Living with epilepsy
I was diagnosed with a rare epilepsy when I was only 22 months old, where any part of my brain can trigger an epileptic seizure. Through primary and secondary school a lot of young people didn’t understand what epilepsy was and I remember one girl said to me ‘I remember when you had a seizure in class, I thought you were dancing under the table’. This surprised me so I want this blog to help raise awareness.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain also called a seizure. Epilepsy effects over 600,000 people a year. Epilepsy can start at end any age and most people can grow out of it, however in some rare cases the epilepsy can grow back.
Living with epilepsy and mental health.
Being diagnosed from an early age meant that when I was growing up I isolated myself from others as I felt like I didn’t fit in. Throughout high school I developed anxiety and depression which are risks of having epilepsy. In 2012, I had cranial spinal decompression surgery, which then made my depression and anxiety worse. Living with epilepsy or with any health conditions isn’t easy and isn’t perfect but in some ways I’m quite glad that it did happen to me because I wouldn’t be able to do the volunteering and campaigning work I do today. Mental health has become a big part of my life and by helping others and raising awareness and ending the taboo and stigma around mental health, I am able to control my own.
Images taken from LivingWellwithEpilepsy.com and @EverythingPurpleforEpilepsy