How has having epilepsy affected your depression?

I’ve been suffering from depression since 2015 but it wasn’t until last year that I learned it was linked to my epilepsy. How do you guys deal with that And balance them both?

I was diagnosed with depression when I was 21 but have been depressed since I was a child. I’m on anti-depressants and they’re the only thing that really works for me. Lots of people deter from pills especially when already on meds. They can affect your AEDs but I’ve never had an issue. If you’re really struggling I’d suggest talking to your GP ask about pills and other options.

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Also, writing! Honestly the best coping mechanism in the world! Helps you process thoughts etc. It doesn’t have to be public just write. I genuinely think writing is the one thing that has kept me alive the last 10 years.

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Thank you for your response. I am on anti depressants, and actually it wasn’t them that helped me at one point it was my friends and family. But you’re right, writing has definitely helped. Both writing poems and writing entertainment articles has helped me a lot.
This is one of them.
Really appreciate your response.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression for years and my epilepsy has definitely played a huge part in this.I noticed my depression got better as my epilepsy did, I think they definitely have a counter affect on each other x Honestly, the best advice i would give is surronding yourself with thing’s you love, whether that’s people, hobbies or places. I know it sounds cheesy but doing something that makes you happy does makes a massive difference!x Doing what’s best for you and your health is most important and shortly all the little things you stress about start to fall into place x Me, i love to cook so I baked my way through it, did nothing for my weight though;))

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Hiya Shami.

I have been through the same experience also, especially when I began to have non-epileptic seizures as a young teenager. What worked for me is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and finding the right anti-depressant medication. I began CBT in 2016 and decided to take anti-depressants in 2017/18 after I experienced a personal traumatic experience. Taking medication on top of my epilepsy medication was not ideal initially, however, having this alongside CBT has helped so much. I have learnt how to control specific behaviours and thoughts, and have learnt what to do when I start to feel down. It is a long process, but it is a process that has been so worth it and has changed my life. Since having CBT in 2016, I have not had a non-epileptic since (non-epileptic seizures are specifically related to one’s emotions). I understand that therapy may not work for everyone, but I would still try it to see if it works for you. It is important to note that when having therapy, it is so important to find the right therapist for you. So if you have had therapy before and feel like it did not work for you, try a different therapist. This is what I did, and after two therapists, I found the one for me and I would never go back.

I hope this helps and feel free to ever personally message me as well. My door is always open!

Liv :purple_heart:

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Thank you so much Liv, that helps a lot. I’ve heard of CBT but I’ve never thought of trying it for my epilepsy. Also I did not know this - non-epileptic seizures are specifically related to one’s emotions, even though I’ve had epilepsy since I was 12. My doctors misinformed me and gave me the wrong treatment which I found out only last year so that was also a contributing factor towards why my depression got so bad.

Honestly I think about this a lot when I’m walking home after finishing work, especially when I feel an aura/funny turn that feels like it’s leading to another seizure but passes. I don’t think I have the diagnosis for depression or require medication for it. But I can feel something dark more frequently throughout the day and I’m not very happy with my lifestyle right now. As for ways to deal with it, I find constructive ways work the best for epilepsy. From personal experience, I have found this through writing thoughts, meeting somewhere different with your friends, trying a new interest/activity that you’ve considered (e.g knitting, learning a new language, sports, etc). I learnt British Sign Language during the covid lockdowns and I feel very inspired and want to spread that feeling. Also just coming back from seeing a good friend of mine who is studying abroad has also motivated me as I’ve seen different cultures, different people and a different lifestyle that I want to build towards. Being productive can be very hard with depression but inspiration is there and there are other options to explore this. Everyone’s epilepsy is different and there are many different ways to help everyone.