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  • Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

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    Old 01-07-2004, 07:56 AM   #16
    Lisa T
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    Re: Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

    I do not know your friend, but you say she has problems with meeting new people. I will speak for myself so I don't step on toes!! I do not like meeting new people, the first thought that goes threw my mind is, please don't let me have a seizure right now. I have had many so called friends talk bad about me when they thought I wasn't around. The awful words that came out of their mouths were terrible and humiliating, and they could turn around in ten minutes and talk nice to my face! I never had the courage to confront any one of them, but those words that I over heard go thru my mind when I meet new people also!! I realize that isn't fair, but I need to protect myself! I'm an easygoing person honestly, but I do have my defenses and I think I have a right to have them.

    What is it that concerns you so about your friends behavior?

    Everyday we learn something new! It may not be important or news worthy, but it should remind us all that no one knows everything!
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    Last edited by Lisa T; 01-21-2004 at 02:59 PM.

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    Old 01-10-2004, 07:55 PM   #17
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    Re: Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

    Hi, I have only recently began having seizures ( since October 2003).

    I think that there may be some link. I have gone from Anxiety to Depression to Seizures.

    All my life I have been very athletic, worked out several times a week, played on organized sports teams, had a good professional finance career.

    Then all of a sudden after going to the gym, came home took a shower and felt what I can at best describe as a electric shock, followed by about 15 seconds of intense unfounded anxiety. After which the sensation was gone, completely.

    In fact I proceeded to go to dinner with several co-workers.

    No issues at all remained. Perfectly healthy. I actually had to have a physical to play on a basketball teams that summer. All blood test were "Very Good" according to my general doc.

    Then about 6 months later after going to the gym, I had a similar electric shock. However, this time it did not go away.

    I was overcome by anxiety and believed that I was having a heart attack.

    I drove myself to the emergency and they ran a bunch of test on me kept me overnight and advised that all was "Good".

    I then had very bad anxiety attacks from August 2002 to about Nov 15, 2002. Then the anxiety went away. However then had about a 2 week period of mild depression. And then it was completely gone by about December 2002.

    This whole period I took no drugs, alcohol, don't smoke and took no prescription drugs.

    I am now working through these seizures, but with the help of Dilantin and Keppra.

    Sorry for being so long winded.

    Old 01-18-2004, 08:17 AM   #18
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    Re: Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

    Originally Posted by Sanguine

    I'd like some input from those with firsthand experience with Epilepsy. I'm fairly knowledgeable about this condition, but I'm wondering if there are other mental conditions that have a higher than average likelihood of being comorbid with Epilepsy. Specifically, are depression and/or anxiety (social, panic disorder, generalized) commonly associated with lifelong epilepsy? I have a friend who recently admitted to me that she has always had epilepsy after many years, and I've noticed that she appears to have various social anxieties or defense mechanisms...and also some waxing/waning depression. I realize that these things can very well exist independently of one another, and all cases are different. I also realize that how one copes with any illness will differ from case to case as well. However, given the intricate chemical balance of the mind, I'm wondering if there are secondary effects to seizures, seizure medication, or other chemical facets of the illness itself that might also make one prone to depression.

    I apologize in advance if this post seems overly presumptuous or uneducated. Any information would be much appreciated.
    While doing research on the many types of epilepsy, I noted some seizures that are dubbed 'psudeoseizures', which thus far I can only say that they mean 'seizure-LIKE', if not a siezure type that is somehow psychologically 'induced'. It has been interesting to note so far in my examination of epilepsy and other brain disorders how MANY of them are associated with mental depression, lethargy (tiredness). This, with the fact that most neurologic medicines are really DEPRESSANTS, and you begin to understand why I want to rule out nutritional deficiency BEFORE pumping myself up on more (or new) medicines.

    I myself have historically had bouts of depression, but less frequently now that I have lost weight. Now it seems more confined to genuine lethargy (tiredness), less to depression in the psychiatric sense (but sometimes still happens). I think that it's important to work from the inside (physical) out (mental), it's too bad more doctors don't think this way!

    To your question of associative patterns: While doing a little 'background investigation' into various medical conditions, it was interesting to note how many can be associated with lifelong epilepsy, depression, and the like. Take a look at Wernicke's Encephalopathy, opthalmoplegia, nystigmus, and just look at how these are (or can be) tied into each other. My 'journey' thus far even once led me to Progressive Muscular Sclerosis, but I don't appear to meet any adequate number of the symptoms. My surgery (over twenty years ago) was on the temporal lobe, and also affected my left eye vision for a while, MIGHT have been associated with the hippocampus (a nearby region of the brain), the cortex, and other nearby 'geographies' as well. These regions control areas that I have had visible problems with on occasion: balance (if I get up too quick), lethargy, vision. So I am in the process of narrowing down possible conditions based on the brain regions involved first, then note if any particular condition ('ism or 'pathy') is associated with MANY of these symptoms. Then go for the tests! Funny, I seem to be doing the physicians job, huh?

    Old 01-18-2004, 09:40 AM   #19
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    Re: Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

    "When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy at age 2 my mother was told that due to the condition I could suffer from " a social disorder" which usually leads to extreme depression. We were informed then that it had been proven that there was a significantly higher risk of people with epilepsy developing depression, anxiety disorders, paranoia and even to have a higher suicide risk."

    I don't know how many are aware of this, but some of the medications used for epilepsy are also used as mood stabilizers in people who have bipolar disorder. They aren't really sure why the meds work for some people, but they do.


    Old 01-19-2004, 10:12 AM   #20
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    Re: Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

    I think I experience some mild depression when there is a change in meds or dosage. I don't know what your religious background is, but for me prayer helps very much. Also, support from friends and family. I try to be around people more at these times. They always lift me up.

    Old 08-12-2005, 11:27 PM   #21
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    Re: Epilepsy and depression? Please respond.

    I am 34 yr old female. I have sufferes from severe depression since around 12 yrs old. I have tried every kind of antidepressant and nothing seemed to work. I became an alcoholic and everything got worse. I had very limited short term memory. I could not concentrate. I was always "spacing out". On Valentines Day of this year, I checked myself into a mental hospital because I was suicidal and had been for about 4 1/2 months solid. That's when I found that I was having petit mal seizures. And have probably having them since puberty.
    They tell me that it was the siezures that was making my depression so unmanageable, and it was definately the depression that led to the events that led to the discovery of my seizures.
    They put me on Tegretol XR and Effexor and I have a life for the first time in my life.
    Everybody and every case is different but I do know that seizures CAN make depression worse. I am also a recovering alcoholic and my therapist says that drinking accellerates epilepsy. Which in turn accellerated my depression. But now that I am on medication that handles both problems, I am alive. And alive is good.

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