Depression and Epilepsy

Although around one in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives, this rises to affect one in three people with epilepsy. And in people with drug resistant epilepsy, the chance of having depression increases to 55%. It’s been recognized that depression and epilepsy can go hand in hand- some even think they share a common cause.
It can also occur in people who are taking some epilepsy medicines or if they’ve had their dosage increased. Conversely there are studies that suggest taking antidepressants may increase the likelihood of seizures.
Five tips for Mental Wellbeing

1. Try something new
Taking up learning a new skill or a new hobby can feel rewarding and give you a sense of achievement. Doing something relaxing like knitting, painting or gardening can help reduce stress which could help with both epilepsy and depression.

2. Take Five
While it’s good to keep challenging yourself it’s not good to overdo it at work or school. It’s important to take your breaks when you can-leave your phone and go outside for some fresh air and stretch your legs.

3. Reach Out to Others
Good relationships matter. If possible, connect with your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours -they build your sense of love , belonging and provide emotional support. You could even meet new people by volunteering your time or joining a club. Epilepsy Action’s coffee and chat group’s held across the UK and you can talk and share about your experiences in a relaxed environment.

4. Stay Healthy
It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly if you can. I the meantime, try and cut down Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine. Too much of these could worsen or trigger seizures.

5. Be Mindfull
In this chaotic world, mindfulness is the art of focusing your full attention on the present and accepting it. Being mindful can help you help you enjoy life better.

Depression has many symptoms and can come on gradually so it can be difficult to notice when something is wrong. Depression can interfere with your life, relationships and work. many people with Depression can feel like they Lose interest in life and can’t enjoy things, Feel like they can’t cope, Feel extremely tired, Lose interest in sex, Feel useless or hopeless, move or speak slower than usual.
The NHS advises to seek help if you’re experiencing the symptoms above or you’re having low moods lasting longer than two weeks. If you start to feel like your life isn’t worth living or you want to harm yourself, get help straight away.
Who Can Help
contact Samaritans on 116123 for 24 hour confidential support. Call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment, Call 111 out of hours they will help you find the support you need to access psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy ( CBT) or counselling on the NHS visit: beta.nhs.uk/find a psychological-therapies-service
For Epilepsy support call the Epilepsy Action Helpline on 08088005050.
Source Epilepsy Action.

The Ipswich Epilepsy may be able to pay for some counselling subject to committee approval and funds.