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Anyone else feel this way?

My name is Rich and I juvenile mayoclonic epilepsy, or however it is spelled lol. I started having seizures about three years ago at the age of 22. Ever since then I’ve had some major emotional and social anxiety most of which I never had before. I’ve been to therapy and seen other doctors but I just feel like I’m getting nowhere. I’m on Vimpat at its max doasge which already slows me down and they continue to put me on depression medication that slows me down even more. Anyone else have this similar increase in anxiety/depression after seizures? If so, have you found anything helpful?

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Hi Sorcron11,  Thank you for

Hi Sorcron11,  Thank you for sharing your story. It’s important that you continue follow-up with your healthcare team to express your concerns and discuss the increase of feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as, side effects, seizure types, changes in behaviors and symptoms. https://www.epilepsy.com/sites/core/files/atoms/files/pg2L_HealthCareVis... Learn more about seizure medications and side effects here:https://www.epilepsy.com/medications/lacosamide https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/seizure-an... It’s important to remember that you are not alone. However, we know that being diagnosed with epilepsy can be upsetting and make you feel isolated. One of the most important things to help you live with epilepsy is to find a support network. Learn more about your community support, here: https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/challenges-epilepsy/social-concerns  It is also important to recognize that epilepsy is more than just seizures,overall well-being and emotional health is just as important:  https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/healthy-living/emotional-health  It is common for those living with epilepsy to experience feelings of depression: https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/healthy-living/emotional-health...  and anxiety: https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/challenges-epilepsy/moods-and-behavior/mo... Wellness Institute:  epilepsy.com/wellness   ,has many helpful and easy-to-use tips & resources for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and maximizing the quality of life for you & your family.  For practical & effective strategies to enhance your well-being, learn more here:  https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/toolbox/wellness-support-tools Additionally,  there are plenty of things you can do to reduce these feelings and manage your epilepsy: https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/managing-your-epilepsyCreate  a seizure response or action plan: https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/toolbox/seizure-forms Tracking your seizures, record your medical history, medications, side effects,moods, or other personal experiences. using a diary: https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/epilepsy-foundation-my-seizure-... Having a seizure alert device: https://www.epilepsy.com/sites/core/files/atoms/files/DAS100_Seizure_Ale... You may also contact our Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-332-1000,contactus@efa.org  , epilepsy.com/helpline , where a trained information specialist can connect you to resources,  provide referrals and additional support. 

Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression definitely are challenges Rich. I have had the experience, just that it wasn't seizure related. So, as you can see, sometimes the cause can differ from person to person, nonetheless the feeling is similar. And it can be a challenge.I made sure I saw a specialist because it was new and I was clueless as to how to handle it. So it's good that you did seek therapy. I did the same.What I can tell you is that my conversations with the specialist was as if I was having a conversation with a friend or someone well-known. So that's the first step. Forget for a second that they are therapists and simply be open with them about specifics. For example, you said the anxiety/depression seems more pronounced after seizures. If that is true, then make sure you describe the feeling to the best of your knowledge. If it's also something else, well, make sure you let them know.Dealing with things sometimes is easier when we can figure out if we have an idea as to what might be causing it or if we are clueless about the cause. After all, if we have an idea we can do some editing here and here. By editing I mean trying new strategies in terms of how you assess things.For me, that meant acknowledging what I control and what I don't control. So, for  example, let's say the anxiety seems related to how you feel about the seizures, then you should make that known to your therapist. Similarly if it just seems unknown, that is to say it has noting to do with how you feel about having seizures, then make that known to your specialist. They can then have a better idea by asking other questions.Sometimes anxiety can be about things we can identify. When that is the case what creates the anxiety is the fact that it probably makes us feel a bit helpless because the feeling is so new. Sort of like trying to ride a bike for the first time. We all saw some falls. Well, not sure about you, but I did.My advice to you Rich is try not to do too much guessing if you don't know what the contributing factor might be. Guessing just takes us places because the brain can really get creative. That said, if you do know what might be contributing, then speak with your specialist about changes you can make in terms of how you deal with things. My neurosurgeon was great. He made sure he was as realistic as he could be with me about the ups and downs to factor in when decided to have surgery. And, as he said to the team who did my language mapping; "I don't like to guess."I would say the same to you because that was my approach after surgery. By the way my anxiety/depression wasn't related to the surgery. After all I was realistic about the challenges I would face post surgery given it was closet to language and speech and memory. So I had already factored in the setbacks. Post surgery I had issues with remembering names but I expected it so it didn't frustrate me. I also had issues with speech, as in finding words, hence the speech therapist. My vision also had to slowly readjust but, once again, it was expected so I was ready for those challenges.You are in your 20s Rich so I can imagine it is probably a bit more frustrating. After all, I was once that age. It's the age where we feel like we are supposed to be a bit invincible. Not just that but we are also not that patient. Patience is something I had to develop. :)Neurology and areas related to it have advance significantly Rich. Sometimes it just comes down to finding the right doctor; and, as my neurosurgeon told me post surgery--patience. I am glad he outlined the ups and downs with surgery because I was better equipped to take on recovery.Similarly, try to balance what you control and what you don't control. That said, ask a lot of questions of your doctors. That is my approach because like you, the person who is feeling what they are feeling is the only one who knows him or herself more. We just need guidance as to how to approach it. Best Regards

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