suicide and seizures

what can you say? can you honestly speak to people about epilepsy? can they understand? i doubt it. and who has not made plans? be honest if you can. talk about the seriousness of these events. They do change your psyche. But how?


Re: suicide and seizures

Very interteresting sicussion. My situation is. random. I contimplate suicide at least once everyday. I wonder why have the people I went to school are doing so much better than I am. I had a very high GPA. I see every one around me has pass me and I have failed to progress. I serious low self essteem. When I think about about those situations I contemplate. I My belief is that life was not made for me. If I was not here it would not make to much of a difference. I have belief that life was not made for me. I had those thoughts before medication and it just got worst when I started the medication. I have talked to doctor and it would work for a little while but then thoughts would come back. before start of the seizure I use alcohol and hanging with my friend who also drinked to remove the thoughts. It would work but they would come back after I soberbed up. I stopped the any my friend also disapeared..So then I was alone except my family. They had belief that socializing would cause me more bad than good. So I lived in solitude for 8 years. I respect my mother and father and what every they say goes. In doing what they said I missed out on my life. I lost knowledge of how to get a compaoin. So I have to fight the depression by my self. The medication magnify the thoughts of suicide. That is my story

Re: suicide and seizures

There are times that i have thought a handful or two of my E meds look yummy. But i fight with every beat of my heart that i don't have that meal.

We have very young members that have access to what we say. We cannot let them think that when the going gets tough end it.

I have had great support on this site and would like to think i can help in any way i can and if i don't have the answer point you in the direction to find it.

   Just a simple answer from a simple gal

        Loads of blessings

Re: suicide and seizures

I think its chemical and the fact you feel helpless to the seizure disorder . feeling helpless and hopeless is part of depression . Sometimes you are stuck depending on others due to seizures and it takes away your independence leading you back to those terrible feelings . I think the brain altering effects of the seizure meds make you more prone to going over the edge making the bad thoughts linger in your mind longer and longer .

Re: suicide and seizures

Thanks for all of of your response. So what can I do? I try lesser medication but that did not work. I have tried just about all of the medication there is and non of them worked. from neurontin to dilantin. right now I am on a combination of trileptal,lamicatal, and keppra. They have stopped my episode the best. I just wake not very often not remembering where I am. Going by what you said I guess they have very bad side effects dealing with my brain. I really have have it bad during holidays, birthdays, and having the chance to go to a party but not having to corrange to go. So I will have to talk to my doctor about this because they had not told me about any side effect. Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one.

Re: suicide and seizures

Hi There,
You're subject to this post is interesting, but your series of questions are VERY interesting that follow. So, I'll give you an answer here, but prior to doing so, I have some questions back for you which I will answer in the process about myself. Don't answer them publicly, if you're not comfortable, just read thru what I write here & think about it in your own terms, k.

#1. How old are you? FYI: I'm 33.
#2. When were you diagnosed with seizures? FYI: Me, age 5. Got a bit of a break when they thought I outgrew things from 12-16, but really age 5. I've been epileptic most of my life.
#3. How often do you have seizures: Me - depends on my stress levels really - most often is once a week.
#4. And, I think I can predict your answer here, have you accepted the diagnosis? ME: I'm okay with it. Gotta go with the flow in life.

OK, now as far as talking to people about epilepsy. Sure, I can talk to people. I always find, there's a difference between talking to people & dwelling on it. I'm comfortable enough to mention to people that I happen to be a controlled epileptic. Usually, with friends when we're out it will come up because everyone orders a mix drink & I'll order a 'Starbucks' type drink, a coke or a cranberry juice. People wonder why I don't drink alcohol. I'll show them my medic-alert thing & tell them I'm epileptic & say that's why. Similar situations - wrong as it may be, I do hang out with people who do pot. They know if I'm REALLY tired that it has an effect on me because I'm epileptic, so they won't do it near me. They respect that & either I'll hang out away from them for a bit, or they take off & go away from me to do it.
The last situation is work. My jobs have always required travel to a certain extent. Not having a license does have an impact, so I level with people & say I'm willing to go anywhere by bus, train, plane, etc.
This is where I can give you an interesting example. Yesterday I had a job interview - Most intense one I've had in my life!! Part A - Hard hitting questions for just over an hour. Part B - some technical stuff. Part C - a presentation about something significant to me - tie the company into it & technology. Well, I leveled with the guy, told him I was epileptic & my topic of choice. Epilepsy! I was comfortable enough to give him a great 5-10 minute presentation on how I handle it all in my life. Tell him, sure sometimes I'm tired, sure sometimes I have some killer headaches, but for the most part life goes on! At the end, he said it was really informative & that he learned a lot from my overview.
He understood and appreciated where I was coming from on it all.
Thing is, I think it is because I've accepted the fact that epilepsy is part of who I am.
Sure, it sucks when I have a seizure & know that the time count starts over until I'm approved for a license, but that's ok. I just plan life around it.
If you think things thru - there's much worse out there you could end up diagnosed with. Seizure disorders and epilepsy can be controlled in many ways - medications, surgery, VNS, etc. - lots of options for you. Cancer, Heart Attacks, and various life threating things - little control, and little time to live when you find out!
Be happy, take control back of your life & don't let seizures stand in your way so much, just accept them as part of who you are, as necessary mention that to people - deal with it but don't dwell on it & maybe things will look up for you.
Hope this sorta novel-ish answer helps.
~ EC / GodivaGirl

Re: suicide and seizures

For me it took my family a lonmg time to realize what I was going through. I was told by my wife and daughter that I embarssed them with my spells. After that I become distant with them and went into a deep state of depression and tried to take my own life. Guess best thing you have to ask yourself you want to get busy living or dieing. It's that simple. Depression took over my life only with many scprit drugs combinations and when I added booze to the mix things got ugly fast If you want email me at and talk i'll try to answer everything I can. Just remember people love you no matter what you're worth it.........marty

Re: Re: suicide and seizures


I'm so sorry but I have to say this. I am appalled that people who profess to love you would be so callous. No wonder you fell into a depression. I honestly would have likely left them (for my own sanity and self esteem)by now. Did your daughter learn from your wife how to be so self absorbed and cruel to her father?? I'm sure most teens FEEL SOME embarassment around their parents, but to come right out and SAY THIS it to a parent with a disability? along with their mother? Quite tactless and unforgiveable... from an adult in particular. Your wife wins the gold star for cruelty in my book.

God Bless. You are obviously a very loving and patient man to stick with them...but I am concerned you are not getting anything in return for the love you give them. I hope they are treating you better these days and YOU are getting the love and support YOU need and DESERVE.

Be well and happy.

Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

Things are a little better now that I got things under control. This last week was the week from hell as my daughter got hurt then we had family issues then my dog gets hurt. A lot of people get upset with people with sez's I was told even that I brought them on myself and I had ways to control with my mind. YEA RIGHT. Now they handle them a lot better. New med help me alot. Now if only daughter would get a life I can get mine bAcK........MaRtY

Re: Re: suicide and seizures

It is surprising that more people with seizures do not attempt suicide. For many many reasons. FIrst of which is that studies have shown that almost 40 percent of people with a seizure disorder live with some kind of a chronic depression. Some of this is due to medication. Some to the emotional trauma. But it is realized that depression is often a natural part of the epileptic disorder, much like migraines often accompany a large number of people with seizures. The unusual part is that the symptoms of the depression were often not the classic ones, so it is often harder to diagnose. Another reason for suicide is that several of the meds have "suicide prompting" as a side effect. I have experienced this part first hand so I know it happens. A third factor is that every time we eppies have a major seizure, we die. And we have to fight our way back to life. So .. the fear of death is not that strong. We have experienced it again and again. So you might wonder, why the heck aren't we all taking our lives? Well... that dying and fighting our way back also gives us a very strong appreciation of life. Many of us demand life. You can see it in several weird ways when you get a group of eppies together. They talk their heads off... no seconds of silence. We need sound and speech to prove we are alive. We who have seen death a hundred times have a great love of life. That is why we are not all going off committing suicide, despite the fact thast we have depression yelling in one ear, meds hollering in the other....and often a hopelessness steaming from the grates of life. We still demand life. So we live. WALT.

Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

Interesting. psychologists have often linked seizures with fugue states. they share a lot in common. the two states are often confused and sometimes, I think, personalities vulnerable to seizures also may be vulnerable to fugue states. Fugue states can be seen, I think, as partial suicides. This of course is philosophical. But who could understand this if not for someone who has had seizures(and was diagnosed with Fugue states(later changed to a diagnosis of seizure disorder) Am I alone in this thinking? Does anyone have the courage to speak such things?

You state that we have seen death a hundred times. Then perhaps seizures have some psychological component of suicide. Perhaps I am going to far.

Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

I've been an Eppie for 40 years, but until today I've never seen such a truly in-depth understanding of the condition as Walter's. I tried the easy way out 37 years ago and fortunately it didn't work.

But Walter's description of fighting our way back from every seizure, the fear of death not being that strong, and the resulting appreciation of life ... it just hits the nail on the head, doesn't it? Thanks, Walter, for making sense of 40 years of confusion.

And, Molson, please don't go there. Even when things look bleak, they only look bleak. :-)

Re: suicide and seizures

Hi Molson, I recently read a well documented study on WebMD CME about depression and E. If memory serves (ha!), about 4 out of five of us will develop Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). On the other side of the coin, more than half of those with MDD will suffer more than one sz before the MDD is resolved. This is the kicker though- people with E and MDD are more than five times likely to attempt suicide.
Personally, it's gotten all over me more than once before. And I know of at least a few of my Buddies here have gone through it too. One of my friends here said 'I won't let myself become a statistic'. Like everybody else here, you aren't alone. Keep smilin'- marko

Re: Re: suicide and seizures

What is depression? One does not have to accept modern psychiatry with her reductive numbers. Have you seen the DSM or is it DMS. As if personality is ruled by principles of chemical/biological components.Depression as a modern diagnosis leaves out the concept of the individual it is treated.

Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

You ask what is depression. There are no words to really describe it. But once you have been through it and have felt it .. and then come out of it, you know what it is. Some of the chemicals in the brain that would naturally fight the onset of a seizure are the same ones that would fight off certain components of depression. So.. it makes sense that those people whose seizures are made worse by not having enough of those chemicals around will be more prone to also havbing depression. I read a fascinating article a couple years ago where a researcher felt that a large amount of seizure prone individuals were running our of GABA because they did not have enough of a certain amine that was used to transport one of the chemical compoenents needed to resupply GABA as it was being used up. In other words, some little Fedex chemical in our brains is slow on making deliveries. This makes so much sense, since large amounts of stress would use up large amounts of GABA, trying to dampen the chemcials it created. Sooo.. when certain ions start to do some hip hop dancing through channels as if they are going to start a seizure, there might not be enough GABA to dampen it just keeps on going until it becomes a seizure.
Well...the same thing can happen when you are also not having enough GABA to fight off some of the chemicals that can cause depression. I suspect there are a bunch of pharmaceutical companies out there working on meds that can put some new Fedex trucks back into your brain. If all of this is true... then wow.... no more seizures... no more depression... and no more heavyweight meds with superbad side effects. As I mentioned before, one of those side effects for some of the meds is prompting suicide. One of the meds I am on now is powerful in this respect... at least with me it is. Which is why I will not name it, because it just may be the way it works with me. But other meds have done the same with other seizured folk. From the first day they tested me with this med, I thought "what the heck is this? What am I thinking?" I can actually feel it happening. Fortunately I recognize it and know where it is coming from. And I now know that there is a drug level that if I stay below that, I am not affected seriously. By the way, for some reason, having a really good grand mal seizure, for some reason, seems to do away with depression for a week or two. I have a half dozen thoughts as to why, but it is just speculation

Re: Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

Just DON"T do it! Life is worth more. Talk to your doctor about these thoughts. You can be helped.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

Is it suicidal to hope that my next seizure kills me? I don't want to do this any more. My life is nothing, and because of what I've let E do to my life, it never will be anything. I'm 40 and have nothing but Epilepsy.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: suicide and seizures

It's passively suicidal to hope that your next seizure will kill you. Not an urgent thing to need treated, but certainly not something to just accept and live with either. If your seizures have made you prone to depression than checking with your doctor about getting that treated is a good idea. If you feel hopeless and helpless because of your E, then perhaps finding a therapist and developing a goal plan to work towards would be helpful.

Suicide, unlike what someone said earlier, is not the "easy way out". there's nothing easy about dying except being dead. Esp. not for those in your life who love you. Check out the Suvivors of Suicide website, you'll see how much pain you leave those behind you. And what's worse, if you attempt suicide and fail, it's almost as devastating for you as it is succeeding for your family. So, anything to prevent that action is worth it.

I hate what epilepsy has done to my life, and I haven't even had it as long as you have, I'm trying to convince my brain that there's reason for hope. But still, it crosses my mind, "Why bother?" or "I don't want to do this anymore." I'm still looking for my own internal responses to those questions, they're there, I just need to find them.

Fourty isn't old. It's barely middle age these days. And there's no time like the present to make life changes. Me, I went back to school, I'm not sure if it's going to work out, but it's worth a shot. Do you have any hobbies? Why not get some? go take some classes in something that interests you, meet new people. Getting our of your head, and stopping isolation are big things in treating depression, perhaps its the same with treating E, we need to get out of our heads and stop wrapping our lives up in being ill. It's a facet of our life, but it's not a definition of who we are, not a definition of who YOU are, you define yourself:)

Re: suicide and seizures

I can honestly speak to people about my epilepsy with know problem.
The ppl I know who also have epilepsy can understand .
I can end up getting very angry after a seizure sometime and can't always control it.It depends sometime about how bad the sz was or not.

My docs never been able get a pill control me but I've accepted that.
My friends are in awe at how I'm able to deal with my E in all times busted my head open.

I've tried suicide 4 times.
I felt like my family would be better off without me and they didn't care about me.I've also had pills make me suicidal.I call my neuro when that happens and he's there for me always.

I refuse sit at home wait for my next seizure and I get out walk do other things.I don't work.My seizures have ruined my back.

But I'm alive.


Suicide and seizures to begin with our meds are CNS depressants.
(central nervous system) They have depression as a side effect.

I've been there with

(a)abort (b)fail (c)retry (d)throw computer against the wall

southern and proud of it