication knowingly that we do take other medication for other illnesses that are a must and their lack in informing us about what concern our illness and medication they prescribe us. I often feel lost in a maze of 'silence' and worsen my feeling of indeguacy.

One more question if you will allow me. Since my last long lasting chain like seizures (GM) I find myself with a new problem... Incontinency (which I had regain control over for a year +). Not only has it return but the incontinancy affects both bladder and uhmmm well you get the point. Is it normal? Is it permanent if it arrives to that level? Is it reversible? What can I do to help myself? I had so many things to discuss with the Neuro today and so many exams-tests ecc done that i forgot to mention this 'problem'.

He has put me back on Depakine chrono 300 and 500 mg, Tiobec 800 mg, valium 10 mg, Xanax 0,50mg (regular dose is twice a day and as necessary) and the usual medication for other neurologic illnesses and mental issues.

Well set I know but I'd appreciate

 
Old 10-03-2007, 08:10 AM   #5
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

I only have had GM seizures while asleep, never while awake, and remember none of them. I've wet the bed once or twice during seizures, and haven't had the "other" lack of control. It never affected everyday life though... so I can't help with that problem, sorry.
I noticed that you're taking Valium and Xanax. My own experience with Xanax was odd... it gave me a mean streak towards others. As far as Valium, I read somewhere that it shouldn't be taken with a seizure disorder... don't remember why though. BUT, my doctor did prescribe it to me once to replace the Ativan... just because it stays in your system longer. I stayed on the Ativan.
Finding a Neuro or Psychologist that knows his stuff is hard. If you live near a university or college that has a medical department might be a good source for a better doctor, because they're constantly learning the newest info.

 
Old 10-03-2007, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMNRVUS View Post
I noticed that you're taking Valium and Xanax. My own experience with Xanax was odd... it gave me a mean streak towards others. As far as Valium, I read somewhere that it shouldn't be taken with a seizure disorder... don't remember why though. BUT, my doctor did prescribe it to me once to replace the Ativan... just because it stays in your system longer. I stayed on the Ativan.
Finding a Neuro or Psychologist that knows his stuff is hard. If you live near a university or college that has a medical department might be a good source for a better doctor, because they're constantly learning the newest info.
Hi and thanks again for keeping up with me as I am learning each day something new with the help or each of you on this site.

Valium was added in the liquid form to be injected when in seizure from which I wouldn't be coming out (too long lasting) as last week's episode.

Xanax i refuse to take it up on a daily routine as instructed. I limit its use to periods of general anxiety or when going into panic attacks and so far cant say that it has affected me in any ways but on this I wouldn't swear as so many changes (personality and so on) have taken place. But since you mention it, I will eventually ask those around me on this issue.

Thanks for sharing and will pay attention and ask that those round me do pay attention to any type of changes when taking this medication.

Take care and thanks again. Hope you doing well

 
Old 10-03-2007, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

On tv medical shows like HOUSE on Fox network tuesdays....
If someone is having a seizure, they inject lorazepam (Ativan) instead of Valium. It works a lot faster, just doesn't stay in your system as long.
Good luck!

 
Old 10-03-2007, 02:16 PM   #8
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMNRVUS View Post
On tv medical shows like HOUSE on Fox network tuesdays....
If someone is having a seizure, they inject lorazepam (Ativan) instead of Valium. It works a lot faster, just doesn't stay in your system as long.
Good luck!
Dont know why they chose the valium over the lorazepam...... i dont bother asking them questions as I never get answers or being side tracked and leave the room worked up.

Just accepting as much as I can what is being done and how its being done (if ever) and swallow my delusion and anger to whats not.

Go with the flow? Till the body and-or mind allow me to.

thank you in advance

 
Old 10-03-2007, 05:03 PM   #9
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Hi Mezzedup,
You have a very apt name.I think most epileptics are at least a little bit messed up.But I think I know what you're going through.I too have suffered periods where I thought I was going mad;where I thought I wasn't really here;when I wasn't sure who or why I was.There were periods when my mind felt like it was moving at a thousand miles per hour and I had no way of stopping it except to end my life.The anxiety,the fears the psychosis and basically the complete disruption of your life and above all else I get so ****** off that people have to suffer with this affliction.The vast majority of doctors don't really understand completely what we're going through and I've found they don't really give us a complete understanding as to the side effects of these monstrous mind-altering drugs that we're on.I've been epileptic for the past 44 years since I was a kid of nearly 10 years old.Since then I've had many different neuros with differing opinions as to treatment and their demeanour towards their patients and subsequently I've tried quite a few different drugs and combinations of drugs.What I've come to realise is that different drugs have different side effects and these effects are dependant on many things in a persons life,be it age,diet,lifestyle,etc.,etc.So doctors can't be absolutely accurate when they tell you of a certain side effect associated with a certain drug,let alone the fact that they don't always tell you all of the effects to the best of their knowledge anyway.So if I'm feeling strange,weird or psychotic when I try a new drug for the first time is keep telling myself that it always takes a few weeks for your body to assimilate and get used to the new drug.If this feeling does not go away or if it gets worse then I've found that that drug is no good for you and you must get off it and change to something else.It's a constant "game" of trying to find the right drug for you at any given time in your life because as you get older your body changes and needs different drugs,treatments,therapies.After being epileptic for 44 years I've just again reached the point where I'm trying different drugs and going through the same "guinea pig" crap of trying to find another drug that suits me.I hope this letter helps you.You must be strong.
George; Lionsnake11

 
Old 10-03-2007, 06:29 PM   #10
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

lionsnake11: You described that perfectly. Also, knowing that the seizures do some permanent damage as well explains why we sometimes don't get much better even if we find the best meds to be on.

mezzedup: If the Valium works for you, great. That's why there's different meds out there. Hope you feel better soon.

Last edited by IMNRVUS; 10-03-2007 at 06:30 PM.

 
Old 10-03-2007, 09:55 PM   #11
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Thank you George. I can relate to your words but it goes beyong that as well. I am in no shape to further on this at the moment so will come back to you at a later time.

To comment on a part of your post : "So doctors can't be absolutely accurate when they tell you of a certain side effect associated with a certain drug,let alone the fact that they don't always tell you all of the effects to the best of their knowledge anyway" being in charge of one's health and LIFE one would expect them to 'KNOW' what they prescribe and should FEEL PROMP & OBLIGATED (they are but do otherwise obviously) TO WARN patients and inform them of the use of a certain drug prescribed and some of the most 'common' side effect. Unfortunately this is a BIG TIME lacking on their part. They visit us, put us through various test and we comply as we want to find out what's happening and do want to get well but once they 'know' what is of interest to them, the last thing on their mind is to spend precisous time to explain it to us....... am not saying in detail but to a degree that I would find reassurant (awareness) and find comfort but this blind mind game of theirs to keep us in complete darkness just add up to stress build up and triggers negative feelings that have in their turn a negative side effect on our 'mind related issues about illness and afflictions.

Dont know if i was able to fully share my feelings about this issue. I can understand that who isn't disabilated or going through such ordeal(s) cant fully understand but it is also their responsability (look up what they swear to when becoming md-dc-specialists ecc.. and obligation toward patients). Human compassion for the mind has no value? Lets not forget that the mind plays a big part in one's ability to cope with life's ordeals so a bit a compassion added to a dose of medicine wouldn't do us any wrong.

Am I off track in my way of seeing it?

I have little time left so I will go round to see into other posts and come back on this later on.... hope you will have given it a look and perhaps coment on it.

Have a good day nd lots of serenity

 
Old 10-03-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMNRVUS View Post
lionsnake11: You described that perfectly. Also, knowing that the seizures do some permanent damage as well explains why we sometimes don't get much better even if we find the best meds to be on.

mezzedup: If the Valium works for you, great. That's why there's different meds out there. Hope you feel better soon.
Dear IMNRVUS, you have pointed right in the center. "ongoing damage not showing much about how a certain drug is helping at time."

My major problem with all this is their unwillingness to spend more time than necessary with a patient do give information......... we are numbers type feeling and forget that as 'human beings' we have more than only a body but also a mind that has its needs.

Hope you doing well. Wishing you a good day.

 
Old 10-03-2007, 10:05 PM   #13
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

Sorry the post came in twice and not finding a cancel post anywhere.

Wishing you a good day.

Last edited by mezzedup; 10-03-2007 at 10:08 PM. Reason: post came in twice sorry bout it. trying to delete it

 
Old 10-04-2007, 06:15 PM   #14
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

I read an article in Neurology Now that a high percentage of people neurological disorders suffer from depression.

I've suffered from depression/anxiety at times (more severe under the influence of certain meds) but given the circumstances of life, how is one supposed to avoid getting depressed, anxious? A few years ago, my dad died, my mother who has been battling cancer hit her head on my shower and had to get transported via helicopter for emergency brain surgery. That same year I lost my job of five years. My "friends" showed their superficial colors and no longer wanted to be in my life when I wasn't cracking jokes and having fun but rather dealing with the trials and tribulations of that hell year. I am leary of people who are happy all the time.

 
Old 10-04-2007, 07:20 PM   #15
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Re: Mental illnesses related to epilepsy sufferers

I understand what you've been through. Similar things happened in my life, all before the seizures started. Life without health problems is depressing enough... then whoa!
Hope things are better.

 
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