Epilepsy Talk

Suicide and Epilepsy | August 23, 2019

We are in a mental health crisis in this community. And not enough is being done to avert it.

According to a peer-reviewed journal article from Epilepsy and Behavior, published in 2016, (where data was gathered data from 17 states, between 2003-2010), statistics concluded that people with epilepsy are 22 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

And a 29-fold increase in suicide risk was seen in newly diagnosed patients with a history of psychiatric illness.

“Newly diagnosed patients often have many misconceptions about the disease,” researcher Per Sidenius, MD, of Aarhus University says. “They often don’t understand that there are good treatments with few side effects.”

Researchers from Columbia University also reported an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in patients who later developed epilepsy.

Among the risk factors contributing to suicidal behavior are surgery (suicide tendency is five times higher than patients taking AEDs), absence of seizures for a long time, especially after being very frequent, and psychiatric conditions such as major depression, anxiety-depression disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse.

A history of depression increased the risk of epilepsy, but the startling finding was that people with epilepsy were 4 times more likely to have attempted suicide before ever having a seizure, even after other factors were taken into account like drinking alcohol, having depression, age, and gender.

“There is an underlying joint susceptibility to suicide attempts and epilepsy, and it can’t be ignored, because epilepsy in general is more than just seizures,” Dr. Dale Hesdorffer of Columbia University in New York City, told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.

It’s a life or death issue

“Increasingly, clinicians treating people with epilepsy ask about current depression, but they may not ask about past suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts,” said Hesdorffer. “Our results may alert clinicians to the need to ask this question and offer any needed counseling.”

Researcher Dr Jakob Christensen said: “There may be a number of factors that have a major impact on the wellbeing of people with chronic disorders such as epilepsy.”

“We know that epilepsy lowers the overall quality of life of the affected individuals — especially shortly after the diagnosis is given.

“An epilepsy diagnosis affects important parts of people’s lives: job opportunities disappear, patients usually lose their driver’s license, drug treatment may decrease fertility, and pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations of the newborn child.

“The latter may be part of the explanation of why the impact of epilepsy with regard to suicide seems greatest in women.”

In fact, women with epilepsy and a history of psychiatric disease were 23 times more likely to commit suicide than women without either condition, compared with a tenfold increase in risk among men with epilepsy and psychiatric illness.

Medication and the mind

Also, a new study, appearing in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, has determined that some epilepsy drugs increase the risk for suicide.

People using newer drugs with a higher risk of causing depression such as Keppra, Topamax and Sabril, were three times more likely to harm themselves or attempt suicide than those who were not currently taking any epilepsy drugs.

In contrast, some new drugs have a low risk of causing depression and conventional epilepsy drugs didn’t have any increased risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior.

These groups include drugs such as Lamictal, Neurontin, Tegretol, Depakote and Dilantin.

Since depression reigns supreme, people with both epilepsy and a psychiatric illness were nearly 14 times more likely to commit suicide than people with neither condition.

“Psychological problems, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors, are often not addressed by neurologists who treat epilepsy patients,” Dr. Hesdorffer told Reuters Health. “Many are not comfortable with talking about psychiatric disorders and with talking about suicide attempts.”

“One way to improve management of epilepsy would be for neurologists and psychiatrists to work together to treat patients, which is beginning to happen,” she added. “That will be a fantastic partnership if it continues to develop. It’s at its very early stages now.”

“Physicians, treating patients with epilepsy need to develop collaborations with mental health professionals in order to provide comprehensive treatment to their epilepsy patients.”

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  1. Great article. We need neurologists to become aware of how epilepsy changes a person’s life and how this lowers a person’s mood, self esteem and places so many limitations. Seizure control medications turn you into a zombie, rob you of your libido and it’s very hard to discuss this with your doctor. They’re only concerned with limiting the number of seizures. I’d like to know how many patients who have been diagnosed with epilepsy also suffer fro depression. I think the two go hand in hand.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Ana Fernandez — August 23, 2019 @ 6:02 PM

    • One study stated that 80% of patients with epilepsy were also diagnosed as having a depressive disorder.

      Upwards of 60% of these individuals had a history of significant episodes of depression.

      And 10-32% experience symptoms of anxiety.

      Not too reassuring, is it?

      And for those whose epilepsy cannot be controlled by meds, the likelihood of depression and anxiety are even greater.

      In fact, many of the medications used to treat seizure disorders can trigger depression.

      Dilantin, Phenobarbatol, Celonton and Tegretol are all notorious for this side effect.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 23, 2019 @ 6:30 PM

  2. I always appreciate your posts, even when it is bad news. Awareness is the first step to improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Flower Roberts — August 23, 2019 @ 9:49 PM

  3. And I suppose you could say that knowledge is power!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 23, 2019 @ 10:01 PM

  4. IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN. I spent 5 to 10 minutes typing a GOOD comment, all for nothing as it did not record or save my comment.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by jcdavis@hardynet.com — August 23, 2019 @ 10:21 PM

    • People in the general society need to be more accepting of epilepsy and the difficulties it can/does bring on in a persons life. And therefore help them with many issues. Accept it, brighten up your life- don’t blame you or turn away and leave you suffering. I only make friends with people with epilepsy otherwise I’m a loner. Feel suicidal off and on over life- very sad and terrifying? What do I do?

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by keri teavae — August 30, 2019 @ 6:50 PM

  5. Oh shit. I feel your pain.

    It’s happened to me with 3 paragraphs at a time.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 23, 2019 @ 10:25 PM

  6. http://www.druglib.com/reported-side-effects/carbamazepine/reaction_completed_suicide/

    Too many deaths from Anti-convulsants.

    I was one of the fortunate one’s,I survived.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Berenice John — August 24, 2019 @ 5:13 AM

  7. Phylis,
    Thank you for another enlightening article, again.
    From personal experience, having epileptic seizures for the first time in your life, watching your normal ordinary life rapidly shatter, your dreams & aspirations disappearing like a mist, day after day every time the seizures keep striking to only hold on to the pills & side effects you never knew about nor heard before to the medical jargons coming from your neurologist you have to decipher & the dramatic nightmares of waking up in hospital bed you’ve never asked for nor planned to spent the day/night,,, the fast traumatic journey can be so depressing, it takes a whole lot more than pills to survive the shock.
    Having strong support system, psychiatric assistance, family & friends standing by your bed explaining the unfortunate predicament in simple English layman terms than hospital pamphlets & medical jargons does make the coping process more smoother & attainable.
    After all, Epilepsy is as much as neurological disorder, it’s psychological trauma.
    It’s pleasing to note that the medical researchers & establishments have come to realize & incorporate the psychiatric impact of epileptic seizures in society.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — August 24, 2019 @ 5:49 AM

    • I’m one of the lucky ones.

      When push came to shove, my neurologist and psychiatrist, worked hand-in-hand to help me in my darkest hours.

      It made all the difference in the world.

      More than anything else except, of course, my friends and loved ones who stuck by me through it all.

      I’m a lucky girl.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 24, 2019 @ 9:16 AM

      • I’m happy for you that you’re lucky enough to have very strong support system to overcome the shacking trauma of epileptic seizures.
        Pushed aside to figure it out by themselves, I’m NOT so sure for certain that too many victims of Epilepsy can say that they’re fortunate to have some kind of support system.
        Just last week, I witnessed & strongly intervened, watching a homeless man having grandmal seizures in public transportation being mistreated by the “rescue crew”, presumed blacking out from too much alcohol or illegal drugs, the crew who supposedly came to help & support the unconscious man, standing on top of the helpless man & asking “does anynody know this guy”, instead of reaching out for medical identification or prescription pills in the man’s possession, makes it too obvious that society needs to know a lot more about Epilepsy than just carrying out the unconscious man in ambulance bed.
        It’s long over due for Epilepsy to come out from the shadows of society just like any medical hardship for the whole world to know & support the victins of seizures.
        Your forum is certainly appreciated for carrying out the mission, spreading the light over Epilepsy & expanding the desperately needed support to victims of Epilepsy.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — August 24, 2019 @ 2:51 PM

      • Gerrie on the other hand — in the “it takes one to know one” department — my friend Mary Ann (who also has epilepsy) and I came across a homeless woman on a train platform in Penn Station.

        She was having a tonic clonic and was inches from the edge of the platform. And the train tracks.

        Of course, everybody stopped to watch the freak show. And nobody did a thing.

        We called for an ambulance. A porter came.

        I screamed for the station master, the police, EMTs, anyone who would or could come to assist this poor women.

        (Of course we did the traditional first aid, but were also terrified as her eyes rolled to the back of her head.)

        Eventually the STATION MASTER came. Took in the situation. Called the police, who called an ambulance.

        It’s a miracle that the poor woman wasn’t dead by then.

        The other miracle is that an ambulance came from NYU Langone Epilepsy Center. (One of the finest in the world.)

        And despite her protests (she was homeless after all) they got her on a gurney and off to the hospital.

        Mary Ann and I just about seized ourselves from the stress!


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 24, 2019 @ 4:28 PM

      • That happened to me too!!!!!!! Except it was here in my home town on Main Street!!!!! I didn’t know at first as to what was happening because my family was in the process of going for our flu shots. When we all finished and came out they were all still there. So I made my husband stop and jumped off my vehicle and ran across the street to help whomever it was. She was seizing and needed help but nobody knew what to do and were all screaming and panicking!!!!! I ran back to my vehicle and got my daughter to come and help me help that person. As I flipped her to her side and put something underneath her head she became turned into a rag doll. So I started counting and realized she need more help. I had to stop and tell everyone to “QUIETLY BE QUIET NOW!! And to PLEASE PHONE 911 NOW!!!!!”. Thank god I have epilepsy and thank god I know cpr and knew what to do!!!!!!! The only was I had to have a jacket over my head so nobody would see what I was doing to help her and trying to count and on and on!!!!! The ambulance and police finally got there and I was able to tell them her stats (kind of) and a rough estimate of how long she had been down then I left and came home. I think as the school wore off and I began to taste alcohol in my mouth I began to get more upset and even angry to a point!!!!! Thank god for tooth paste and mouth wash and a TINY TOWN!!!!! But it did make me upset because it appeared to me NOBODY KNEW WHAT TO DO!! I even had to tell the paramedics (you know she can hear you so PRETTY PLEASE SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARING TO HER!!!!!!!). Later on the police came to my house to check on me and it turned out she was drinking but that she was going to be okay. I was finally able to tell them “PLEASE LEARN TO TELL WHEN A PERSON HAS AN EPILEPTIC SEIZURE OR EVEN WHAT YOU CAN DO FROM THE EPILEPTICS THEMSELVES!!!!!!! IF YOU ASK I WILL TELL YOU!!”.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 27, 2020 @ 11:28 AM

      • What a story. You were fabulous!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 27, 2020 @ 12:29 PM


        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 27, 2020 @ 11:12 AM

  8. How do the the newly-diagnosed for epilepsy suicide statistics compare to patients newly diagnosed for Type 1 diabetes for example?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Stephen Smith — August 24, 2019 @ 6:22 AM

  9. Being diagnosed with epilepsy (as with most other disabilities) may get you medical treatment, but it also gets you lowered social status and stigma. This can cause what is called “disenfranchised grief” or “ambiguous grief.” If there’s no way to mourn your loss, you express it as best you can, sometimes with suicidal thoughts. It can help to have someone who can listen to you and validate your feeling of anger at the unfairness. Not fix, just validate.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — August 26, 2019 @ 12:17 PM

    • Many people seek therapists and support groups to validate their emotions of grief, fear, anger, sadness along with the stigma and sense of worthlessness.

      And the notion of suicide “ideation” is very real.

      I’ve been lucky. I have a therapist who is worth his weight in gold.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 26, 2019 @ 12:55 PM

    • You know HoDo YOU ARE AN ANGEL I SWEAR!!!!!!! THANK YOU 😊 🙏🏼🦅💕

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — August 27, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

  10. Those who are newly diagnosed with epilepsy, as with other disabilities, are faced with what’s called “ambiguous grief.” Yes, you have a diagnosis. Yes, you may have access to good medical care. But you have also lost significant social status. Grief is appropriate, and if it isn’t given attention, the result can be suicidal thoughts. A good listener is essential. Not a fixer, a listener. Someone who can validate your feelings. I speak from experience. It took 50 years and a lot of suicidal thoughts to find that good listener.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — August 26, 2019 @ 1:02 PM

  11. I’m happy to be on Gabapentin for seizures, since it also is used as an anxiety suppressor as well. When i first started to have seizures, 13 yrs ago after the removal of a brain tumor, my life was never the same after. My coming to grips with both those was the internet, i research everything they had on seizures and brain tumors. Like Phylis said, knowledge is power and the more u know the easier it is to cope with i think. It can be hell, living and knowing u could have a seizure at any time.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Zolt — August 27, 2019 @ 12:52 AM

  12. I’m glad that the Gabapentin has that duo effect. And that you don’t suffer (per se).

    The diagnosis of epilepsy is a shock to the system — in all ways.

    But I congratulate you for being so proactive. Rather than taking the other route.

    Zolt, you are someone to be admired. And I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 27, 2019 @ 10:56 AM

  13. I was suicdal on Dilantin. If my dad didnt stop me i wouldn’t be alive now.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by RUSTY Hanawalt — October 30, 2019 @ 12:00 AM

    • It’s good that you’ve a caring father who’s actively involved in your wellbeing.
      It has been said, the family that prays together, stays together.
      Unfortunately, most of the people who end up committing suicide, most likely do NOT had strong family support system who ought to have been reaching out & activity involved in alleviating the ordeals & hardships of the victims of Epilepsy, coping with the sudden dramatic changes in their lives.
      Thank you for sharing your experience with aftermat

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — October 30, 2019 @ 6:00 AM

      • * Thank you for sharing your experience, the aftermath of coping with seizures, medication side effects & the potential risks for suicide.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — October 30, 2019 @ 6:05 AM

      • When it seems the world is against you (perception equals reality), you can tend to feel worthless yourself.

        Why are you here? What does it matter?

        And sometimes it’s better to die in life than to live in death.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 30, 2019 @ 9:03 AM

      • Yes, it’s difficult to navigate through strong storms.
        But life is full of tornados, storms, earthquakes, war, destruction, disease, poverty, daily hurdles,,, therefore NAVIGATING through & overcoming these calamities & adversities takes a whole lot more strength in the willpower to live than prescription drugs.

        “I use to cry because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no legs”.
        Mark Twain

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — October 30, 2019 @ 2:10 PM

      • Gerrie, that Mark Twain quote is one of my favorites.

        And you’re right, the adversity was stronger than any drug could handle.

        I had to handle it and navigate my way through. But, I couldn’t SEE my way through the thunderstorms and the highest waves swept me away.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 30, 2019 @ 3:18 PM


        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 27, 2020 @ 11:33 AM

  14. I’ve had epilepsy for 10yrs, developed from TBI in rollover car accident.. used up my retirement for meds, medical bills and er trips, then sat at home getting depressed and having seizures.. it’s not fun suicide was the answer until Epilepsy Foundation saved my life from myself and majority of seizures, now I’m very grateful to the professionals, doctors like Dr. Hartshorn and companies that donated the VNS device to save my life BUT it didn’t stop me from thoughts ending my I’d never really had before epilepsy, I call it “Seizures and a .45” like a country song.. I don’t want to show those people I was a waste of their resources and also showing everyone my weaknesses.. I’m here today is all I can say…

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Useless Ness — August 8, 2020 @ 1:01 PM

    • My trip down suicide lane was a horror show. Took Wellbutrin (which is counter intuitive with the meds I take) and started to go into status. I had two heart attacks (in the ER), I was put in an induced coma for I don’t know how many days. Then five more days in the hospital, ten days in rehab and about three months until I could find the keyboard and write again.

      Don’t even think of going there. It’s not a pretty place.



      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 8, 2020 @ 1:50 PM

      • I’ll for sure try I promise!!! Its not pretty at all and if others talk about it I tell them they are very special, live is precious and you won’t want to do it, you’ll be sorry and you are mistaken, then I go and think damn what am I doing hanging around here… If I told you what happened yesterday you’d know why im writing this right now.. Well in short, got evicted, my youngest is going off to college and I’m going through stuff throwing out or giving away 99% of everything…

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Useless Ness — August 8, 2020 @ 3:58 PM

      • Seek Help,,, No one is invincible.
        Find out if you live in “Eviction moratorium & Postponed” declaring states/regions like California due to the wild spread of the current pandemic COVID19 & urgently report your case & apply for assistance from your local Social Services agencies & non-profit organizations to stay in your place.
        Reach out to family members & friends who can understand your unfortunate predicament as many of them has probably been in your shoes before.
        Keep intouch constantly with your daughter in college & arrange some time to see your daughter in convenient times.
        Gradually, you’ll realize that the changes taking shape in your family now are NOT as difficult to bear as you are making out to be.
        Eliminating the anxiety & stress over your current situation may certainly help to reduce the frequency of your seizures & divert your attention to practical solutions than driving you to suicidal obsession like I’ve learned the hard way in my 20yrs experience with my epileptic seizures.
        Best Wishes!

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — August 8, 2020 @ 6:45 PM

      • Thank you for the advice on legal help, yes i have reached out and waiting on some calls from law office.. I try to keep my head up and will put one foot in front of the other… I keep the positive thoughts and think how much it would effect my daughter and other family members.. Thank you for your help and your time!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Useless Ness — August 8, 2020 @ 6:59 PM

  15. Oh wow. Can anybody help you get through this? Where will you live? Is there section 8 housing where you are? Why are you getting evicted? Why were you able to pay rent before and not now? How much is the rent? Can you get a roommate situation?

    How can I help???


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 8, 2020 @ 5:14 PM

    • I have to say the way you are helping is your caring, letting me vent and talk with you.. Plenty of people have spent plenty of time and effort helping me in the past.. Im getting evicted because of dust.. Its funny when you read it lol central Air Conditioning broke, landlords had his ac guy come by, he never spoke to me except im here for the ac after that he goes and lies to the landlords tells them I broke the ac because I never changed the air filter, which is a lie and then he said before a new ac comes in I need to go or I will break their new ac.. The landlords came by tell me we are here for home inspection, im not the cleanest person but im far from even near the dirtiest housekeeper.. But im fine with the inspection so go do what you have to, they took their fingers and checked for dust on top of cabinets, on top of doorways, checked the ac vents and my dryers lint trap!!! Asked if i paid the rent, i did pay in full and I put it in their office, so they hand me some paperwork and say Our ac guy says if we are smart we’d evict you before we installed the ac, turned walked out, so with that i open up my receipt which it wasn’t, it was an eviction notice and I had already given them all the cash I had.. I live in Galveston Texas area and have contacted legal help, just waiting for them to contact me.. Daughter leaves the 14th. I have time to leave if i just ignore the lords it will take them to wait for a cop to throw me out but i don’t stay where im not wanted and i feel intruded upon very mad and very depressed, haven’t been able to sleep since this happened… Thanks for your help serious you have no idea how much you help…

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Useless Ness — August 8, 2020 @ 6:47 PM

  16. Please call me. NOW. 610-517-7576.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 8, 2020 @ 5:24 PM

    • My number was the 346 area code call you received, call back when you want…

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Useless Ness — August 8, 2020 @ 7:11 PM

      • Geeze, this website is so private, I couldn’t even determine your email address!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 8, 2020 @ 8:58 PM

      • I can’t stop thinking how special of a person you are and you help so many people with this website.. Thank you for the person to person down to earth talk! You restored my strength and faith in myself today.. The Texas law you pointed out to me was kick butt!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Useless Ness — August 8, 2020 @ 11:08 PM

  17. Well you know, that’s my mission. To be of the most help possible. And I’m glad I was able to be there for you.

    Did you read the other legal link I sent to you last night?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 9, 2020 @ 10:13 AM

  18. Here are some breathing exercises to help mange stress. They work wonderfully for me.

    NOTE: Inhale through your nose, exhale out of your mouth, like your blowing out a candle. (Belly rises, then belly falls.)

    Slow down your breathing. Breathe in for 5 seconds, breathe out for 5 seconds.

    4-7-8 Breathe: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

    Blue Balloon Breath: Take a deep breath and imagine filling a blue balloon with whatever is causing you stress. Imagine tying a knot in the balloon. Exhale and imagine pushing the balloon into the air along with your stressors. Do this as many times as it takes to relieve your stress.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 9, 2020 @ 11:32 AM


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 10:30 PM

      • It can even help you know when it’s time to breath and coach you through it too!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 10:31 PM

  19. Sometimes it may even be the medications you taking. For example I TRIED TO CHANGE TO TOPERIMATE (generic for TOPOMAX) and if I didn’t know myself good enough and YES HAVE THE FRIENDS ON HERE things could have been WAY DIFFERENT AS WELL!!!!! For me personally IT WAS SCARIEST THING IN THE WORLD TAKING TOPERIMATE OR TOPOMAX!!!!!!! I only lasted 2 day (from what I could remember) but VERY VERY QUICKLY STOPPED IT AS FAST AS I STARTED!!!!!!! I could not handle the HEADACHES!! It felt like my head was going to “IMPLODE OR EXPLODE” and nothing would help to get rid of them!! So maybe get your medications looked into as well. Please take care of yourself, pray, have faith, and talk to your doctor ASAP!! BE WELL!!!!!!! 🙏🏼🦅🙏🏼💕

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 10:28 PM

    • I was told that I only have a seizure disorder do to several brain operations over 40 brain operations now from age 4 to age 49 was my last. I been through hell as a kid. My head has been operated on alot. Last operation I died during my operations and in my hospital room. I made it to heaven and my Angel told me not my time and I have to go back and get a no kill dog shelter open. I was in shock my Angel told me that. I hope I can do it? I love dogs they bring me joy and brighten my spirits up. Last dog was a caracter she bark at me if I came home late till I showed her I got her beggin strips. She loved that treat. I had to leave her with my mom she has Alzheimer’s and diabetes and Dementia. Mom is getting worse and didn’t know who I was. I hope dad finds a cure for her freaking out daily.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Russell Ray Hanawalt — August 27, 2020 @ 12:33 AM

      • You were somehow saved and you saved another! How miraculous your story is.

        There must be a heaven up there if we still have you and another being is alive thanks to you.

        Perhaps the companionship of a dog could help your mom. There are emotional support dogs. It would be neat if you were able to train him for that.

        How to Train a Dog to Be an Emotional Support Animal


        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 27, 2020 @ 8:51 AM

      • YOU ARE SO RIGHT PHYLIS!!!!!!! And the really nice part to that is DOGS AND CATS WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!! Lol 😂 and horses 😘

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 27, 2020 @ 11:48 AM

      • Oh I ABSOLUTELY LOVE ANIMAL, HORSES, DOGS AND CATS MOSTLY!! Lol 😂 with a love of birds as well 😘. I had a little chihuahua that (TO THIS DAY) I SWEAR SAVED MY LIFE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!!!!!! To this day we still can’t figure out how she managed to jump up on my bed and wake my husband up!! Lol 😂 he’s 6ft4 and 285lbs and evening he said “I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO EAT ME!!!!!!!” 😱😱😱😱😱. I had a seizure in the middle of the night in my washroom and fell and cut my head open on a mirror that we laid between them wall and sink so it would break. Until we could properly fix it on the wall!! I hit my head on the corner of it and cut my head open and my chihuahua jumped on my bed and woke up my husband who found me and got me into the hospital with my oldest daughters help. I required 27 stitches on the left side of the top of my scalp. But the funny thing was the doctor thought my husband did that to me and quit speaking with him, and the nurses made the mistake of asking my daughter how much I drank?!!! YES MY DAUGHTER FREAKED OUT ON THE NURSES AND DOCTOR FOR EVEN ASKING THAT!!!!!!! But when worse comes to worse I ALWAYS STILL GO TO MY CHIHUAHUAS AND CAT FIRST!! Lol 😂 then they go to my husband and children and get them!! 😅😅😅😅😅

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — August 27, 2020 @ 11:46 AM

  20. This article is extremely important to the needs of those of us with Epilepsy. The statement regarding the need of “collaboration with medical doctors and clinicians “ is critical. Medical Doctors pass the depression off to clinicians. Clinicians see the word “Epilepsy “, and focus on that, maybe give us meds for what we describe, but even therapist will not even dare to unpeel the layers of Epilepsy onion. I was a Masters Level Social myself until my job became tired of me having seizures. When it came time for me to get serious treatment at a serious treatment at a private facility, I was told no bc of my Epilepsy! I ended up educating the lady about Epilepsy on the phone. I believe that people with Epilepsy continue to go through stages of loss when they are least expecting it, big or small, and this adds more fuel to the fire of depression. Until clinicians are properly trained on how to deal with this specific type of depression. Until they and willing to take it on, we will not get better. There are certain types of therapies that help people with eating disorders, and addiction. WHY can’t there be specific treatments to help us? I am willing to help any way I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Lynn Palmer — September 20, 2021 @ 10:30 AM

    • Beautifully and wisely said Lynn.

      I also think for epilepsy treatment to be successful, the whole body needs to be involved.

      Physical, emotional, reasons, and of course, wholistic treatment.

      We’re more than just an ailing body. We feel pain, guilt, remorse and all the emotional aspects that are swept beneath the carpet.

      But wo’s willing to take that on?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 20, 2021 @ 11:09 AM

  21. I totally agree Phyllis! The Clinicians need this information, just as much as everyone in general need education and awareness about different types of Epilepsy and Seizure First Aid. ADVOCACY needs to be taken in in the area of clinicians. I would be as bold to even say to tie the treatments along with other medical conditions that continue to take away a lot of the same similar things such as your independence, memory, and possibly even your mobility. I am sure they cause a similar type of depression. I appreciated the fact that the Epilepsy foundation recognized the National Day of Suicide Prevention. But I’m sorry, it’s just not enough. It is time to do MORE! WE need and deserve MORE. The therapist that treat us need to know HOW to treat us. Telling me to go take a walk or get a new hobby, is not enough. I appreciate my therapist, but she needs more adequate skills and tools for what we are dealing with. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have had suicidal thoughts, the number is too high. Helping others, would be helping myself. You are right in asking, who do we go to that cares enough to get something started?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jeri Lynn Palmer — September 20, 2021 @ 1:15 PM

    • National DAY of Suicide Prevention??? GRRRR.
      Well, that’s a nice slap in the face.

      Ok guys, you can feel suicidal once a year and we’ll try to make it better. Screw you the other 364 days.

      I tried to end my life. I did not succeed. (Obviously.)

      But let me tell you, it’s not a pretty place.

      ER, ICU, hospital stay, in residence clinical lock-down. Then, of curse, the after care. With people who were a lot crazier than me.

      It was pure punishment for being “naughty” and not following the rules.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 20, 2021 @ 2:17 PM

  22. There is a peer-reviewed journal from Epilepsy and Behavior published in 2016 in which they gathered data from 17 states between the years 2003-2010 on people who had epilepsy who committed suicide. They concluded that people with epilepsy are 22 times more likely to commit suicide compared to the general population. We are in a mental health crisis in this community and not enough is being done about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Natalie Boehm — September 20, 2021 @ 2:46 PM

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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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