Mental health can affect anyone at any time in their life. The time it affected me and is still affecting me is because of a little thing called epilepsy! There are many factors of epilepsy that can cause mental health issues and I’d like to discuss my personal journey with you as a little world mental health day special!
I take a medication called levetiracetam! It’s known for having side effects including anorexia, suicidal thoughts and depression amongst a whole host of things ! Why do I take it ? Because some day I would like a family and it’s meant the safest medication for women with epilepsy who want to conceive. It also controls a lot of my seizures! I don’t have many at all now and It’s great!
Just being diagnosed with epilepsy and having seizures has an effect on mental health. It’s all so new and draining! Test after test, some quite invasive, being in hospital and the effect that seizures have on your brain generally. This is where I feel a lot of my anxiety stems from. I get very frightened of things happening to me and get very anxious about people watching me and what they are thinking about me. Sometimes friends can be scared about your epilepsy because they don’t know what to do but in my case I get anxious that they are when there not ! Hope that makes a tiny bit of sense ? That part comes from losing friends through having seizures, sometimes people can’t handle it and decide to shut you out. It’s hard but I’ve found manageable to a certain extent. Yeah the jealousy is there when I see them with new friends but that’s okay they clearly didn’t care about me in the first place.
My anxiety has got better but stems up a lot when I go through a medication change or increase. Learning to control it and not let it control me is so important as I don’t want it to stop me from doing anything that I want to do ! But I’m so lucky to have people on my support group who know what it’s like and are there to support me as well as my family too!
When I first went to my GP and mentioned about my anxiety, taking medication is an option but I don’t like to risk anything messing with my levetiracetam as I do not want to have a seizure. I got a leaflet called ‘time to talk’ which told me about options for counselling. I have also been using an app called ‘headspace’ which focuses on mindfulness, I use the therapeutic adult colouring books and also have recently started to drink more water and get lots of fresh air so I’m not sat in bed just a simple ten minute walk even can help you out, I’m taking better care of my body and I’m reaping the benefits!
There are some great websites to read more into mental health about including…
Check out the campaign for #WMHD here…