I think I have been vulnerable to depression for most of my life. I don't mean that I have always been depressed, only that peoples brains and bodies react to things in different ways. For example, a possible side-effect to many anti-epileptics is depression but that does not mean that everyone taking them will suffer.
I have lacked self-belief since about 10 when I was bullied at school. Although, that only lasted a year a lot of the insults and feeling that there was something wrong with me, stayed. I also think it is partly genetic as I have members of my family who have struggled with low self-esteem.
I think it is quite possible that I would still have had some problems with my mental health but I believe that the medication exacerbated them.
Monday, 6 January 2014
I've never written my experiences down before but I thought, what the hell. Not sure anyone will ever read this and I'm not on any kind of mission to change the world. I'm just a 28 year old female who lives with Epilepsy and mental health issues and I know I'm not the only one.
When I was 13 i had my first epileptic seizure. It was a bit of a shock for everyone as there seemed to be no history of it in the family. All I really knew about it was a brief storyline in Home & Away and the warnings before programmes about strobe lighting. After having tests and being diagnosed by the doctors I actually felt quite proud of it. The seizures were horrible, obviously but I thought it made me kind of special. It was only as the years went on that I started having issues with it. Finding the right medication for someone is not necessarily an easy process. I have changed my medication several times in 14 years. Either I had horrendous side effects or the medications didn't control my seizures.
When I was younger I always thought that Doctors were Gods and they knew everything. If you had a problem they just give you some magic medicine and it goes away. Growing up I have come to realise that there is still a hell of a lot they don't know. I have seen how much the Doctors knowledge of Epilepsy has grown in just the 14 years I have experienced it but they still only know a small amount.
I guess it has taken me along time to realise that my 'brain problems' (as I like to call them) aren't going to go away, but it's finding a balance between controlling the seizures and managing the side effects. It's a pretty tough thing to do but I think going through everything has taken me on an interesting journey in life. I'll be honest, I think some of my best qualities (and worst) are because of what I've been through. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I didn't have Epilepsy. As many difficulties as I have gone through, if I was given a wish to have not had that seizure at 13, I'm not sure I would use it.