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i had commented on another users post yesterday and u responded, i was just wondering if you could help me address the other issue i am havin, the traumatized fear and anxiety i feel for almost a month after my seizures?

By September 28, 2010 - 6:33am
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i am used to seizures although over the years i am gettin a lot better at controling them, but i have panic attacks for at least a week after having one, everytime i walk in the room that it happened in it makes me feel like i am going to have one again. i bawl like a baby and it makes me feel pathetic, why am i not able to get over this? if i have a seizure while watching a movie then i cant watch that movie again for at least a year! it makes me have flash backs of going into the seizure, the last one i had was in my bedroom and now when i have to go to sleep i cry myself to sleep at night. i hyperventalate and just freak out when i walk in the room. i know this is not good and i really need to get ahold of it because i am going to cause myself to have more seizures by stressin, breathin heavily and acting like this. i have never met another epileptic who has these crippling fears or tramatic experiences from it. is that normal? i need help. i feel like i am going crazy and no one around me can understand cuz they dont have seizures. please give me some ideas, maybe some herbs i can take or somethin, i need a solution that me and my husband can do without a trip to a doctor, as we can not afford it. please please please tell me anything!

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June 7, 2013 - 8:59am

Thought you might find this interesting as well:

PTSD and Epilepsy blog from a women discussing PTSD as having a "bad rap" as a "mental illness" (she further explains it is in the DSM-IV as it has specific diagnostic criteria, and is also treatable. Our culture puts a negative connotation to the phrase "mental illness", but please know this just means it is among a category of "mood disorders").

This woman's favorite quote, that I thought you may find helpful:
"PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal event" (she has seizures, too).

September 28, 2010 - 12:49pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

you have no idea what you have done for me, i always thot i was strange for these anxiety attacks, i joke about how i am a pansy but no one knows how crippling this fear is for me. i was absolutely shocked to read that i was not alone or strange, i never thot of it as a post tramatic stress thing and now it totally makes sense, thank you so much for responding to me, i feel as tho i have my own epilepsy support group, everyone thinks they know about seizures but i dont think anyone knows as well as other epileptics. i went to an herbalist today and got german chamomille to make tea for relaxation and they gave me some natural herbs to try to smoke to relax as well. im startin to feel better about my current situation and i feel, not tryin to be overdramatic, but i feel like this site changed my whole life, i feel less alone now

September 28, 2010 - 1:32pm
(reply to rainbowbritest88)

I am so happy to hear this! We often do feel alone in our physical, mental or emotional conditions, and I think that is the power of online communities to share experiences and information.

Please be sure to talk with your doctor or Pharmacist about the herbal supplements you are using, to avoid any negative side effects of drug interactions. Let us know how else we can help!

Take care.

September 28, 2010 - 1:45pm

You are not alone!

The Epilepsy Foundation discusses how common anxiety disorders (and other "mood disorders") are among epilepsy patients. It is so common, in fact, that I am surprised your doctors treating your epilepsy would not talk with you about the association between epileptic seizures and anxiety. Since you do not want to see another doctor, when do you go back to see your regular doctor?

This is an example of what information I have found from: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/epilepsyusa/chattranscript1021.cfm

I have been seizure free for a year now, but suffer from anxiety attacks. Can this be because of the epilepsy?

Dr. Barry: Anxiety disorders have been evaluated in a multi-center study that has just been completed. We looked at all symptoms that would be serious enough to meet criteria for a diagnosable disorder. Interestingly enough, almost 50 percent of the people with epilepsy that we evaluated had a diagnosable psychiatric illness. It must be remembered that these people with epilepsy were being seen in a specialized care center. People who need this increased level of care for their epilepsy may not represent people with epilepsy in general. Nevertheless, 50 percent is an extremely high number. Of that 50 percent, over half had anxiety disorders. They ranged from people with panic attacks to phobias, including fear of leaving the house. Anxiety is a very common problem and is one that we probably don't spend enough time evaluating and treating. People with epilepsy may also experience fear as part of their seizures. Obviously, treatment of fear produced by a seizure would require treatment of the epilepsy. Clearly, however, anxiety disorders occur more frequently in people with epilepsy than in the general population."

"Dr. Barry: There does seem to be an association between epilepsy and mood disorders. Several researchers who have noted associations between mood disorders and lower levels of the brain’s serotonin and nor-epinephrine. These neurotransmitters seem to be important in epilepsy and in mood disorders. As a matter of fact, depression has been noticed in some patients before they ever have a seizure."

"Dr. Barry: I like to think of seizures as similar to panic attacks in people with anxiety disorders. They frequently developed a fear of leaving the house. This also can happen with people with epilepsy for similar reasons. Unpredictably, one group will get a seizure and one group will get a panic attack. And sometimes either can happen in situations of stress. The person with a phobic disorder avoids situation that will increase their anxiety. Sometimes this happens in people with epilepsy as well. Ways of treating these problems are also similar. I think psychotherapy can be of tremendous use."

"Is there a tie between epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?"

"Dr. Barry: Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined as a disorder associated with events during which the individual feels severely threatened. As mentioned earlier, anxiety disorders, which would include post-traumatic stress disorder, seem to be more common in people with epilepsy. Again, this has a lot to do with the individual's perception of the epilepsy. If a person's response to the illness has been one of fear and helplessness, then he or she would be set up for post-traumatic stress disorder, especially if that person has had seizures that have put them at significant risks, such as a car accident, a fall, or other types of personal injury."

"Depression is a major risk for about one in three women with epilepsy." http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/living/women

It is suggested that cognitive-behavioral therapy is the best treatment for epileptic patients with depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD or other mood disorders (almost all patients, actually, benefit from this type of therapy), as some anti-depressant and other "mood-altering" medications may have harmful drug interactions with epileptic medication. It is important to talk with your doctor about both your physical and emotional/mental symptoms. There are no herbs that treat mood disorders, and any herbal supplement would need to be thoroughly discussed with your doctor for possible drug interactions. Please know: anything "natural" or "herbal" that is strong enough to help can also be strong enough to cause harm. Please talk with your doctor, as help is available for you, and you do not need to live in fear.

Do you have a support group that you are interested in joining, as this could be another alternative for you. Please let us know if you need help finding a support group near you.

September 28, 2010 - 12:43pm
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