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Epilepsy and Mental Health: Defeating Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Imagine waking up daily feeling sad, like a dark cloud hangs over you. Even the things you used to love doing no longer bring joy. This is what happens to some people with epilepsy disease, a condition that causes seizures in the brain. Surprisingly, between 25% to 50% of people with epilepsy experience this sadness, and it's called depression.


Depression isn't just feeling blue; it's a deep sense of sadness that sticks around for a long time. It can make daily life feel heavy and uninteresting. In this blog, we'll dive into how epilepsy disease can affect our emotions and talk about the 5 ways to overcome this and improve your mental health.


What is epilepsy?


Epilepsy is like a puzzle in the brain that can cause something called seizures. These seizures are like sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain. When you have epilepsy, these bursts happen over and over again.


Your doctor might say you have epilepsy disease if you've had two seizures for no clear reason or just one seizure, but with a good chance of more. Sometimes, they can be because of an injury or something in the family, but the reason is often unknown.


In simple terms, "epilepsy" is the medical term for "seizure disorder."


What is depression?


Depression is like a cloud of sadness that hangs around for a while. It's a very common mood problem that affects how people think, feel, and do things. Depression and anxiety disorders can make you:


  • Feel sad or mad.
  • Change how you sleep and eat
  • Make it hard to get along with others
  • Make it tough to do well at home, school, or work


Unlike feeling sad for a little while, depression sticks around for at least two weeks and makes every day challenging. But don't confuse it with having bad news or hearing bad news; those are normal feelings.


Depression can be a little problem or a big one, and it can happen once or keep coming back. It doesn't care about your age, where you're from, or anything else. The good news is that even when it's tough, we can do things to make it better. Depression can get better with help, no matter how serious it is.


How are depression and epilepsy related?


People with epilepsy are twice as likely to feel sad in the past year compared to those without epilepsy. And if they currently have epilepsy, they are three times more likely to feel sad. Know how depression and epilepsy are related.


  • Some parts of the brain that cause seizures can make one feel depressed.


  • The worse the epilepsy is, the worse the depression can be.


  • It can work both ways; sometimes, people who feel very low and depressed are more likely to have seizures.


  • Hormone levels in the body, like estrogen, can also make you feel sad.


  • Living with epilepsy disease can be tough, and it can lead to feeling depressed.


  • The medicine to control seizures can sometimes change your mood. Some help, but some might make you feel worse.


People with epilepsy might be more likely to feel sad even before they have their first seizure. This tells us that the same things in the brain that cause seizures might also make people more likely to be depressed.


5 Ways to overcome Mental Health Issues Related to epilepsy and depression 


Here are 5 ways one can manage mental health related to epilepsy and depression:


1. Talking to a particular doctor:

If someone is depressed or feeling sad because of epilepsy, they must visit a psychiatrist. They might suggest special medicines or ways to talk about your feelings, which can make you feel better.


2. Making your brain calm

Sometimes, when your brain has too much excitement, it can make you feel even more depressed. Doctors can give you medicine or even do a special operation to help stop the seizures. When the seizures go away, your mood can get better, too.

3. Finding the right medicine

The medicine you take for epilepsy can sometimes make you depressed. Some medicines are suitable for your mood, but others can worsen it. Your doctor will monitor this and maybe change your treatment if needed.


4. Balancing seizure control

Lessening how often you have a seizure can be good, but taking lots of medicines can make you feel not-so-great. So, doctors try to find the right balance between controlling seizures and how you think.


5. Talking about your feelings

Sometimes, talking about how you feel helps a lot. There are special talks called "psychotherapy" where you can chat with someone who can make you feel better. It's like talking with a friend who can give you good advice.


Improving mental health with innovative measures


Living with epilepsy can sometimes make you feel down, but there are ways to feel better. You can communicate with someone who understands and learns techniques like meditation to reduce stress. Many people have had success stories, like regaining confidence and independence, thanks to these options.




On the journey of life, facing epilepsy and the challenges it brings can be tough. However, remember that you're not alone. There are effective ways, as mentioned above, to overcome the mental health of people who are depressed and dealing with epilepsy. You can seek a counselor, adjust medicine, or explore innovative treatments. However, if someone close to you is living with epilepsy disease and struggling with depression or anxiety disorder, take the smart step and reach out to a superspecialist hospital for prominent assistance.

Dr. Atma Ram Bansal
Meet The Doctor
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