Mood Disorders in Epilepsy – A Neglected Diagnosis

From MYEpilepsy Team: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you are living with both epilepsy and a mood disorder, you are not alone. The link between seizures and mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder is well-established, although poorly understood. According to the Neurology Times, multiple studies estimate that between 20 and 22 percent of people with epilepsy have a mood disorder – about five times the rate of mood disorders in the general population.

One MyEpilepsyTeam member reached out, asking “I just wanted to know. What besides epilepsy do you all deal with? Mine is depression, anxiety, bipolar, anemia, panic attacks, bronchitis, and colitis.” Other members responded, saying they had been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), depression, and anxiety.

A different member, expressing frustration about dealing with seizures in addition to mood disorders, wrote “Ok, screw it. I am tired of the epilepsy, lack of sleep, depression and anxiety. The depression is overwhelming, and being bipolar on top of all of this sucks.”

Several MyEpilepsyTeam members live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in addition to seizures. In some cases, members identify a strong link between the two conditions. There are many types of seizures, and people experience different seizure triggers. Psychogenic seizures are triggered by psychological stress and can be related to PTSD. For some members, knowing their seizures are psychogenic helped them find the right treatment. “I found out my seizures are caused by my PTSD,” wrote one MyEpilepsyTeam member. “It’s stress-induced, so I’m seeing a cognitive therapist.”

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