Emotional And Behavioral Changes Amidst People With Epilepsy

The association between Epilepsy and the patient's mental fluctuations

It would not be fair to think of noticing a problem, or possible symptoms of another disease, in a person with Epilepsy just because he or she is sometimes emotionally unstable. A person whose malaise is spectacular will lose contact with the outside world for a few minutes, make strange movements with their hands, collapse unconsciously on the ground, or, in the worst case, have a big epileptic attack in front of the general public doing no good to anyone. This abnormal behaviour repels people because healthy people are not affected. Many times they don’t have correct information about what to do with the person with epileptic seizures. What we cannot interpret, strange to us, is already outside the acceptable category. Yet if people were more accepting, they could even help a person with Epilepsy.
Yes, Epilepsy can cause sudden frustration and anger in patients. The patient cannot accept that he has to live with this disease. You have to blame others, and you have to blame yourself. And this condition does not improve immediately. It takes time for the patient to find a solution. Just as no two people have the same personality, no two people have the same type of Epilepsy.
Each patient is a special case to the doctor. Everyone has to deal with it personally. Not everyone gets medication. Some need surgery, and some do not need medication. A person with Epilepsy is in doubt if their seizures do not want to go away. His fear is justified, as seizures worsen the quality of life, break down human relationships and life goals (if he has not been living with Epilepsy since birth).

Common feelings epileptic people experience:

· Anxiety
· Fear of having a fit
· Depression
· Feeling of isolation
· Low self-esteem
· Aggressive, frosty, irritable, introverted conduct

Psychosocial circumstances are also a severe problem. It is normal if people with Epilepsy are fearful of having a seizure/fit in public or a possibility of injury as they have no control of their body for a short time. They become very isolated, may be anxious about another person’s reactions to them go through a seizure. When they see a seizure, some react immediately with fear, thus embarrassing the patient with epilepsy. here you can find detailed information on how to give proper first aid to epilepsy patients. The individual experiencing seizures can’t control how other people react during a seizure.
It has been pointed out recently that “... epilepsy may be as much a disorder of cognition and behaviour as it is of seizures, with cognitive and behavioural symptoms either predating seizures or vice versa. Indeed, for some, the cognitive and behavioral symptoms may represent the most frequent and intrusive manifestation of the underlying disease, while seizures may be infrequent ”(source: Epilepsy and Behavior 52 (2015), pp. 290-296).

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and personality change

American doctors Norman Geschwind and Stephan G. Waxman have found that patients temporal lobe can be more active than usual during seizures. In such cases, they can observe a deeper emotional life, an increased attraction to philosophy and religiosity, and altered sexual activity. Later, they revealed that the transformation of temporal and left hemisphere temporal epileptics is not the same. According to David Bear and Paul Fedio, right-wing Epilepsy brings strange sexuality and depressive mood. At the same time, left-wing can lead to strong religious interest, inspiring affected individuals to have a deeper interpretation of things. In 1997, neuroscientist Vilyanaur Ramachandran began to address the function and spiritual connections of the temporal lobe. He studied epileptic patients for many years and concluded that Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Complex Partial Seizures are commonly associated with behavioral changes. You can read more about other types of Epilepsy seizures here.

What causes these changes

Many medications are available for people with Epilepsy. Some medications can affect a patient’s behavior. This behaviour change is more likely to happen if the patient is taking allopathic medications for a long time. The physician should also consider that it might be appropriate to offer other types of medications to the patient or reduce the dose of the medication. Maybe just correcting this can eliminate the abnormal behavior. A person with Epilepsy has been found to have the right drug or drug combination if their use has no or only very mild side effects and if the antiepileptic drug of their choice stops the seizures. We have to reckon that the more allopathic medications a patient takes, the more side effects they can have and the harder it is to tolerate them. And this can lead to mental and behavioral changes. The good news is that Ayurvedic Medicine for Epilepsy is a reliable alternative in this condition. When you take ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy successfully, in that case, you will notice the patient’s medication has been adjusted, and the side effects are also nonexistent.

Ayurveda as an antispasmodic

Antiepileptics are used to prevent seizures. Ayurvedic treatment focuses on modifying the disease and treating the symptoms, all in a holistic approach. Many literature sources mention using plants in medicine as they have been used for a long time to treat Epilepsy.

Herbs blessed with antispasmodic effect:

1. Brahmi and Mandukaparni contain neuroprotective properties. According to studies, both of them have shown benefits to boost learning and memory.
2. Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy) and Aparajita Flower (Clitoria ternatea) positively affect memory and help overcome learning difficulties.
3. Curcuma longa modulates depression-like behavior and memory impairment. Studies have shown that it also helps reverse the oxidative stress caused by seizures and prevent learning and memory deficit.
4. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is believed to help restore spatial memory deficit.
5. Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Yashtimadhu) has potential neuroprotective benefits
6. Coffee (Piper methysticum) has a historical reputation for creating relaxation. Some preliminary studies have shown that coffee is effective in treating anxiety.
7. The use of Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) dates back at least 1000 years, and Europe in the 16th century used it for Epilepsy treatment. In Modern times valerian is primarily popular for its effectiveness on sleep quality.
8. German and Roman chamomile (Matricaria recutita and Chamaemelum Nobile) are herbs that grow in many regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia. This perennial flowering herbs traditionally has been known for its mild relaxing effects.

The quality of life of a child with Epilepsy does not depend on seizures.

Epilepsy affects the child's physical and mental state and social life. According to new research, epileptic seizures themselves do not affect the quality of life of a child with Epilepsy. There is a lot of social pressure on this disease, which also includes seizures and other symptoms. All this can also increase emotional, psychological, mental problems. Behavioral and mental problems can occur in 30 to 50 percent of children with Epilepsy. In children with Epilepsy, the severity of the disease or medication does not impact their quality of life. Instead, psychosocial factors have the greatest adverse effects. Kids can hardly bear to be treated differently by their friends. A child with Epilepsy often suffers from exclusion and face difficulty making friends. Too high parental expectations and poor school performance only reinforce the development of mental problems. The child still has a hard time controlling their feelings, often showing bad behavior, even though they are in doubt, not knowing what to do with their illness. Even worse, the teacher doesn’t know about the child’s Epilepsy, so the teacher thinks the child is intentionally behaving uneducated. So instead of getting help, the child is reprimanded.

What can we do to improve?

For children and young people with Epilepsy, psychosocial factors such as parental support and the child’s mental health are important to take precedence over medical treatment. "Possible intervention goals should reflect the child's perspectives and not just rely on parental accounts."
It is the responsibility of parents to listen to their child and let them know that you can count on them, to be able to talk to them if something hurts their soul. It is important to notice the changes as soon as possible and start the treatment plan.
If you have Epilepsy, get to know your illness. Know what are the factors that trigger your malaise. See an epilepsy specialist who can control your seizures. Contact epilepsy groups, organizations. Meet another person with epilepsy who wears similar shoes. Accept your illness, don’t hide it from your friends. You can’t know in advance how people will react, but that’s how you will realise who is your real friend.
If you’re a friend, convince your epileptic friend that it’s worth setting goals in life. Let them know that you're there if they want to talk about their illness. Show them that life isn’t just about malaise, and there are accepting people.
The doctor performs the examinations, determines the cause of the malaise, seeks a solution to achieve the asymptomatic. The point is to ensure a good quality of life for the patient, but it also requires the patient to be open. Be open to treatment options offered by your doctor, be it ayurvedic or allopathic medication. But you also need to have the will in the patient. The patient must want to be healed.

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