Epilepsy Talk

How Creative Are YOU? | June 21, 2018

I was born a writer.  Just like I was born with brown eyes.  In 5th grade when we were assigned to write a poem with an illustration, everyone wrote about the spring, flowers, stars, the city, the country. I wrote about racism.  My illustration was a black silhouette pasted against white paper.  My teacher promptly sent me home with a note for my parents, accusing me of plagiarism.

I continued to write now and then, winning the occasional essay contest, bringing home a poetry prize, encouraged by my mother.  But it wasn’t until I turned 14, that I really started to pick up steam.  That’s also when I was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Did I become a writer (which I still am, professionally) because I had epilepsy or was it a mere coincidence?

That seems to be up for conjecture…

There can definitely be a creative side to the electrical mischief that epilepsy produces.  Some types of epilepsy can spark inspiration, enhance creativity and bring out the latent artist in you.  It can be as diverse as literature…poetry…painting…drawing…dramatics…architecture…philosophy…or physics…to name just a few.

Researchers claim that often these surprise talents are associated with temporal lobe epilepsy.

In this case, the sides of the brain, where memory and feelings reside, are intermittently seized by those “electrical storms” which produce the spark. Although the seizures may be undetectable to observers, they can prompt hallucinations, religion, fury, fear, joy and an unquenchable desire to create, even after the seizure is over.

So you may not know it, but you may have some surprise artistic talents hidden away.

Give it a try.  Dabble a little.  Try a little drawing, painting, writing.

It’s exciting, energizing, rewarding, all-encompassing, and I must admit, a wonderful escape.

Like making lemons out of lemonade!

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Resources:

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/12/science/in-the-temporal-lobes-seizures-and-creativity.html?pagewanted=1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26831642

http://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(16)00004-4/abstract

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15326934crj1601_3?journalCode=hcrj20

 


14 Comments »

  1. Being creative can be so much a reality, which can be a positive thought, that people otherwise will say you have a weird & unthinkable mind / brain. yeah, like WHO who does not live with seizures, would have to worry WHAT LEVEL their sugar level during the day may be no matter what time of day it is ? I think we who have seizures, needs a device that can accurately monitor GLUCOSE in the blood any time of the day, when you feel there is a need to know, when you feel seizure activity happening that a possible GRAND MAL is ready to attack the brain. Usually the GLUCOSE level is LOW & the GLUTAMATE level is HIGH when most seizure activity starts happening. SO if we had a glucose tool of some type either by saliva or by blood that it can be checked, then maybe real action can be taken to stop the seizure activity in minutes to seconds. LOBELIA for me has helped with stopping seizure activity nearly 75% of the time or more, BUT I never know in those times IF my glucose is lower, as I know GLUTAMATE then is flowing abundantly in my brain. There can maybe be a pill we all can take to stop the creating making of GLUTAMATE in the gut by having other forms of it that the gut helps to make from the foods & the synthetic types of MSG’s, as even the KETO GENIC diet has foods with MSG in them. So yeah, my brain storm of a real gadget that can help know what a few chemical levels in the brain are is not a fantasy for wild dream of creativity. These people can make these tools for us anytime, but that means NO DRUG SALES will be needed as much if we know our SUGAR / GLUCOSE & GLUTAMATE / MSG levels are normal. GABA, DOPAMINE, SEROTONIN & other brain chemicals will also be better & working normally when GLUCOSE & GLUTAMATE levels are stable & normal. Say what you think, but I believe this type of glucose checking tool that it’s related to the GLUTAMATE level, it can be a road down of a seizure freedom that drug industries & neurologists are not eager for any of us to live with out seizures. This tool would also allow you to see HOW a drug affects GLUCOSE & GLUTAMATE level as both are affected by each other. Myself,, IF I would quit eating ALL SUGARY foods then the GLUTAMATE level would be higher, as PROTEIN not from a true source with out the FOOD ADDITIVES in it, then a GRAND MAL will happen when the GLUTAMATE floods the brain from low to NO glucose level in the blood brain barrier. The AAN could HELP get something like this made for us all, but they wake up every morning with their pals in the beds of BIG PHARMA & FDA.

    Like

    Comment by CD — June 21, 2018 @ 12:14 PM

  2. I find your writings so enjoyable. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Like

    Comment by Tami — June 22, 2018 @ 11:33 PM

    • Maybe it’s because I love doing it so much! 🙂

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 23, 2018 @ 9:11 AM

    • I meant to press Thumbs Up for you, Phyllis! Sometimes it’s like these Smart Phones have a mind of their own!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by David Jensen — June 23, 2018 @ 5:02 PM

      • But I found out that I already did, Phyllis. I think all of this humidity is making it a little hard for me to concentrate.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by David Jensen — June 23, 2018 @ 5:10 PM

  3. Whatever, it still all relates to HOW people with or without seizures in their life, either accepts you or rejects you, no matter how different you are, or think.

    Like

    Comment by CD — June 23, 2018 @ 11:33 AM

  4. Creativity has ALWAYS helped me with my Epilepsy. There’s been playing musical instruments, drawing, and if building things with LEGO pieces falls into the category of CREATIVITY, my Family has started to call my bedroom “A LEGO Museum”! One thing that I made out of LEGO pieces, is a, how should I put it, … the handheld part of a Lightsaber from Star Wars. I’m scheduled to go to John’s Hopkins this August, for a 10 day stay in their EMU, and I plan to take it with me, SO THE FORCE WILL BE WITH ME!
    My urge to draw has gone a little down hill, because my, GULP, 37 years of seizures has put tremors in both of my hands. It’s also made it hard to play my keyboard hard, because my Left Hand will literally go Out Of Control if I hold my arms out straight. But I’ve put that aside, and tried other instruments, like a harmonica and what is called a psaltery. It’s kind of like a piano and a violin put together. I was fiddling with it yesterday morning, and found that if I just run the back of my fingernails over it, just right, it will sort of make the sound of a Lightsaber!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by David Jensen — June 23, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

    • LEGO masterpieces. I love it!

      And I think that since music is the light and heart of the soul, you should play on, in your own creative way.

      A Lightsaber by any other name.

      Kudos to you David!!!

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 23, 2018 @ 4:11 PM

      • Thanks Phyllis! Back when I was really young, my sister was taking piano lessons. I remember one day, I got up on the piano bench and started fiddling with the piano. My Mom heard the music and came out of the kitchen. She was SHOCKED when she found that I was playing it, because she thought my sister was practicing!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by David Jensen — June 23, 2018 @ 5:22 PM

      • I can’t write or sing a note (on key).

        The only “talent” I’ve got is writing and if I couldn’t do that, I’d be cooked.

        Especially since that’s how I’ve made my living lo these many years.

        Like

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 23, 2018 @ 7:06 PM

  5. I think we are all talented in some way or another whether we have epilepsy or not. The key is to find what you like and do it, and master it.

    Like

    Comment by Zolt — June 24, 2018 @ 2:55 AM


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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