Epilepsy Talk

How Creative Are YOU? | September 24, 2022

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 lemonade out of lemons!

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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


10 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.

    Like

    Comment by Kenneth — September 24, 2022 @ 9:45 AM

  2. I guess I am creative because I say & HAVE SAID FOR YEARS,, to myself & others that, ”THE BRAIN NEVER LIES”. I do have a family doctor who told me that the brain ”does lie” and I told him, THAT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE LISTENING TO IT THE WRONG WAY. What do doctors really know when they listen to lies at most to all medical schools & the CDC & FDA for truths & REAL facts ? It all boils down to what God knew about us ALL before we were born. So Who gets the credit for any of us to be creative ? When you constantly LOOK UP for answers, you have to know a little more than most people do who only cares to listen to their doctor/s.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James D — September 24, 2022 @ 9:46 AM

    • I take exception with your family doctor and I agree with YOU.

      The brain never lies. You just have to listen well.

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 24, 2022 @ 9:55 AM

  3. Hello!!
    RTL.. ugh.. it really sucks. Esp at night during sleep 💤 🌃.
    BUT….
    Sounds and sensory issues are my friends.
    Don’t know the how and the way of it..
    Specifically:
    **During the Great Staycation;
    I Learned **alone** (no teachers or media) how to Play rhythm and classical guitar 🎸🎶💯👍. . .AND Harmonica!! 🙂
    They’re being restrung this week.
    **Only Seven notes and Chords…
    So much to create… I’ve made up several patterns.
    **Getting formally Tested next few weeks.
    Practice daily from sounds around me (love the sounds of Life). 🌎🗝️✔️🙂
    Several folks have said it’s awesome (including my adult son – he wants to film 📽️ it. ??)..
    Welll,. ***we’ll see after testing. 👍
    Just have a feeling it will work/help me out/music 🎵**.
    **Sadly, the drugs they prescribe Deaden my senses.
    I **love sounds**, it’s human resonance that frightens me.
    Peace to you and
    THE CREATIVITY OF EPILEPSY.
    THANKS 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Robert S. — September 24, 2022 @ 9:49 AM

  4. yes, left temporal lobe epilepsy has been recoded in many well known artists, like van Gogh, I’m creative too, with that type of epilepsy, some wit came up with the idea that St paul had it too, suddenly seein bright lights and hearing voices!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gail Barry — September 24, 2022 @ 10:23 AM

  5. I used to feel so creative in my youthful days and thought I was a visionary. Turns out I just had epilepsy 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hetty Eliot — September 24, 2022 @ 6:57 PM

  6. Phylis, thanks so much for presenting this thought. I have been taking classes to develop my art skills (Acrylic painting & mixed media work). I also love taking nature photos. My work time as an OTR has gone down, so now I am using this time to try to sell some of my creative nature pictures. I feel like I am going down a brand new road in my life, and it really has been exciting. Maire

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Maire Archbold — September 24, 2022 @ 9:41 PM

  7. Hi Maire! My husband has been photographing wild life (mostly birds) as his retirement career. Turns out he loves it and is a good photographer. Whether it’s his iPhone or a 600 mm lens, he’s a joy to behold. I can understand your passion.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 24, 2022 @ 9:50 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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