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Epilepsy and Mental Illness

I have been doing some research on the internet about epilepsy and mental illness and what I have read is that there are a lot of similarities in the formation of the brain between the two - does this mean that a person who has epilepsy is more likely to suffer from some sort of mental illness - also many of the anti seizure medications are being used / the professionals have found that they also work as mood stabalizers, is this true.  I currently suffer from JME and have also been diagnosed with major depression, dysthymia, GAD and PTSD as well as borderline personality.  Any input would be greatly appreciated
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi madness_undefined,

How are you?  Epilepsy is a tendency to have seizures. A seizure is caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in your brain, causing a temporary disruption in the normal functioning of your brain cells. Your brain is responsible for all the functions of your body, so what you experience during a seizure will depend on where in your brain the epileptic activity begins and how widely and rapidly it spreads. Because the brain controls our emotions and moods, it is not surprising that any disruption to normal brain functions can also cause depression. Studies suggest that people with damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are more prone to depression than those with damage to other parts of the brain.

Sometimes the reason epilepsy develops is clear. It could be because of brain damage caused by a difficult birth; a severe blow to the head; a stroke which starves the brain of oxygen; or an infection of the brain such as meningitis. For most people there is no known cause for their epilepsy.

Depression is a common experience for many people, but it is known to occur more often in people with epilepsy. Depression can sometimes be a side effect of medication such as some barbiturates and is often dose-related. Taking one or more other anti-epileptic drugs in combination with a barbiturate can also increase the risk of developing depression. You can learn more about this through this link: http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/depression.html

I hope this helps. Take care and regards.

Avatar universal
I have had right temperal lobe epilepsy since birth. I grew up having severe anxiety disorder. I would have anxiety attacks as a child. I also had severe depression. I had tried antidepressants and anxiety medication but nothing seemed to work. A few years ago, I had a lobectomy surgery. I have not only not had a seizure since, but I am now over my anxiety disorder and I can say I am not depressed anymore. All of my mental problems were solved.From experience, there is a high correlation between seizures and mental disorders. But if you are suffering from mental issues, I would recommend the surgery. It has drastically changed my life for the better and solved mental issues better than any medication could.
Avatar universal
Hi. I have photosensitive epilepsy (diagnosed at 14) and then at 15 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. And then at 17 I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Now they are saying I might have PTSD and behavioral spells. I am always anxious/nervous. I'm really thinking that there is a link between epilepsy and mental illness. For me it would make sense with what's going on with me currently. Hope we find some answers!
1753675 tn?1312265069
I have epilepsy it started when I,m 18 yrs old. Then my neurology  ask me to undergo in EEG then the result of my EGG was not normal. And the doctor give me a medicine to take about 2yrs. When she ask me to have CT-Scan the result was normal only my EEG was the problem. Almost 2 times I had attacks and I feel unconscious when it happen. And now I'm 20yrs old and I still take my medicine but i never had attacks. It is possible to cure my illness? how long is the process? what is the best thing to do? And can I do work in my condition ? Please answer me

Thank you and God bless!
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