Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

I got diagnosed with tonic clonic epilepsy when i was almost 12.  i'm now 33 and my last seizure was almost 4 years ago.  but then i started experiencing really bad symptoms of some sort of mental illness only to be told i'm bipolar as well.  i've had symptoms since i was a teenager but it has definitely exacerbated of late.  if it's not one thing with my brain it's the flipping other. 

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

I am 23 and have been epileptic since the age of 16, I was recently diagnosed as bipolar after yet another manic episode, this time followed by a suicide attempt. Noone told me about any links between epilepsy and bipolar though, this is the first I've heard about it. Limictin and Topamax both double up as anticonvulsants and mood stabilisers though, and i'm doing much better on these meds. Despite the side effects.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder BEFORE I began having the seizures.  The seizures came within 8 months of a car accident.

The anti-epileptics that those with seizures take to control the seizures ALSO greatly effect/affect many with Bipolar and are used as "mood stabilizers", along with other medication classifications (ie., anti-psychotics, benzodiazepines, etc...).

Many with epilepsy and seizures, cause we all know there is a difference... also receive benzodiazepines to control their epilepsy and seizures.  Benzos are Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, etc... and those are also used for Anxiety that often occurs with the Bipolar symptoms.

In addition, many of the anti-epileptic medications do have possible mood alterating side effects as well as other psychiatric side effects, like psychosis and hostility.  Because many with Bipolar also take these medications for mood stabilization, they too develop many of the side effects that worsen their already symptoms or create many "new" psychiatric symptoms.

Mood shifting tends to come on, quite often, with triggers.  Seizures can be brought on, as well, by triggers.  Some of the triggers are sleep deprivation, stress, trauma, nutrition, chaotic living environment, not taking medication consistently or as prescribed.  

Mood shifting can also occur completely by surprise and with no rhyme or reason.  Same with many types of Seizures.  You just never really know when a mood shift will occur as you'd not know when a seizure may occur in many ways.

So... the 2 do have a lot in common and there have been folks trying to research the correlations between Bipolar and Seizures.  I'm actually quite glad of it.  Anything that affects/effects the brain and it's wiring - whether Bipolar or Seizures - needs study because the hope is that eventually... there will be better therapy(ies) for those with Bipolar and those that have Seizures.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

You can see smilar story asked Am I Bipolar? which has been answered by a professional psychiatrist.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

We entered the world of E in 2005.  My healthy 15 son had seizures.  They Said JME and he will be ok.  He takes lamictal and does well on it.  He can go seizure free 18 - 24 months and then has grand mals. 

My daughter gets  JME in 2008 when she turns 15.  We have no E in the family.  My daughter on MAD 18 months and is basically seizure free.

2010.. we are now being told, both kids bi polar and that a "usual" thing with this type of E   JME/Janz syndrome...  Just when you think you have it all covered. more stuff pops up.

They say lamictal helps... but they also want to add another med...   ack!  I feel like I kept getting them off meds, only to need others meds, for companion issues!!  ack!!

I wish you all well,

joan* Son 21 lamictal 500X once a day 20 Grand Mals-Stable Daughter keppra 500 18 - on MAD **stable* Both had first issues at 15 - Both JME - gotta love puberty : ) * Both dealing with the nuances that

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

I wish this discussion had kept going.  I was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in 1983, and with Bipolar II in 2006. Yes, the two are related. It is, however, extremely complicated to wort out which is which.

Son has JME and bipolar

My 23 yo son has JME (since 16) and just recently was diagnosed with bipolar. the hardest part right now is figuring out the medication. Depakote (1250 mg) does a great job of controlling the seizures, but causes bad tremors and depression, further worsening the bipolar. We tried Lamictal but myoclonic jerks and seizures followed, so we're back to depakote.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

All the AED medications have mood side effects. Sometimes that can be misdiagnosed as bipolar/depression.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

Just recently dianogsed with BiPolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, as BiPolar runs in my family. I find it interesting that, since the nausea and twitching have gotten worse, I have been more depressed. It's weird how they have been testing me for BiPolar for four years, and suddenly they think I have it? Since the nausea, everything has gone downhill...

I don't have bipolar, only

I don't have bipolar, only epilepsy, but a relative of mine has both.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

I seem to have Bipolar symptoms, but never diagnosed with the syndrome ... and my cabamazepine seems to control the two ... when not on my medicine I can go from laughing to mad at the world to crying faster than a ....

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

Yes bipolar can be brought on by epilepsy.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

Hi Angel, that's an interesting statement that you make by saying that bipolar can be bought on by epilepsy, it's a bit like saying what came first the chicken.......... Indeed dual diagnosis is a fascinating area that should be further investigated, I'm not saying that your statement is incorrect just it's yet to be scientifically validated. All that is known at the moment is that it is not uncommon for people who have bi-polar or epilepsy to also have the other. This is a discussion I have had both with my Neurologist (Professor) and my Psychiatrist as I have been diagnosed with both epilepsy and bi-polar. One thing that is for sure is that we definitely need a lot more researchers dedicated to the amazing world of the epileptic brain. What we do know at the moment is that the medications that they use to treat epilepsy has also proven to be very effective in the treatment of Bi-Polar Disorder.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

There is a lot of interest and information occuring to better understand relationships of mood and seizures. Take a look at the mood and epilepsy section of at

The Epilepsy Foundation also has recently released information on Mood and Epilepsy.. take a look at

Hopefully in future we will know even more, including how best to treat them both! Resource Specialist

Re: Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

Thanks epi_help. I've read the clickables. But, but, but, I know I have mood disorder, which is no ice cream party, but not bipolar. I don't have mood disorder if I'm on Premarin with a dash of Zoloft but I'm not able/allowed to take either. thus, I've been diagnosed with mood disorder, because I have it, just started a thread on it in fact. Testing for bipolar, which runs in my family in 3 members? I test negative for it. There are several types of bipolar. Bipolar is characterized by periods of mania or depression or both at the same time.

I did go to a support group for SO's of bipolars. I do remember there was a disproportionate amount of bipolars there who had bipolar and E. But that was a very small sample size - abou 20 people.


Re: Re: Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

I think I was bipolar before I ever had my first seizure, and was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

Re: Epilepsy/BiPolar

My seven year old son was diagnosed with TLE at the age of four. He is currently on Tegretol and Risperdal. Sometimes I wonder if the meds are even working (we have tried Epilim, Topomax, Tofrinal - to name a few - the best seems to be the Tegretol and Risperdal. Although at times he is aggressive, destructive, defiant, verbally and physically abusive. I have noticed that a cold, sinus or any illness aggravates the moods, as well as fatigue, hunger and anthihysamines (also found in cold and flu meds). It is like living with Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde. Oh! and by the way he also has ADHD - lovely combination. I often wonder if he has Bipolar as well (given the symptoms). It is rather scary witnessing a 7 year old child willing to take on his dad (not considering the consequences), he doesn't seem to be blown hot or cold by the size or strength of the person he is taking on. Although when he is in this "state of mind" he has amazing strength. I would like to join a support group to better understand and help manage his TLE and ADHD. I will also be seeing a therapist who will teach him to channel his anger (hope this helps) - apparently he has some "learnt behaviour" issues. When his evil twin is not around he is the sweetest and loving child. I am believing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.